Glasgow’s annual East End 5k fun run was held today in Tollcross park. It’s a special race because it’s one of the very few that allows dog owners to run with their pets. Last year I ran with Beanie; this year all four of us entered!
Initially I’d considered using our cani-cross gear to let me run with both Beanie & Biggles hooked up to my belt, but field tests in the park quickly put me off this idea. It is after all very difficult to run when your legs are trussed up by dog leads and your two Beagles have decided to have an impromptu tail-pulling contest. So we decided to split them up, and I chose the Biggly Boy as my running partner while Susan went with Beanie. We were joined on the run by Susan and Cuillin from the Glasgow Dog Training Club.
Cuillin, Jamie, Biggles & Beanie before the race
Building on her recent doggy tailoring experience Susan made some small adjustments to Beanie & Biggles T-shirts (yep, all entrants – even dogs – get free T-shirts) that made them fit better around the lower body. It’s just as well she did, because as Cuillin’s owners found out dogs really don’t see anything wrong about peeing directly into their racing shirt. ‘Nuff said!
As race time approaches Biggles is resolutely focused on the start line. Beanie is resolutely focused on the burger van.
The warmup in full swing…
The race (or “big day oot” as the organisers called it) attracts all ages, fitness levels and species
This year the race started quite promptly, and we quickly cut along the side of the course to escape the heaviest concentration of runners. The first half of the run was uneventful and Biggles and Cuillin easily picked there way through the slower joggers. In the second half there were a few interesting moments.
For starters, Biggles discovered that the dog training club stickers we’d fixed to his lead felt nice in his mouth and I kept having to extract them and the lead from his frighteningly efficient chewing gear. Then we encountered a roadside photographer and Biggles felt the need to give him a stern woofing. Next we passed a very large and noisy Rottweiler who seemed keen to escape from the confines of his garden. I quickened my pace at this point and Biggles kept his head down – until that is we’d got about 20 yards away at which point my brave little boy gave the Rotty a stern woofing too. Unfortunately Biggles, Beanie and Cuillin weren’t so brave when we passed a drumming band that had set up along the side of the road to spur everyone on. It was great for the humans, but all of our dogs found it a little scary. I just kept moving purposefully to get Biggles past it as quickly as possible and it was quickly forgotten.
As we neared the finish all the dogs responded to encouragement from the spectators and put on an extra burst of speed. Cuillin crossed the line just little ahead of Biggles, and Beanie was next across the line. Here’s a little clip of Susan and Beanie on the home stretch:
All human finishers got a goody bag but additional prizes were also handed out at random, and as luck would have it both Susans got one!
The medal winners, and all of them stubbornly camera-shy
Susan#1 gets her prize
Susan#2 gets hers too
The 5K was over, but the “big day oot” was just getting started. Just before we left there was a carnival procession put on by kids from local schools, and agility displays and other attractions were planned for later.
I don’t know exactly what it’s meant to be, but it’s green and some kids made it :D
As we headed back to the car one more challenge lay before us.. a field full of banana skins, stray chips, half-eaten hot dogs and assorted food wrappers. Beanie and Biggles had their heads down the whole way as they tried to find these discarded treasures; we had our heads down too, in the hope of keeping said items out of our dogs’ mouths.
A field of dreams for any self-respecting, speed-swallowing Beagle..