Glasgow East End 5K 2010

Today Beanie & Biggles both notched up their third road race. The East End 5K is a particularly good one – it’s an easy, safe course starting and ending at Tollcross Park, and though it’s primarily for humans, doggies are welcome and can even get their own number and T-shirt.

It was raining pretty hard on the way through to Glasgow (a sure sign that summer has arrived!) and because of that we were expecting a low turnout, but we couldn’t have been more wrong:


The road outside the park is flooded with runners, though not all are enthusiastic about the warmup!

The rain slowed to a barely perceptible drizzle just as we arrived, creating perfect conditions for running; nice and cool for the dogs, but not too cool for us. The only problem when the race started was the sheer number of entrants – we’d almost reached the 1km marker before we had enough space to break into a jog, and we still had to dodge and weave past walkers almost up to the final kilometre! Despite that, we had a great time. There were drummers, dancers and pipers dotted along the course to spur everyone on, and nearly every time we passed a group of spectators we heard “awww look at the little doggies”.

As in the previous year I ran with the Bigglet and Susan ran with the Beanster. Unlike last year, Biggles thankfully decided against getting into a woofing match with the big Rottweiler in a walled garden along the route, and neither Beanie nor Biggles seemed particularly bothered by even the most enthusiastic drummers.  The 5K passed very quickly, though not quite as quickly as this brief compilation of clips from the race:

I don’t think Biggles quite knew what to make of the Master of Ceremonies cheering him on as we approached the finish. The guy looked very suspicious and didn’t have any treats. If we hadn’t been running I think he might have been on the receiving end of a Bigglewoofing!

Once my boy and me had finished we collected our two medals (the officials insisted on giving me an extra one for the Bigglet – I didn’t even have to ask) and found a good vantage point to watch for Susan and Beanie. When they appeared, Beanie was trotting along like a dressage pony and gazing into her Mum’s eyes. She probably looked like the best behaved doggie in the world, but in reality she was of course just waiting for another handful of chicken from Susan’s pockets!

Susan and Beanie finish the race in style!

Back in the park we bumped into runners from Dog’s Trust and an appropriate fuss was made of our two, and then we spotted another couple of Beagles who’d completed the race. One of them was Brodie, one of Newlin Waffle’s pups and therefore related to Beanie. He was a great little guy – wiggly, full of life and keen to have a nibble at Beanie’s racing number!


As we left the park, we were both enthusing about how great our little Beagley running partners had been. This conversation was interrupted when Bigglet had a bit of a tantrum because he couldn’t quite reach a half-eaten chip lying on the grass. This was rather cheeky on his part given that he’d nicked a sizeable lump of chicken from the kitchen worktop before we’d even set off that morning. Still, racing champions get perks and a small step towards the chip quickly resolved the situation.


A Big Day Oot

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..

Dog Boarding & Walking – A Real Home from Home

We’ve met up quite a lot recently with Beanie and Biggles buddies Cullen & Jamie from Obedience classes and Swimming. And always they have a whole gang of fun buddies with them. We bumped into them at the vet show rodeo on Saturday and finally got an explanation for Cullen & Jamie’s abundance of pals.

It turns out that mum Karen runs a dog walking and boarding business. And of course, any lucky dogs that come to stay with Cullen and Jamie get to share in all the fun outings, activities and pampering – here they are at the vet school rodeo shortly after excitedly opening their prizes from the doggy lucky dip!


Karen’s business is called Mukky Paws and her website is