Saturday, July 14
Muddy Paws 2 Mile Trail Race
Pine Hollow Trail
So I tried something different this summer! I signed Henry up for his first trail race! I had been running with him a bit over the summer when I saw an ad on Facebook for the Muddy Paws race series sponsored by Western Reserve Racing. There were 2 different races – a 5 miler and a 10 miler, but what caught my eye was the 2 mile doggie fun run as a fundraiser for the Humane Society. I read further to read that the dogs would be chipped (timed) only and not the humans and there would be prizes for the various sizes of dogs. That was it! I was in!
So the morning of the run Henry was totally cool. No pre-race jitters for him!
We got there a little bit early to pick up his bib and his swag item – a collapsible water bowl that has the Muddy Paws logo on it. So stinkin’ cute! We spent the rest of the 30 minutes before the race making new friends, slobbering other dogs and straightening out leashes! Before we knew it it was time to start! The first 100 yards or so was all downhill and even the race director mentioned that he couldn’t wait to see how fast the dogs would pull us down the hill!! There was quite a crowd there – I was pleasantly surprised! I was also surprised at how many smaller dogs there were! I wasn’t sure how the littler dogs would do with a race that distance!
We took off and at first Henry was a bit confused. He wanted to smell the dogs as we were passing them. Pretty soon he got the hang of it as he saw all of them moving in the same direction. He trotted along pretty good. I had made sure to have him take care of business on a quick walk at home that morning before we left to minimize stops. I think he only had to pee once. The trail was pretty steep in parts and the morning was very humid! Because of this I had to walk just a bit on some of the hills. Each time I did as I told him I had to talk just a bit, Henry looked back at me like, “is that all you got, lady? When are we actually going to start running?!”
We trotted our way to the finish line and I led him to the number of water bowls out for the doggies. He sniffed all of them, but would not drink out of any of them. It was like they were tainted. First of all, who is he to be judgmental of slobber?! He eyed the water I was drinking so I had to pour some of my bottle out so he could drink it. But as soon as I dumped the rest in a bowl he was not interested. He could not bear to drink out of a public water bowl! Funny how a muddy lake is another story, however! I was glad I brought his own bowl and a cold water bottle with us so he could have a drink by the car before heading home.
One cool and unique thing about this race was the sounds I heard. Normally during a race I hear feet on the pavement or path and sometimes folks breathing. This time it was a mix of human breathing, but also lots of panting! It was fun and I felt a cool connection with Henry. He is 7 years old and we just started doing this together, but it just shows that it is never too late. We didn’t win any prizes. He/we came in 51 out of 62 dogs in total, but I had a blast and I think I can speak for Henry that he did too.
Time: 25:31 51/62 dogs