Doggy Style: The Muddy Dog Challenge

The Muddy Dog Challenge is a new event designed to challenge people and pooches alike with a 5k jaunt through Brockwell Park in aid of Battersea Dogs (and cats) Home.

Lots of OCR types want to get their dogs involved in races, however the ones that do exist either appear to be in the is-there-anyone-alive-out-there highlands or would only really appeal to seriously sturdy dogs.  I have a 6kg Shih Tzu, and I don’t think she’s cut out for 10k treks just yet unless I invest in a hardy papoose.  I thought this challenge for charity was a good idea, presenting a fun, family day out with races of 2.5 and 5k.

Naturally, Remy and I were all over this like white on rice. She does a 5k with me a couple of times a week, and so long as we make sure she doesn’t overheat, she loves it. We’re careful to pick cooler times of day, run in the shade, stop for water, and if all else fails, I acquire a 6kg sandbag on my shoulders as she drools into my right ear. For a stumpy dog, she’s got guts, so I didn’t hesitate to sign her up for the full distance.

The Course

We took our place in the starting pen amongst huskies, Labradors, beagles and staffies. Remy was dwarfed by even the beagle, so naturally people thought me taking this foot long fluffball around with me was totally hilarious.   Pushy parent that I am, Remy needed no encouragement to throw herself into the race, pausing only to get a good eyeball of the huskies behind us, and to have a casual bark at a pigeon or two.

The obstacles included a cargo net crawl, balance beams (for me and her), some jumps, a zig-zag weave, some A-frames, and what must have seemed like a long open water swim for her. There were also some really great log jumps that challenged me, never mind my companion with 4-inch legs.

The course was well set out, albeit sparsely marshalled in some places – everyone was really encouraging, and there were lots of water stations set out along the course for the dogs. When she didn’t want to drink, she got splashed with it, as it was a really warm day.

Remy took to the challenges with a mix of indignation and determination, and didn’t seem best pleased that what would have been a short paddle for a big dog was actually a full submersion after she jumped with gay abandon into a constructed pool full of murky water. We completed the rest of the course looking like I was running with a large, bug-eyed rat.

But my god, did she do it. As we neared the finish line, my thighs were burning from all of the hills (why hills? Have I not suffered enough?), and I can only imagine how Remy’s little legs were feeling as we threw ourselves past the cheering crowds and collected a (really cool) medal, and accepted the warm embrace of fluffy towels from the volunteers. Remy went for a casual paddle in one of the provided paddling pools, and posed for many photos from people totally awed by the fact that a little shih tzu trounced the dogs in her wave.

thumb_IMG_5458_1024

The Goods

Great medal and T-Shirt (cotton).  A cool bandana for the dogs.

The Kit

  • Salomon Fellraisers (total overkill)
  • Nike Dri-fit anti blister socks
  • Nike Pro 3/4 tights
  • Tech Tee

The Verdict

A really great event for fun runners wanting to have a bonding session with their hounds.  This event will go from strength to strength and it’s for a truly amazing cause.  The photographs were free, and the organisation team friendly and helpful.  We’ll be back next year!  Not, obviously a massive challenge, but it’s a sweet little day out with good food and coffee available afterwards and a warm, friendly atmosphere.  Also: much cute dog action.

Oh, and I finally found a use for that Tough Mudder towel.

thumb_IMG_5452_1024

Biscuit me, IMMEDIATELY.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s