What a zoo!! Fundraiser for the ASPCA at the local vet. First time racing with Ooskiss, my black lab mutt. We have run over 1,000 miles together but never in a race situation. Would he stay on focus? Sure having trouble before the start, too much to sniff at. Leashes tangling, snarling and yelping all over. Mix of lone runners and runners with dogs. Newlywed couple who met each other at last years race. Easy simple warm up. Cool morning.
Start - Decided to start at the front and go all out to get ahead of the "pack". Lots of young kids running too, this could be a mess. Through the parking lot, across the road and onto the Chehalis Western Trail. A couple runners in front of me enter the trail on the right of the gate, but I know it is quicker to enter to the left. This is my home paved trail, done lots of running here.
Mile 1 - We have settled out nicely. One runner and one dog and runner well ahead. Another dog and runner even with me. We talk a little but are running too fast for conversation. Seem to be evenly matched at this point. Ooskiss knows what he is doing and we are running strong.
Mile 2 - I had been worried about the turn around and what Ooskiss would face on the way back, but Miguel had designed a "lolipop" course that was perfect. Left turn onto empty country road, left turn back south and left turn back to the trail. Only a few stragglers and Ooskiss does a good job of not getting distracted.
Mile 2.1 - The runner I had been competing with is pulling away and I may not get him. All of a sudden Ooskiss stops completely and starts pooping on the trail. Fastest poop ever and we are back to race pace in no time.
Mile 3.1- Pushing hard for the finish. Nice group of spectators cheering. Feeling great. Cross the line and imediately handed a ribbon and trophy. Now that is my kind of award ceremony, no wait at all. But there is a problem. Our trophy says second place overall dog and runner. Turns out that the one dog who was way in front never crossed the finish. He must have not been registered and just ran along for fun, I saw him later still running on another part of the trail. Very proud of Ooskiss. He seemed pleased too.
3rd overall of about 50 (2nd overall runner with dog)