Well if there was any race to be unsure about it, it was this one. There aren’t a lot of 5k’s in the area in February, and luckily this one caught my eye right away. It was part of the Great Lakes Pet Expo, and it was a race where the humans don’t really matter, only the dogs do. In fact, the race t-shirt is dog sized, there’s more water for dogs than there is for people, and no medals or trophies, only ginormous dog bones for the top dogs in each category.
I honestly didn’t set a goal for this one at all. I knew I wanted to be in line with my previous times, but had no idea how difficult it’d be walking with a dog. Thankfully through the awesome people at The Labrador Connection, I was connected with Julie, who had a dog for me to borrow. Lizzy was a rescue and has probably been through hell, but this was her day to shine. Oddly enough I met Julie while I was registering so that took the biggest stress off of things. After some meeting and greeting with Lizzy, it was 8:30 and time for the race to start!
My biggest downfall for the day is that I forgot my watch, so I have no idea what my breakdown on times were, but thats alright. I learned shortly into the race that when they said we’d be walking “AROUND” the Milwaukee Mile Speedway, we’d actually be walking….AROUND it, and not on it. That kind of sucked a little bit, but I got over it fairly quickly. 🙂 The course layout was a little weird. There were several moments when runners would catch up to me from behind and pass me, I think on 3 seperate occassions. Nothing like having the whole field pass you by 3 seperate times!
Got to Mile marker 1 and was feeling fine. The course was fairly simple so I knew when I was coming up on Mile marker 2 and 3, would have been a great time to have my watch and keep track of how I was doing, but alas….
Lizzy had her fair share of issues. Being that Julie was behind us walking Lizzy’s sister….Lizzy got a little worried at the start and didn’t wanna walk forward..of course she wanted to go play with her sister! I had the same issue later in the race when there was a dog that looked like her sister behind us….but for the most part she did great. It was really helpful that when I would start to get tired, she’d start working on a good pace and i’d almost have to jog to keep up with her.
This is where I’m gonna get up on my soapbox a little. There were a few things that disappointed me about this race. 1) There was 1 water station. Now, on a 5k, if there’s only 1 water station….no big deal. But when you have 100 dogs running, they probably should have had an extra one. Granted it wasn’t too cold or anything, but Lizzy was a slobber machine behind the backstretch of the speedway, and there wasn’t water for another 3/4 of a mile. 2) This is a race about dogs, and for the dogs. If you wanna be really fast runner guy/girl…this isn’t the race for you. There were a handful of times that a runner would pass me, their dog would stop to sniff Lizzy, and the owner would basically yell at the dog to keep moving. I’m sure you have your personal goals and stuff, but don’t be dragging your dog. Dogs do what dogs do. 3) If you don’t have a dog that can run in perfect step with you for 3 miles, don’t do it. Made me sad to see people sprinting and basically dragging their dogs along. Again, if you wanna be Mr Fast Runnerguy….find a different race.
Anyways. On the last lap, I was still happy to see people behind me. Lizzy and I tried catching up to the 3 legged dog that was racing, but it wasn’t in the cards….we got beat by a 3 legged dog. It was really neat at the finish line that most of the people had still stuck around and were cheering as we crossed the finish line. The clock said roughly 53:00 as I crossed, and I know I waited a little bit before heading out, but my race results timing says I finished in 51:39..and I’ll take that.