CANICROSS MIDWEST CHAMPIONSHIP!!! HILLY AND FUN!!!
Of course I have been looking forward to the Championship, let’s not get too carried away. This event is the efforts of Brian Thomas and Kenosha Running Company and ALL of his events are low key, no pressure, FUN is the only rule when running a Brian Thomas event!!! It was held at KD Park (same place as last time) and I now know this park and train here about once a week. It helps to do that, as you recall, I frequently get lost…hahahaha…this helps me to have some familiarity! Do you know why I get lost? I day dream and sight see and pretty soon, I’m off trail, such a blonde. Brian (husband) and best friend Jenn with her dog Lucy came along as before and that’s nice for Brian. He does a lot of waiting for me to run; it’s nice when he has company. This is a very friendly group and he certainly has a lot of people to talk to, plus the course is set up such that he and Jenn could see me for parts of it across the lake and when I topped the hill for the second lap to start. I don’t know how many were running, but this was a canicross only event, which means, just runners and dogs (though I did notice a couple of runners without dogs here and there – whatever, doesn’t matter to me). Brian (race guy) gave us the low down and where we go and how we do more than one lap. My plan was to do 2 laps which was just over a 10K. It was a chilly day, but really perfect for running and running with a dog…even better. At the start, my hubby did the “READY-SET-GO” and we were off. I just let the people get in front of me and go about my business. I am the only runner that I see carrying water most of the time and I am the only canicross runner who I have ever seen give water to the dog. I’m sure it happens, I’ve just not seen it in the races that I have done. Trixie gives me the glance over the right shoulder that she needs a swig and we stop and take care of it. I’m never going to be speedy in these races, but, I don’t care, I’m taking care of my baby! As I said, I have been training in this park and I know it is challenging with hills and dales and turns and mud and rocks and stumps and all that, but I wasn’t worried. My Trixie was ready to go and we had a great first lap, we stopped to water a few times and she made the turns well. I have taught her left and right commands and she has it down cold. Brian Thomas always puts at least one challenging long hill in a lap and a couple steep short hills and this was no exception. They were tough, but I was feeling great, I had one of those “could run forever” kind of days…those are great!!! We topped the hill and I could see Brian and Jenn get out of the truck. Brian had my pink sweatshirt thrown over his shoulder, he is ALWAYS looking out for me to make sure that I am warm enough or cold enough…he is the greatest coach!!! I was perfect, temperature wise, so I waved and ran on by. Trixie saw Daddy and wanted to stop and visit so she was a little bit of a bowling ball for 200 yards or so, but got it together and we continued for lap two. A mile into lap two she was dragging her little red wagon a bit, so I stopped and watered her and downed a gel, giving her a drop or two for energy. She perked up after that and other than getting the lead line under my left foot two times when my doggy got bogged down in a sharp turn and almost tripping, we had a great second lap as well. The funniest part of the second lap was Hoody, another dog on the trail that I came across. I ran up to find him running along carrying a stick and playing with it while running. His owner, Megan, explained that he gets a little bored on the second lap and has to grab a stick to play with, hysterical!!! Well, the second lap was over and Brian Thomas greeted me with a smile and positive words and Trixie ran over to Daddy and Jenn…she was ready to hang out in the truck and take a nap. Brian and his wife had snacks for us, chili and crackers and rolls (though the coffee was old…eeeeekkk). My crew and I enjoyed our treats and the dogs also enjoyed some treats. Kenosha Running Company doesn’t usually have prizes (other than silly little blinky necklaces) but Brian decided to give out prizes for first woman and man in 5K and 10K (I did not get a prize, hahaha) so that was fun for people, but he did toss me a 6 in 1 leash from Kurgo which I will give to Jenn to help her with canicross training for Lucy. I’m pretty well set up with equipment and am kind of a minimalist when it comes to this stuff. I don’t need all the bells and whistles and have a great run through the woods with my dog. I just looked at the results and I was the last woman across the finish line, in 1:06:21 (there were only 4 women who did the 10K). I knew I was slow, but it was just so fun to be out there!!! There is something else I noticed…I am the oldest participant in this event…I’m talking 5 years older than the next oldest, men and women!!! I love that and Trixie and I are just gonna keep on running!!! Stay tuned for news of canicross events and ½ marathons in the continued quest to do one in every state!!!