The 12k's of Christmas run was probably the best possible way the LaPan clan could end the year. I've been searching for a dog friendly "race" to do for well, as long as I can remember. It was such an amazing day, and I couldn't have been any more proud. You see, Saturday was the day that my boy, Baxter, officially proved something we've all known for a while.
My dog is faster than yours. My dog is a BAD ASS.
The race morning (10am, actually) was kinda crazy! Over 1500 people showed up and they had to start the races a little late because people were still trying to get registered. The park was full of little santas, elves and santa paws. It was a crazy warm morning, absolutely gorgeous!
The dogs were so good hanging out for about an hour before the race actually started! This is the first time we've had Juliette around so many people and dogs, but she did awesome! She definitely is a bit curious about other dogs, particularly little ones, but nothing to be worried about.
Baxter is ready to ROLL!
While the race allowed dogs to participate, they asked that we line up in the back. If you know anything about Baxter, he is NOT cool with that. But, we respected the race director and lined up behind the first dogs in the pack. The race started and Baxter and Shane were out of sight within minutes.
This race was all about Baxter. My boy is a true runner, and while he's had his fair share of injuries and down time over the years (haven't we all), nothing makes him more happy than running. And running FAST. So, rather than tag along with the boys and possibly slow them down (ie chase them) I decided I would take Juliette for her first race as well. I was fully prepared to walk some of the race for her since the longest we've been able to get her built up to in the short 2 weeks we've had her is about 2 miles. The race was a 6k, or 3.7 miles so I knew it would be a bit of a stretch for her, but she is a Vizsla so I had faith!
Little miss thing started out pretty speedy running up the grass hill at an 8min pace. I tried to slow her down but she was all GO GO GO. We were passing people the whole way, but it was a little un-nerving to be running in such a crowded pack when we don't have her trained that well yet. With Baxter, he understands directions; left, right, up, down, stop, fast, recover (although he chooses to ignore the last one). It makes running in traffic and crowds so easy. At one point Juliette got a little out of control and darted to the left a bit almost tripping someone. I apologized profusely and shorted Juliette's lead.
We stopped at the first water stop, just before the 6k turnaround and I tried to get Juliette to drink from the dog bowls they had out. She wasn't very interested so I tried a dixie cup, but again she also refused. We started back out on the course only to see Baxter and Shane heading our way! I was so excited. I could see how far in front they were and I had only seen maybe one other dog ahead of them. Baxter was smiling and gave me a quick look like "I gotta keep moving mom, no time for chit chat."
Juliette tried to get me to turn around and run with them, but soon gave in to my tugging on her leash. We made another stop at the water station on the way back. She was really starting to slow down so I was hoping she would take in some water. No luck, but she seemed ok so we were on our way.
With about a mile left in the race I saw a dog in front of us and slowly tried to get Juliette to pick up the pace to pass them. We finally got in front of the other dog and I spent the next half mile cheering Miss Juliette all the way to the finish.
I have no idea what kinda pace we ran with the stops and the course was actually 4 miles, but some how our brand new runner girl Juliette ran her way to 3rd in my age group and 3rd overall dog. Not bad for someone who just started running only 2 weeks ago! She is definitely a Vizsla, all heart!
Santa putting Juliette's medal on!
Her first "medal picture"
And wouldn't you know it Baxter ran himself into 5th place overall in the 6k, 1st DOG overall and 3rd in Shane's AG. He pulled Shane past a dog in the last mile to take the lead averaging 7min miles (pace including 2 water stops and being stopped at an intersection waiting for traffic).