It is that time of year when every second sentence you hear is something to do with Christmas. Or every second email you get is Black Friday this and discounted that.
It’s also the only time of year that I pull out my stripey red and white elf-like stockings and make the annual pilgrimage to the RNLI Reindeer Race. I choose the 5km distance, not you understand because I can’t or don’t want to run the 10, but because my running pal has a heart murmur and the 5 is our new distance of choice.
Those seasoned Park Runners and 5km fans will know that it’s a great distance for a PB. You’ll also know that you can’t be awarded a PB if you run with a dog (canicross events aside of course). An unfair advantage? Well maybe but have you ever tried tying yourself to a 14kg powerhouse and trying to keep up? I have, and I do. I’ve never taught my dog to run but she’s so great at keeping a straight line that I’ve been able to tie her to the drawstring of my trousers before now. We stick together like glue, we dip and dive around other runners but I always come off worse…for about three days. When you run solo you can temper your effort. When your lungs are being squeezed you slow down, when the gradient gets steep you take smaller steps. With a dog you don’t. It’s a bit like that scene from Dr. Dolittle – the guinea pig in the cage on top of the car. Shut your eyes Rodney, this is gonna be one hell of uh ride!
And my point? Well I don’t really have a big one. Just that I love running with my dog even if it’s like being sat on by a rhino and it gives you calves of steel. And for her part? She loves it and I really hope we can continue running together for a few years to come. On top of all that, let’s remember to do something charitable this Christmas, in amongst the tinsel, the hefty savings and the office parties.
We’re Reindeer Ready. Are you running?