I have another “guest” post for you today- a race review of the Fast and the Furry 8k by my vizsla Matilda. She contributed last year with her Guide to Minneapolis, but this is her first race review. Enjoy!
From Matilda Sloan Benson:
Training: Coming off a rather restful winter, I started running regularly again after the temps stayed consistently above freezing. Nothing fancy about my training, just running a couple times a week easy with Jessie or Dustin. Most of my speed work takes place at the dog park where I’m the master of fartlek, randomly selecting objects to sprint towards an indefinite number of times.
Registration: Online. My lack of opposable thumbs makes it challenging for me to do more than swipe right. Therefore, Jessie registered the three of us months in advance for the $25/person fee (no extra fee for the canine sort!) Jessie often registers for races very far in advance, and she didn’t know she had her Grandma’s Marathon Capitol Run the same day, so she didn’t actually participate with us in the race this year.
Packet Pickup: As everyone else says these days, “I’m so busy”, so I sent Dustin to get my packet the Friday before the race at Mill City Running. You also had the option of picking up race morning which looked pretty easy but since he works downtown, I figured he’d make time for me.
(Most of these pictures are courtesy of Tangerine House of Design!)
Course: Course was pretty similar to last year, a nice out and back on a wooded road along the Mississippi starting in Harriet Island. No major hills, very flat and shaded which made for perfect conditions that cool morning for a potential PR effort.
Support: The race offered plenty of support for both the canine and human needs on this route. Luckily this year was much cooler than last year, so even though Dustin stopped a few times to stand by canine support bowls for some reason, I was feeling good and saw no reason to be taking breaks.
SWAG: Great swag for this one, got a pretty sweet orange buff and carrying case for fecal disposal sacks. Plus, they’re nice enough to offer t-shirts to all the human participants, which I think they really appreciated. Unfortunately mid race during one of my many surges the buff came flying off and, being deep in race mode, we failed to notice. There’s always next year.
My performance: I alluded to in other parts of the review but, in case you somehow missed it, I did in fact PR at this race. A solid effort leading to a 31:24 finish for the 5 mile race, that’s right, a 6:18 average. I always like to go out super hard, just to send a message, but Dustin didn’t want to keep up and forced me to back off the sub 6:00 pace. Since our training doesn’t include any speed work, he must have thought I was crazy to be pushing the pace so early. Eventually we settled into a groove though and he just let me run the way I wanted to run. We caught up with the one dog-less runner that was ahead of us (there were two runners with dogs ahead of us too) as we entered the last mile but I just didn’t feel like making the final push past him. I was super happy, the one thing I love doing more than anything is running fast (technically sleeping under blankets is number one but it’s really in a league of its own).
Mile 1: 6:11
Mile 2: 6:19
Mile 3 6:17
Mile 4: 6:17
Mile 5: 6:05
Local celebrity (human) runner Heather Kampf ran the 5k with her husband Ben and their dog Ellie with a time of 20:05. I told Dustin that we should have run the 5k, as I think we could have beat them. It’s every dog’s dream to say they beat Ellie Kampf in a race!
Though I didn’t win a prize for 4th place in the 8k, I did get quite a lot of praise from Dustin and Jessie. They both were so impressed that I ran this fast.
Other friendly faces from Pampered Pooch Playground also gave me some hugs after the race. Those are good people.
Pictured below: Me, crushing it.
The race (especially the 5k) attracts dogs of all shapes and sizes. Just like with humans, running is the right fit for everyone!
All in all, a really awesome event. You can bet that I will be back for the Fast and the Furry 2016!