|The start of the Dirty Dog 15K 2011|
Doing this race this year for us was a no-brainer. The Dirty Dog in the Kanawha State Forest was the start of it all last year. I signed up myself, my husband, and my brother and his girlfriend to do this race last year as a way to kick everyone out of their comfort zone and do something hard. (Well, except for Lindsey, who pretty much runs 15Ks on a daily basis) With minimal time to train last year, we all completed the race, and the running bug bit. It has been quite a ride since then, and I'm thrilled that we were all still going strong and ready to the Dog again this year. Tom Samples joined us on the race, and as usual, smoked us all to the finish.
|Vance and Daisy run through Dunlop Hollow|
|Jay & I run through Dunlop|
We learned from our experience at this race last year. We were familiar with the course this time, and knew what to expect. Also, running with Daisy last year added time as we frequently had to confirm her whereabouts while on the trail. Daisy benefited from training also, and has learned to stay close while running with us. Her favorite running partner is Vance, so the plan was for her to stick with him on the race. Jay and my plan was to get near the front of the pack (not a usual race start place for us) so that we did not get caught in the logjam that we knew would occur in the first uphill single track section which was only a mile or so into the race. Unfortunately, we didn't get to the front in time, so we ended up getting behind the logjam. We tried to make up time on the logging road once the single track opened up. But, at least we have room for improvement again next year!
|Dirty Doggers dogged out post race|
The Dirty Dog 2011 saw a record attendance, attributed to its recognition in national magazines, and its social networking visibility. Before the race, preregistrants and race day registrants lined up to check in with Tracey Todd, and milled around with their dogs in the beautiful Kanawha State Forest. At 9:00 am, 200 runners and at least 33 canines lined up on the forest road and took off for the hills at Dan Todd's start.
|Vance McCracken & Lindsey Adkins|