My dog is called Harry Hawkes. Despite being named after the famous local race, I’ve never really run with Harry. He’s a miniature Schnauzer so not a big long legged hound. And although I have seen schnauzers running at parkruns my dog always prefers stopping and sniffing when on a walk and has only run when he is chasing something (bird, squirrel, fox or ball).
Last Saturday this all changed. I was entered to run a sprint triathlon on Sunday so didn’t want to run hard on the Saturday. But I had missed a parkrun the previous week because of the Green Belt Relay, so keen to do one this week. So why not use it as an opportunity to run with Harry. This would also kill two birds with one stone as I had to take him for a walk anyway as Stella had gone to Berlin for the weekend.
We drove down to the Hawker Centre in Ham and joined the growing throng of runners by the riverside before walking upstream to the start. There were as usual approaching 300 humans taking part and at least three dogs including Harry. The other Canine participants were a larger black dog with thick curly hair and a similar size to Harry white dog, possibly a terrier of some description. Harry seemed quite excited by the event.
At the start I had kept well back so as not to impede the main field. Harry set off quite swiftly and we ran the first couple of hundred yards before he stopped. But despite a few calls of nature and the odd sniff I was surprised at how steadily he ran. The black dog and owner came past early on and the white dog followed, but we had some good company with a lady with three young children. And around the half way point we passed the white dog who seemed to have had enough.
Soon we were running for the finish funnel and getting a good cheer from the spectators. We ended up with a time something over 35 minutes which was 10 minutes or so slower than I usually run, but we had both enjoyed it and I was pleased to have had an easy work out. Well done Harry on your first park run. We’ll certainly do it again sometime.