HARD DOG RACE Opatov 2019
Autumn part of the season is here and so the time for the biggest obstacle race with dogs in the Czech Republic came – The Hard Dog Race. It is an extreme canicross-running race combined with various obstacles, either natural, or artificially built, overgone together with one’s dog. It is a race for hard racers, for enthusiasts and for determined and motivated people and dogs. It is a challenge for everybody. This year there were almost 1000 racers with dogs of all possible sizes and breeds. Since the early morning the overall atmosphere was perfect, the sun was shining so the conditions for running were ideal. The staff (cca 100 people) did a great job preparing everything so precisely, so no chaos was visible anywhere.
The track was difficult – 6,5 km long, built partly on a motocross track and partly through the surrounding woods. It contained 16 obstacles and numerous hills, we climbed the elevation cca 250 meters throughout the whole race. Absolute cooperation and symbiosis was necessary for successful completing the race. Axel and Erik managed all obstacles easily, so no handicaps for them. I (Mirka) made one mistake at the second obstacle, so it cost me 30 squats. I must say, that both Daimee and Axel suited the race perfectly. During the canicross sections, they towed like mad and at the obstacles they did not hesitate a second. Their willingness and cooperation was unbelievable. It was evident that they enjoy it with us, the adrenalin was clearly visible. Mostly because of them it was the race of our lives for us and we have great experience and fantastic memories. It is very true, what the motto of the race expresses: “six legs run, two hearts beat in unison and share one victory!” The medals for finishing this race have an honorary place at home and in our hearts.
It was no piece of cake. Some racers had to give up, others fell to the bottom of their strength in order to finish the race. It was exhausting, water in the river freezing, obstacles technical. Unfortunately Erik got hurt during the race – at the start he crushed his head against a wodden pole in full speed. For a few seconds he hesitated whether he could continue or would have to give it all up. His bloody forehead can be seen in some photos. But he never gives up, so he went on bleeding the whole race, so the final placement was a big satisfaction. He and Axel finished 45th out of 211 in the men cathegory, at the time 44:56 (average pace including overgoing the obstacles and some waiting before the obstacles were free to cross was 6:54 min/km). Daimee and I were 46th out of 558 women at the time 48:56. The absolute winner (not only among women) was rightfully the reigning world champion in mushing Martina Štěpánková with her dog Nick in a fantastic time 30:42. Congratulations to all who participated and surpassed themselves! As soon as we recover from this race, we are looking forward to another one.