After several months of planning the inaugural Fast Fox Race, race day had finally arrived. It’s Saturday morning 5:30am, November 10, 2018, the Moncton Dog Runners looked out the window and let out a collective gasp!! Uh oh… the forecast predicted heavy rain, not this mixture of snow, ice and slush!! We made the decision to delay the race by 2 hours, hopefully enough time to have all the out-of-town participants arrive at the race safely.
Pre-race winter wonderland
We did one last route check before the participants arrived. Most of our markers had to be redone because of all the weight of the snow. At least the trails were clear of any ice build-up, but they were covered in about 4 inches of slush, not to mention the deep puddles of icy water! What was supposed to be the “Fast Fox” turned into the “Slow Fox” instead (or so we thought).
By 9:30-10:00, many teams were starting to arrive, surprisingly all with smiles on their faces, ready for the crazy adventure we were all about to embark on.
Once the registration table was set up, volunteers started to arrive. After a quick meeting with the volunteers, they were dispatched to their positions on the race route as course marshalls and official time-keepers.
Volunteer meeting with Lisa
We started the event with the 5K races: bikejoring, then canicross. This race route is very dynamic: lots of uphills, downhills, and a few hairpin turns. The course marshals were in place to ensure that all teams were properly guided on the right path.
Course marshalling can be lonely sometimes.
The 5K bikejoring race quickly proved that there was nothing slow about this race. All teams managed the course effectively without any incidents. They essentially paved the way for all other participants, making the trails a little bit less slushy. Coady Lee and Ginny finished first with a time of 12:30, then Mike Peppard and Chester in 2nd place at 12:55, and third Amélie Aikman and Zoe with a time of 13:55. All teams finished with muddy faces (and an even muddier rear), but all with big smiles! At this point, it was safe to say that the dogs were totally enjoying these mucky conditions!
Mike Peppard and Chester
Amélie Aikman, Zoe and the most impressive mud trail
Next up was the 5K canicross race. At this point the trail was nice and mucky. Our running shoes were sopping wet within seconds, making it quite chilly at the start. Once you ran a few kilometers in though, you hardly noticed it, and then it actually became fun to run through the puddles. I’m sure most of us felt like kids again! Again, the trail conditions did not deter our fast teams. Our very own Moncton Dog Runner, Sarah Peel and Chester, finished first with an impressive time of 16:43, followed by Aaron Sellars and Scout in 17:28. Third place went to Lisa McParland and Panda with a time of 19:34.
Aaron Sellars with Scout and Sarah Peel with Chester
Sonya Lee Lacelle with Bond and Rob Brockbank with Dusty
With a little bit of time between the 5K and 2K races, most people took some time to warm up in their cars and switch out wet socks and shoes for dry ones (an almost futile attempt really).
The 2K race route incorporated a part of the 5K route, again with some hills and sharp turns. This was a fast route that started on a downhill, allowing for good speed and extra mud in your face. Within minutes of the start line, the teams were quickly approaching the finish line, which was 200 meters back from the start line. Most spectators had to run to catch a glimpse of the speedy finish. Our race photographer and Moncton Dog Runner, Kyle Kennedy, took a break from photography to race with Chester, garnering a first place finish with an amazing time of 3:47 in his first bikejoring race! Next up was Moncton Dog Runner, Lisa McParland and Panda with a time of 4:02. And trailing by 1 second was Mike Peppard and Chester at 4:03! This was a close race for all teams involved, and without a doubt the most fun you can pack into a few minutes! While our photographer was racing, our amazing volunteers managed to take a few photos of the race.
Susan MacIsaac and Bridger
Valerie Michon and Solo
By now everyone is gearing up for the last race of the event, the 2K canicross. All teams were race-ready, and only a few participants still had dry shoes. First across the finish line was the speedy team of Sarah Warford and Eddie with an incredible time of 6:13! Next up, was Carolyn Filliter and Neshka with a time of 7:19, and third, Amélie Aikman and Zoe with a time of 7:26. We were truly blown away by the quality of racers!
Melina Beauchemin and Grover in what looks like a Redwood forest
First time racers Ali Hicks and Guinness
Once all the times were tallied, prizes were given out to the first three finishers in each category. Afterwards, names were drawn for participation prizes. Not only did racers and dogs leave with cold feet, muddy faces, and happy smiles, they also received some swag from our sponsors.
At the end of the day, it’s important to realize that it’s not about winning the race. It’s about doing something fun with your dog, all while creating an unbreakable bond and taking part in a sport you both truly enjoy. The looks on the dogs’ faces when they cross the finish line makes it all worthwhile. They want to make us proud of them. The teams that participated at this event definitely displayed this in full force. None more so, than Crystal Byron and Kirk. They made us realize that it’s not about speed, power or size, it’s about confidence and big hearts. This little dude had loads of both!
Crystal Byron and Kirk, at the 2K canicross finish line
The Moncton Dog Runners would like to thank the incredible community of canine and human athletes who took the time to attend our very cold and wet event. It’s because of all of you that this race turned out to be such a success! Special mention to our volunteers, who were key participants in guiding our teams to safety!
Also, special thanks to our sponsors: DogRunnin, NB Urban Mushing, Max Health Institute and Physiotherapy, LoopyDog Collars and Leashes, Alpine Dog Tags, Pawsitive Daycare, Stoakley’s Professional Dog Boarding, and Wilder & Harrier. The participation of the city of Moncton was key in making this a successful event. They graciously allowed us to close trails for this race and provided us with much needed equipment. Their support was invaluable and we can’t wait for the next opportunity to work with them to host more races in the Moncton area!
Brody, having a good howl
Neshka in the puddle, just in case she was still dry