I must attract dogs
Why do these furry, sometimes stupid animals have the urge to run at me on course? It’s happened twice now. Don’t get me wrong I like dogs. In fact, I have two border collies myself, but would I take them to a triathlon….NO!
The first time I experienced the hurdling dog was during Fiji long course. I’m not overly surprised given the centre of town has unleashed dogs, ferrel cats and wondering cows. I kinda accept that if competing in Fiji this comes part of the deal. I mean its not only animals on the loose, its cars, fascinated pedestrians and Fiji police trying to make order. In Fiji, expect the unexpected and you’ll be right. Such a beautiful course I’ll forgive the occasional dog crossing my path.
But, the second time was a local event only recently during an Olympic distance triathlon. Again, on the bike leg, in my aero position, on the flat and sitting at a comfortable speed (for me). In the corner of my eye I see this pouncing, grey coloured, short haired mutt break free from its Master’s grip. Attracted to the bike, the spinning wheels and wanting a piece of the action. I could see the lead flying in the wind as if it had escaped from Altcatraz and was now free.
I watched to see if anyone would attempt to re-caputre the beast. Admittedly, the dogs Master was a child (again another rookie mistake), but no one showed any urgency….expect me. With a quick look over my right shoulder I veered to the other side of the road, feathered the brakes and braced myself. Your mind starts racing, do I pick up speed or slow down, what’s best to avoid colliding with this crazed dog? My only other reaction was verbal. I could’ve come up with something better, but I managed to yell with a shake of my head, “Are you serious! That’s so dangerous.” I avoided t-boning the dog, but then took on the role of informing other possible victims yelling, “dog on course.”
Keep your furry friends at home
So peeps, lets do our triathletes a small favour and leave the mutts at home. I contend with them on training runs, but race day shouldn’t come undone because of the ‘hair of the dog.’