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Dash For Dogs 2017
Running solo is a challenge when you have less then 10 degrees of peripheral vision (most people have 175 degrees), luckily we live in the age of technology and I have assistance using RunGo app and Apple Iphone/watch series 2. It never cease to amaze me how much technology can have an impact on our lives - it is like having a longer lease on athleticism. A couple months ago, I came across an advert post on facebook featuring Dash for Dogs run in February. It turns out, it was an event put on by RunGo (app) - Craig Slagel for BC & Alberta Guide Dogs. Since having met Craig and 'Dynasty' (retired guide dog) at a race expo, I wanted to support this event and for a great cause. Chris and I signed up for the 10K run/walk. It was an opportunity to run another event solo using the RunGo app in the trails of Stanley Park.
A couple weeks before the event, I recieved an email from Craig about a blog that I have done a few months back (RUN GO SOLO). He was impressed how I used the app and my iphone to guide me through the trails. This time, I will be using the Apple watch to navigate through the trail system of Stanely Park. After several messages back and forth, Craig again, helped me set up the watch/iphone ready for the run. How exciting is this?! The night before the event, Chris and I walked to the Denman Running Room store to pick up our race packages. After gettiing our numbers, Craig (always to the rescue!) made sure I was set up with the Apple watch and the route ready for action. It turns out that the trail has some obstacles that could hinder my run and he suggested that he could have someone to run with me. I understand his concern and decided that it was a good idea to have extra safety measures in place.
Alarm goes off at 6:00 am and so our day begins. We arrived in Stanley Park at 8:00am, Dudley, our chocolate lab was getting excited and I was nervous having to run with him with about 100 other dogs with their owners. I have never done an organised run with our dog. This event was a first time, and to be frank, I wasn't sure how Dudley would be. I imagined him to be all over the place and not to have any control with him. He generally runs really well with me, he stays pretty focused and tends to pull me off the road if I were to veer on to the road. He is my 'wanna be guide dog'.
We arrived at the beautiful Stanley Park early with plenty of time to do the usual prep for a run. It was about 8:55, I heard my name being called out and saw Craig motioned me to come forward. I was introduced to a lovely woman, Ashley Wiles. Before I even knew it, we started to run. I hear the app going off on my watch...then it echoed around me, a lot of the runners were using the RunGo app. Not surprising (smile). We were already comfortable with each other as we chat through our 10K. GAWD, these hills were killing me, haha. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath! My hip was hurting, but not bad enough to opt out. As we navigate through the trails, I understood why Craig wanted my to have someone to run with me. It was the stairs, some icy patches, low lying branches and a log to climb over. GOOD CALL Craig! Ashley and I breezed through the 'obstacles' no problem and the app chimed in at every turn, encouraging words and stating kilometers to me through the run without any problems. We chatted throughout the run (well mostly Ashley, as I was struggling through those hills). It was about 50 meters to the finish I said to Ashley, lets speed it up. Made it in 1:15, which was a lot slower than my last trail race, who cares? We had a good time! I actually used both RunGo app and the Activity Ring for this run. I can't wait to do more runs with the Apple watch (series2) as I become more familiar with it. As a determined individual, I want to run solo for as long as I can. I don't know how much longer I can run on my own, I won't worry about that for now. As long as technology and support continues, it will be a long time before I hang up my runners. Now if only my runners has an app for visual cues...
Special thanks to my love, Chris - who I know gets a little nervous as I head out for my solo runs, nevertheless supports me always. To Craig Slagel (RunGoApp) who continues to support my athletic goals, Fairmont Vancouver Hotel for your wonderful hospitality, and Ashley Wiles for running with me! What a great weekend~ So, see you next year?
AND... Craig did a fantastic job raising nearly $16,000 for BC & Alberta Guide Dogs!