Well, he did it! My big boy is a three time Iron Dog! But this time we did the big one – or at least what people around these parts consider to be the big one – the Green Mountain Iron Dog!
Charlie and I were both pretty excited leading up to the race. We have been ramping up our running lately, and I feel like we have just been connecting well as a team. So we felt physically prepared. But there was a whole mental aspect to this adventure too!
The race was up in Colechester, Vermont, which is a little over three hours away. And I was taking this trip solo so my trusty spouse, C, could stay home with the other animals. Now, three hours isn’t the longest I’ve ever driven. But this was a new place and I’m a normal person with a normal amount of anxiety, so I was sort of scared.
Though I did have Charlie with me. And he’s a rock solid co-pilot, I will say.
Anyway, the big guy and I didn’t have to run until about 2:15. So we left the house in the later morning and took our sweet time driving up the great state of Vermont. I even stopped a few times for coffee, etc., and once to give Charlie a pee break in a cemetery. He loved it.
Ok ok, so we got to the event, checked in, and waited for our turn to run. And yeah, it really was that simple. Mostly because this event was REALLY well organized! And the volunteers were all great. Really though – there was no guess work involved.
As soon as we turned on to the road where the event was taking place there were signs with arrows. Then there was a parking lot guy telling us exactly where to park and signs telling us where to check in. It really was seamless.
When it was our time to race, we stepped up to the line and were off! Again, the volunteers were so nice and respectful. There were even volunteers at every obstacle explaining what we were supposed to do, taking out any guesswork along the course. I wouldn’t have changed a thing in that regard.
Ok, so the course itself was pretty fun. Compared to the other Iron Dogs we’ve done, this was a total walk in the park. Honestly, I was expecting it to be harder. And longer! I was a little disappointed about this at first, but more on that in a second.
I didn’t feel like I was overly challenged throughout the course. The only thing that was a bit difficult was the wall climbs, obviously. But it was fun! There was even a section where we got to run through the lake a little bit. Then we got to crawl under a house, which was cool.
This course had a decent amount of trail running too, which I loved!
But ok – here’s why I wasn’t disappointed. Charlie had an awesome time!
He was totally with me through the entire course. He was engaged and completed every obstacle. It was the perfect amount of challenging for him. I seriously could not be more proud of my little dude.
The race finished with a dog carry – both of our favorites – and I had the kind volunteer at the end place the medal around Charlie’s sweet little head. He really did earn it. We finished in a little over 30 minutes.
So, will Charlie and I do the Green Mountain Iron Dog again? Heck yes we will!
With one change though – I think next year we will enter in the “Pro” division. Not because I think we were too good for the Open division, but because we ran. The people who were around us in the Open division were walkers, which is totally fine! It just was a little bit congested, and I think that problem could easily be solved by bumping up a division.
So, my big guy is (yet again) and Iron Dog. And I am beaming with pride.
What did you do with your dog this weekend? Let me know in the comments!