The Mad Dog Experience - Elaine Lavallee

When I agreed to run the Mad Dog race and write an article I started to doubt my sanity a bit! You see I'm not the most sure footed runner, I've been known to fall off a treadmill, and the only trail race I've run before this I had taken a spill and scraped myself up. Why would I agree to the Mad Dog race, notorious for it's grueling courses.

Every year a new course is chosen within the same area with 2 things remain the same, a river crossing and a scary hill. For the last couple of years I have not been able to participate due to training but I've always wondered about it.

The race itself scared me but is was my club that put this on so as a member I felt obligated to run it at least once. Plus you never know, I just might have fun

Well for me it was the end of a long and challenging season so an obstacle course/run with a fun group of people seemed right up my alley. The day of the race turned out to be a beautiful, sunny fall day with a record turn out of over 100 people. As I heard groups of people around me chatting, from fairly new runners to experienced racers I felt the excitement around me and I started to feel excited too. As much as this was going to be a challenging course, there would be no pressure for time and I was among friends, this
was truly meant to be fun!

As my heat started I let the group run out ahead of me. I wasn't in a rush and I wanted to run this in a relaxed and easy manner so I could enjoy the experience and figuring it might save me from landing on my butt. As I reached the river I watched as people crossed straight through. One particularly nimble runner crossed over the log overhead of the river. I thought to myself , hey I took gymnastics as a child, I should be able to maintain my balance. What I didn't realize was that the log was not stable and the fall was a bit farther down once you were up there. Well I did NOT want to fall so I crawled across slowly, figuring the time I wasted was worth the tumble into
cold water!

As I made my way to the "cliff" they were calling a hill I met up with one of my favorite XS partners, Dave. Once over the hill we became totally confused though. It seemed that there was another race planned for later that day and the route was marked with the same pylons as our race so our run was extended by a few kilometers. As we made our way back to the river I realized that my dry state was not going to last, Well at least if I had to go in I wasn't going in alone, I had Dave there with me laughing the whole way.

As we finally found our way to the end he grabbed my hand and we finished in what might not have been a spectacular time was more than made up by style.

This was a race that is fun and challenging and I would highly recommend it.