If you know Bethan then you know that running is a big part of her life. I like to run - as a self respecting spaniel I spend a significant amount of time gambolling round Aston's Eyot and Headington Hill Park, and I am well known for my ability to move at speed.
Bethan talks a lot about training. I know she writes about it a lot here. Now, I'm not too sure what the deal is with training, I just get out there and do my thing! Sometimes I do a little ball or stick work, and the odd session of 'burst and sniff' pacing if something interesting comes my way. But there's no schedule, its all done by feel.
Anyway, last weekend Bethan and her Dad signed up for the Swansea Bay 10k and (being an open minded type of dog) thought I would go along and check it out.
As you might have guessed, the setting for this run was Swansea Bay. It started and ended at St Helens - where Bethan's Dad used to go and watch the rugby when he was growing up - and the course followed the sweep of the way to Mumbles and back. It was rather picturesque.
According to Bethan the course was really nice - a flat out and back sweep (whatever that is) with very few hills. I didn't actually join the run myself - dogs weren't invited - but instead spent the time with Bethan's Mum and DT, being supportive and stretching our legs.
Our first job as supporters was to wave at Bethan and her Dad at the 1km point. It wasn't terribly onerous, but as a dog who likes to move I was pretty keen to get my paws in motion and explore - so it was off to the beach! One of the few things Oxford lacks is a good beach, so I like it when I get to come to Wales and stretch my paws - it is difficult to beat a good run along a sweep of sand when the tide is out!
I could have stayed running on the beach for hours, but it seems that humans are actually pretty speedy! A mere hour later we were watching Bethan and her Dad go past us at around 8km. Apparently Bethan was 'pacing' her Dad, I'm not sure what that means, but they seemed to be doing pretty well!
Humans tell me that there is something special about running in a large group, all working towards a shared goal. Running in a pack is something a dog can understand, it goes back to our primal roots, so I can see the appeal. I was also pretty keen on some of the food stalls at the end of the race. The runners got some very healthy snacks and water - which given it was a hot day was a good idea. But, having already snaffled a granola bar that day, I rather fancied a hot dog, but the humans weren't obliging (apparently it was because of the granola bar...).
Bethan is running her first half marathon next month. Having experienced a 10k I might just go along and see how it compares...
editors note - this was my Dad's first 10k and I am extremely proud of how well he did. We made it round the course in 1 hour and 12 minutes - an amazing result.