Canicross in Quito
Quito is not only a wonderful place to be active and outdoorsy for people, but also for dogs. The parks are full of dogs of all breeds and owners seem to be more responsible than they were in Vietnam about keeping dogs on leads and picking up after them (for the most part…). Dogs always take part in running races here so it seems only fitting that canicross is beginning to take off in Ecuador – more here.
Canicross, or cross-country running with dogs, developed as a sport when out of season mushing huskies needed exercise. Owners and dogs both wear a harness connected with a bungee to lessen the impact of the dog pulling. Although certain breeds are clearly better suited than others, the great thing is that all breeds can participate so one will see french bulldogs alongside svelte pointers. There is a good UK blog about the sport here.
The other weekend Tala and I participated in a race put on by ‘Animal Race‘ (I’m not sure why ‘animal’ as opposed to ‘dog’ as I certainly didn’t see any cats or guinea pigs competing). It was a fun morning in Parque Metropolitano with all the money raised going to help dogs who have become homeless due to Cotopaxi’s current eruptions (a volcano south of Quito). Tala and I had a great time and although there were no chips or official times I believe we came 2nd female. Tala loves running and I do most of my runs with her. My fastest 10k ever was with her in Hanoi – see here.
The race was meant to be 8k but actually turned out to be a little over 9k. There was also a 2k race which was a really nice way for puppies, snub nosed breeds like bull dogs, and even a ten-year old St Bernard to have a chance to participate. My photos from the morning hopefully show a lot of love between the dogs and their owners and the diversity of the participants.