By Charles Wade-Palmer
The Brownlee brothers might face a run for their money with this lot – pet lovers who complete a tri dog event- attached to their DOGS.
Dog lovers can now bring their beloved pooch along with them as they tackle a 2.4km run, 80 metre swim and 2.4km bike ride – all while strapped together.
British firm Tri Dog UK came up with the idea six months ago – and have seen hundreds of people and dogs sign up.
Emily Thomas, a Co-organiser and co-founder of Tri Dog, said: “It was a collective idea formed by the events committee as we had all taken part in dog sports races for a number of years in the UK.
“We wanted to provide something new and interesting for people to take part in with their dog.
“Tri Dog events are timed races but the emphasis for us as organisers is for everyone to have fun.”
In a bid to make the events accessible for as many people as possible, the distance of each part of the race has been kept much shorter than that of a normal triathlon.
“Tri Dog events are special because they combine the dog sports in a way which has never been seen in the UK before.
“With rising levels of obesity in both dogs and people in the UK, anything which encourages people to get fit and healthy can only be a good thing.
“We encourage participants to build a strong bond with your dog as unlike human only triathlons, you will be working as a team with your dog.
“In these events your dog will need to trust you to guide them through the transitions and do activities they may never have taken part in competitively before.”
The individual sports of running and cycling with your pet pooch even have their own names in Canicross and Bikejor.
Cycling while attached to your four legged fellow athlete however is only recommended once you can trust your dog to listen to you from a distance.
Tri Dog say swimming with dogs is generally the easiest or the most difficult discipline for participants depending on their dog’s confidence in water.
Emily said: “Canicross gives a good grounding for teaching the voice commands and where we would suggest you start.
“We suggest you build up your dog’s time in the water with you slowly and gain your dog’s trust so they feel safe swimming with you.”
The 80 metre swim also includes a wade option which carries a time penalty for those who cannot complete the swim.
Competitors will then transition to the bikejor or scooter section which is 2.4 km to the final transition area to finish with the canicross for a further 2.4km.
Emily said: “Triathlon with your dog can be great fun but the most fun can be found in the training you will undertake with your dog in preparation for the events.
“We took inspiration from an event that has been running in Europe for seven years called ‘Iron Dog’.
“Similar events have been held in a few European countries including Germany, Hungary and the Czech Republic but this is the first time a full triathlon with dogs will be held in the UK.”
Anyone over the age of 14 can get involved but all dogs must be over 18 months of age and have at least some training in whatever they are taking part in.”