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Monday, January 21, 2013

Running With a Mans Best Friend

Have you ever been let down by your running partner not pitching on that morning run you’ve had planned for days? Ever been discouraged enough not to run?

If you’ve answered “yes” to these questions, chances are you don’t own dogs.

Have you ever been woken up by a slobbery smooch and a slight nudge to get out of bed as soon as possible (and no, I’m not talking about your significant other waking you up with a wet kiss)? Have you ever ran until exhaustion and then decided to expel more energy by running again?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are you have a “man’s best friend” waiting for you at home as you read this article. Great! That’s the first step to a successful and healthy lifestyle.

Maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement but all dog owners out there know that they are without a doubt, the best running partner you could ever have. They’re never late. They always pitch. They stick with you no matter what your speed. They love the rain and the wind. They are always keen for a run. If you’re tired, they will push you to run further.

I have two wonderful Viszlas (Hungarian Pointer dogs) named Balou and Ruby. They are fantastic running partners. I took them on a sneaky after-work sunset run on the Pipe Trail in Cape Town the other evening. It was that perfect summer’s night. Not a breath of wind. The ocean glistened with perfection. And it was warm! I absolutely love these nights when the sun sets so late that getting a run in after work is no problem. I struggle to find a better way to spend my evening than being active with my dogs in the outdoors, in the most beautiful city on this planet.

Running in Cape Town is such a privilege, I think some of us forget that. Where else can you get world-class views and a bustling metropolis in a 1-km radius? I can think of only a handful of cities that I have visited that match that criteria.

So, if you want to take you're running to a new level. If you never want to be let down on that next run. Consider getting yourself a dog that will love you unconditionally and will run with you no matter what. As a runner, it may be the best decision you ever make, especially if you need a little motivation on the road.

All the best with your training!

Derek Van Dam



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