When I head out the door to add more mileage for my 2 virtual races, Across Canada For Amanda and the 1000 kilometer Great Virtual Run Across Tennessee, I never know what to expect. Definitely unexpected, when it involves a friendly dog that refuses to go back home, a dirt bike rider and the Monarch Ultra. My highest mileage today of 25.34 kilometers since registering for these 2 virtual runs.
After an excellent time on the trails I was working my way back to Hillsdale when a friendly dog joined me at a dead end of one of the few stretches of road I was on. It has joined me previous runs but always turns back home not long after I go on the forest trails. Not today. It kept running with me. After over a kilometer later, I worked my way back over to the main trail, a road allowance which leads back to the dog’s home. Once back on that main trail, maybe it would decide to run back home. No luck. I sit on a downed tree for a good 15 minutes, but the dog stayed close by. I stood up and started on my way again. I thought enough is enough, and decided to ignore the dog and headed for home.
Just then a dirt bike comes along. The driver sees me and sees the dog and he turns off his bike and starts to walk it, not wanting to scare the dog. We get talking, and I told the biker the dog is not mine. It belongs to the house at the dead end. And I was trying to get the dog to go home.
I said I was an ultrarunner, and the extra mileage to get the dog home is no big deal. In fact, it would help me in this 1000 kilometer virtual run. He said he was an ultrarunner as well, and not only did he know about the #GVRAT1000k, he knew way more details about the race and on the 4 finishers so far than I ever did. He has been following the event very closely. It turns out that this gentleman named Mark has run in several of the ultras I have. And has run in several Ultras in Ontario that I have never run.
I told Mark my name. And he excitedly said, “So you’re that crazy runner from Hillsdale. I have heard so much about you. You were in that butterfly run“. I eventually ended up running the dog back to it’s home. And what was planned to be a 21k distance ended up being over 25k. And I’ll be watching for my new runner friend Mark at the start line of another ultra here in Ontario. Once things get back to normal again!