This week Rachel Markey tells us about Ruby her rescue dog and their home event, Father Collins parkrun.
Tell us about your dog?
Ruby is a rescue dog and I adopted her when she was about a year old. As a keen Gaeilgeoir I try to only use Irish when I speak to her and she always responds very well to “táimid ag dul ag rith” – we are going running. She is a collie cross and loves to run, she has boundless energy and has been a great training companion while I trained for different races including Ironman and marathons.
How often do you bring your dog to parkrun?
Ruby comes along whenever I am not run directing and am not on a parkrun tourist adventure. Whenever I park up near the entrance to parkrun the excited yelps start. She starts most parkrun days with a chase of a few birds and a run towards the swans or ducks before I put her on the running lead and we head towards the start line. It’s a great incentive to run fast I can tell you.
What is your favourite place to walk, jog or run with your dog?
Ruby and I have spent countless hours racking up the miles around Malahide Castle – there are lots of birds to chase there as well as countless fields and trail routes so her paws don’t take too much of a battering!
What was the funniest parkrun moment?
I always joke that if anyone wants a PB they can borrow Ruby and run with her! Recently my friend Aoife ran with her while I was run directing and managed a three minute PB! Her daughter ran with Ruby the following week and also managed a PB.
What advice would you give to dog lovers who have never been to parkrun before?
It’s well worth bringing your canine pal along to parkrun! We have a few regular dogs at our parkrun! I use a running lead as Ruby would probably pull my arm off if I tried a regular lead and we always use this when we go running together. Its comfortable around your waist and is flexible enough to cushion an impact should either of you stop suddenly.
Has your dog ever embarrassed you?!
I am always mortified at the commotion Ruby makes before she starts a parkrun! People openly stare and laugh but are always impressed with her stamina (never mind mine – trying to keep up with my canine coach). She takes a few minutes to recover once we cross the line and then is recovered and often goes for a swim or chases a few birds while I recover…
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