Thursday, February 24, 2011

2011 Doggie Dash

A little starting line showdown.

The Methow Valley Nordic Club's Doggie Dash is a zany, off-the-wall event which delights spectators and participants, locals and out-of-towners.  Held at the Winthrop Town Trailhead on Sunday of President's Day weekend, this year's celebration of nordic skiing and dogs boasted excellent snow conditions and brilliant, sunny weather.

Participants on skis ranged from Emmet Bondi at age 3-ish, to full-fledged senior citizens reacquainting themselves with their inner child.

Karla Segale as entomologist, left, Susan Pritchard in striped leggings, right.
Four-legged racers included Karla Segale's petit black and white Pappilon (weighing no more than 8 pounds in butterfly wings), and a couple of monstrous Bernese mountain dogs.  Thanks to far-sighted planning, the tots only compete against other children, and the tiny dogs are not asked to run with the Titans.

Separate prizes are given for costumes and speed; one need not be a champion skier to compete.

The rules, written by the Nordic Club, are as follows:  Dogs must be on a leash.  You must start and finish with the same dog.  Imaginative costumes suggested for both you and your dog. 

The only costume-related liability I observed was Dave Ford's dog becoming hobbled by its Spandex cape.  Other mishaps included crossed leashes leading to trips and falls, and a number of dogs and owners crossing the finish line as separate, disconnected entities.  I observed no tears, but lots of smiles and good-natured ribbing.  

Danbert Nobacon, left, John Spaude, right, Teri Pieper with camera in the background.

The photo opportunities were boundless; however, my little camera had some trouble keeping up with the speed of events, and suffered a bit from the low temperatures.  To view a professional slideshow of this year's event, check out Teri Pieper's blog.

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