Last weekend, Aimi and I (Kat) decided to travel North to have a go at the Grim Up North Running half marathon at Roche Abbey. The race organisers allow dogs to run many of their events, so Luna came along to accompany me.

It was sunny but cold as we lined up ready to start, and we reluctantly shed our layers at the last possible moment. The event was a lapped style race, with many distances taking place on the day from 10km(ish) up to ultra. Each lap was just over 10k, which meant we would be running 2 laps with the opportunity to refuel in between if we wanted to. I eyed up the snack table before we set off and spied a range of cakes and sweets, so the thought of those could power me round the course. We set off, heading briefly up the road through a rural Yorkshire village before quickly turning off across fields and beside a river, and soon we were in the grounds of the abbey itself.

I was trying hard to pace Luna, who loves to set off like a rocket – this is the longest race she has done so I knew she’d be struggling if we started too fast. The course was surprisingly ‘undulating’, with a few fiesty hill sections but also lots of lovely spots to dip in the river which Luna took full advantage of. I powered on straight into lap 2 while Aimi stopped to partake in some of the snacks. Luna was a bit confused about why some people were stopping and we were carrying on past the finish line, but she soon settled back into a steady rhythm. A brief cobblestone downhill section and a car on a blind corner resulted in me taking a tumble partway round, but I was quickly up again and trying to pick the gravel out of my hand! I thought it wouldn’t enjoy a lapped course, but it was actually quite good knowing what was coming next.

The sun continued to shine, which resulted in Luna taking about 7 dips in rivers and 9 dips in smelly puddles to cool herself off. Luna and I eventually finished 3rd female in 1 hour 49 mins and Aimi in 2 hours 2 mins. We were given a chip butty and a pint at the end, which was a VERY enjoyable way to refuel ourselves, and we both went a bit wild at the snack table and loaded up with pick n mix.

I would highly recommend the race organisers – super friendly, fantastic medals and LOADS of treats at the end of every race for all runners.