To begin our racing season with Masi, I have decided to go on holidays and combine it with two weekends of racing in Slovakia.

photo by Manon Fetty

I have booked a lovely dog-friendly traditional slovakian cottage near Modra, Slovakia. I searched for long time for something that I can have three dogs and be somewhere close where I can just open the door and walk them. This was just perfect place surrounded by forest and a lot of paths for long walks. Within only max 30min drive to each race venue, I thought this is ideal for 10 days holidays. A cottage had three bedrooms, nice spaceful living room and kitchen. Nearby there were some other cottages but only occupied during weekend, so for our week chill we were almost alone in the area.

Fitmin Race 1 Kuchyna at Camping Karpaty

Well that was not what I expected for my first race with Masi. It was just around 2.5km but it was a loop that you needed to do twice (meaning you met other runners) and a massive steep downhill. I walked the trail with Roger and Lafie to know what to expect and I regret it as I was dreading for it.

But hey ho, man up Agata and just do it. Start line was around 800m walk from the car, which was my fear too, as I know Masi will be excited and will waste energy during that walk for his run. I decided not to put his harness on until we reach the start line and take him on a lead for a walk. Ideal, he was all good until I put the running harness on and he heard other dogs barking. I kept him close to me, so he couldnt interfere with others and just let him focus on me. Organisers put chip on, and off we go to start line. Ohhhh he even line out! Wow. Off we go. At first 400m we needed to overtake two people already, which was slightly challenging as they were near each other and looked like they were tangled. We passed and continue. Oh downhill and someone overtaking us… the worst case scenario on the turn and downhill! but oh well Masi kept it steady down (so glad I tought him that in case) as it was slightly slippy. But we continue to run, uphill again for second round the loop and we are overtaken again by two guys which this time on nice straight was very easy and Masi didnt even look at them. We continued without seeing anyone else, and finished the race on the 5th position amongst strong competitors.

Fitmin Race 2 Dolany

I offered to help organisers with preparing for the next day racing, so we went off to see the trails. Ohh wineyards, I knew this is our advantage as Masi loves wineyards, since we train there. I knew this will be great running. Over only 2km routes amongst grape trees will be a jolly.

Woken up through the night due to awful thunderstorm and stupidly checked my phone… Ohh start list … ohhh something wrong as we are between under 15kg dogs category… I panicked but took it as if needed it will be practise for Masi. In the morning feeling very sick 💩💩😂 (lI knew the reason for it, but lets leave it). I went early to question it and it was a mistake! Thanks to organisers they sort it out! Despite bad and good we were put into start line way after men and way before women. Trails on wineyards, which I was super excited! Very slippy but so much fun. Masi proved he doesnt need to chase anyone and ran superb tanking up the hills. 2.2km with 37m elevation gain ran in superb time and putting us again on lucky number 5th place. Another experience to lead everyone else. I am super proud how he deals with all.

So after two races it was time for rest in Slovakia. We enjoyed it a lot since in Slovakia dogs can be off lead literally everywhere. Also a lot of restaurants are very dog-friendly.

Fitmin Race 3 Kolo Plavecký Štvrtok

This time it was two day racing in Kolo Plavecký Štvrtok, which was around 2.8km trails. Nice flat soft under feet.

Day 1. Despite anything what a bloody race! So tight in canicross women… we were 6th missing less than 1 sec to 5th and 2 sec to 4th! So tight and so much fun. Masi worked hard I somehow need to find my way around that dry sand! Races like that are super fun! 🧐😎💪 ohh and Masi still needs to learn how to finish after finish line not before.

photo by Manon Fetty

Day 2 Today was all in.. Very hard mentally but I had nothing to loose. We have finished 4th today, but combined over two days that 5 sec faster run wasn’t enough and we only jumped one place up finishing 5th. It was painful run, but I love this game.

Overall in Fitmin Cup we finish 4th after some strong athletes. For our first debut?! I am bloody proud. I think Masi and I both learned a lot during the whole Fitmin series. Amazing experience!

Thanks to organisers and our “new” friends for amazing time in Slovakia.

photo by Manon Fetty
photo by Manon Fetty
photo by Manon Fetty