Would you believe that a dog finished the 80km Mayon 360 ultra marathon?
Perhaps you would say yes and perhaps you would say that the dog breed would most likely be those lengthy dogs like a greyhound or a doberman.
Would you believe that it was a cute Jack Russell Terrier that finished the 80km 2017 Mayon 360, the hottest ultra marathon in the Philippines? Would you believe that this small dog finished ahead of his owner?
At first, I was skeptical. But sure enough when I looked at the photos (thanks to Runconada) and then at the official race results (thanks to Kaloi Garcia), there was the name of Baron finishing in 56th place (out of 173 finishers). His owner - Delon Tongga - finished in 57th place.
|2017 Mayon 360 Race results.|
|Race bibs, finisher medals and finisher trophies of Delon and Baron.|
How can this be? Unlike humans, dogs cannot sweat to cool themselves. In a talk entitled "Why Humans Run: The Biology and Evolution of Marathon Running", Harvard professor Daniel Lieberman explained that while more than a million humans run marathons and ultra marathons each year, most animals we consider excellent runners - antelopes and cheetahs, for example, are build for speed, not endurance. Even nature's best animal distance runners - such as horses and dogs - will run similar distances only of forced to do so, and the startling evidenc is that humans are better at it. While animals get rid of excess heat by panting, they can't pant when they gallop. Most animals would develop hyperthermia - heat stroke in humans - after about 10 to 15 kilometers of galloping.
What is the secret of the Jack Russell Terrier? If only Baron can answer interviews.......
|At the halfway mark, Baron running a smart race. Letting the human do the heavy work of pacing.|
|A Jack Russell Terrier's way of hydrating and letting the heat out.|
|Baron and Delon at the 2017 Mayon 360 finish line. If only the dog could talk, it would bark at his master - "Who's your daddy now?"|
In any case, a big congratulations to Baron for pushing the envelope for all furry runners around the globe. A warm congratulations too to the owner Delon for allowing his 3-year old dog the freedom to be the best runner that he can be.