23 year old Jessie and 20 month old Collie Lurcher mix, Nala love to nothing more than to adventure in Ruby the van. Follow them along the way on their instagram page.
I always wanted a dog. I was told ‘No’ by my parents but I went to uni and I was like “as soon as I finish uni I'm getting one” and I was told “No, as soon as you got a job then you can get a dog”
So once I started working full time, I was looking.
I wanted to rescue and got close with quite a few and then was turned down. So I started looking for puppies.
It was actually a family friend who found the litter. I went and couldn't say no. Nala was the one I wanted.
Her first race was the Maverick 5km in the New Forest, we ended up placing 1st female and 3rd overall.
After that was the Limitless trails Blacks to Beacons half marathon which was amazing, placing 2nd female and 1st (only) dog.
Everyone thinks that the dog makes you go faster, but I can promise you that they very much don’t. You might be running faster for the two minutes you're running. The problem is the two minutes that you’re stopped.
I grew up in Southampton in a sailing family and sailed nationally and internationally.
Being active has always been part of who I am.
In my second year at uni I got into triathlon and that's when I sort of lost touch with the sailing. Then lockdown hit and to avoid doing my dissertation I did a lot of cycling, I would just go out for hours on a bike .
When I got a job as a health and wellbeing fitness physiologist I realised I couldn't keep up with the training I was doing whilst working full time. Then I got a dog as well.
All the sport went out the window until I realised I could run with Nala when she got old enough. And that's kind of how I fell in love with just the running side because we can do it together. So I get my fitness and she's getting enjoyment too.
With cani cross, we just started off and just did it and she just got it. I did one, one to one classes. And then we've just tried it by ourselves and then eventually started going with a club, which is really nice. We kind of go and sort of help other people learn because Nala picked it up so quickly. Sharing that with other people is really nice.
I think breed wise Nala has got the stamina to keep going from the collie and the speed from the lurcher. She still hasn't learnt how not to pull on a lead, so as soon as I told her it was allowed when in harness, she loved that and she just has the fitness to keep going. It gives her a job which I think is quite important for her with her being from a working breed. It's quite nice to know that she's focussed and it's so obvious when she has fun.
I got my van Ruby about a year ago. She’s like my second child to Nala. Since then I’ve been building my confidence and going out by myself and with Nala just parking up in cool spots whenever we can. We go most weekends even if it's not that far away, just so that I can get out. And I love the freedom that it brings me.