Dion Leonard runs extreme marathons. He was just beginning the 4 Deserts Gobi March for the year 2016. The marathon lasts for 6 days as participants run for 155 miles through China’s largest desert. Out of the 101 people running the marathon, this little dog singled him out and never left his side.
On the very first day of the race, a tiny dog joined in and ran alongside Leonard for the full 22-mile stretch. He noticed her at the beginning of the run, but didn’t expect her to stick around – it was a race through the desert, after all – because surely the pooch was just curious. But she stayed put by his side, and the next day, she met him at the beginning of the starting line ready to go again.
On Day 2, I was at the start line for the race stage and she was standing next to me looking up at me. I thought to myself, this little dog isn’t going to last very long at my side, but she ended up running the whole day.” A 23-mile stretch – again.
The dog refused to leave his side as the racers settled down in the camp, so he named her Gobi, after the desert they were running through. The next day, the dog kept pace through the entire 26 miles.
For a little dog, Gobi certainly has a big heart.”
But for Days 4 and 5, the race organizers stepped in because the weather had gotten extreme and they didn’t want her to get injured. They made arrangements for Gobi to meet Leonard at the ends of each day.
Finally, at the end of the race, organizers let her run the last portion when the weather cleared up so that she could cross the finish line alongside him. The organizers even gave her a medal for completing over half of the race! He is making arrangements for Gobi to return to the UK with him to run many more marathons together.
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