A homeless dog named Gobi ran in a 250-kilometer ultramarathon in China in June of this year, and the little girl became friends with one of the other competitors, Dion Leonard, who was 41 years old. To get the cute dog back to his Edinburgh home, Dion has now started a campaign.
In fact, Dion had gone to China to take part in the 4 Desert Race’s Gobi desert marathon for the first time this year in March.
Prior to the start of the six-day, seven-race stage, Dion observed the dog roaming the field. She began running behind the competitors on the first day, and a group of American runners initially referred to her as Tinto before calling her Gobi.
“On the second day, he made the decision to join me on a stage that was about 25 to 30 kilometers long and crossed the Tian Shan mountain range. She had actually been through one of the largest sand dunes in China with us the day before, so she was fully informed about racing alongside all the competitors there, but on the second day she made the decision to stick with me.
“She is such a little puppy but she has a great heart,” I told her. “She would run ahead of me and wait for me 20 or 30 meters down the road, and then I had to catch up with her.”
The dog completed four of the race’s six stages over the course of a week. Dion recalls once being required to take Gobi over a section of the river. He first sensed a true connection between them at that point.
In a race with 101 other cyclists, Dion came in second. And during the course of a week, Gobi ran about 80 miles.
Dion spoke with his wife over the phone as soon as the race was over to discuss bringing Gobi home. However, Gobi must go through a lengthy process before he can finally join Dion and his wife at home.