Sometimes in life we need a little support, but when extreme marathon runner Dion Leonard headed to the Gobi desert for his next big challenge, he got his support from an unexpected friend.
An Unexpected Running Partner
It was during the 6-day gruelling race, around 20 miles in from the start, that Dion noticed a new competitor by his side – a small homeless dog. Much to his surprise, the canine runner stayed by his side for 22 miles until the finish line.
But it doesn’t stop there – at the start line on day 2, up trotted the pup ready for the day’s 23-mile slog through the desert which she did happily by Dion’s side.
Loyal From Start To Finish
It was clear a special partnership had been formed – and not only through the tough terrain. After crossing the finish line, the friendly mutt wouldn’t part ways with the marathon runner from Scotland, opting to stay by his side while bedding down for camp, both keeping each other company until the next day’s racing. The pair were officially inseparable. It was at this point that Dion decided to name his new furry friend, and what a more fitting name than Gobi.
Exhausted But Still Supportive
Was the little pooch ready to give up? Absolutely not. Day 3 saw her, again, supporting her new human friend through the 26-mile marathon and completing the race right by his side.
“For a little dog Gobi certainly has a big heart and some pace to match,” said Dion.
Time For A Rest, But Still As Supportive As Ever
The next two days were too hot for Gobi to run and while Dion missed her, Gobi was taken to both finish lines to greet him with open paws (and a lick).
Big Achievements For A Little Dog And Her New Human
On day 6, Gobi was back in action and ran the last leg of the strenuous event with Dion both crossing the finish line together and receiving their well-deserved medals.
And of course it doesn’t end there. Dion knows a good thing when he sees it – he was so touched by Gobi’s support and loyalty that he decided to go through the lengthy and expensive process of adopting her and bringing her home to Scotland as his faithful pet.
With hundreds of donations pouring in to make sure this becomes a reality for the new best friends, the two runners will soon reunite and no doubt look forward to many runs in their new life together.
Featured photo credit: 4deserts.com via 4deserts.com