A word from the editor: How about a dog and cycle race?

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AS I write this the Leeds Triathlon is in full swing.

I have the greatest admiration for these athletes, it must be one of the toughest tests of endurance.

I have even more admiration though for the “amateurs” who put themselves through this ordeal, so a huge well done to all those who took part this weekend - whatever your final position you are all winners in my eyes.

I’m no stranger to exercise, most days a week I manage to squeeze in an hour of something, a class, a gym session, some yoga or just a good walk or cycle, but I could not begin to think of entering a triathlon.

My competitive streak would probably not even stretch to the where’s Wally Dog Competition (see the opposite page for more on this). It looked great fun, even though I’m not much of a one for dressing up my dog. He’s a Dalmatian and, frankly, anyone with a coat like that doesn’t need any embellishment.

I truly believe in the power of dogs (in fact animals in general) to bring calm and joy to people’s lives. They really are therapy. Ok, I’ll admit, life with a Dalmatian in the house is not all calm and joy.

They are an energetic breed who love to be doing what you’re doing. Whether it’s brushing your teeth, tending the garden, watching TV or making supper, they will be there.

They’re particularly sensitive to people’s moods and are incredibly affectionate.

Mine also loves a good cycle ride. In the past of course, they were used as carriage dogs, running before the horses to clear the way (it’s the reason US Firestations still have a Dalmatian as a mascot).

I wonder if we could combine Leeds’s love of cycling and dogs - a fun dog cycle charity race perhaps? What could possibly go wrong?

Competitors at the start of the elite women's race in Leeds.

YEP says: Leeds is firmly on the sporting map