Unexpected Iron Dog Joins The Swedish Adventure Racing Team

Christina Peden
by Christina Peden
Arthur, a stray dog, adopts the Swedish Adventure Racing Team in Ecuador

Talk about one tough pooch!

Sweden’s Peak Performance team began their journey at the 2014 Adventure Racing World Championship in Ecuador with four team members, but they crossed the finish line with five.

The ARWC, an absolutely insane six-day, 450 mile race involving a combination of trekking, mountain biking, kayaking and navigation recently wrapped up, and one plucky pooch wasn’t about to be left out of the action.

The team encountered the stray pup, now known as Arthur, on the second last leg of their journey — a muddy trek, to say the least.

The team was mowing down on some Swedish meatballs (how fitting!) before starting off, when Arthur showed up. Team captain Mikael Lindnord shared a meatball with Arthur, and the rest is adventure-racing history.

When the Swedish team set off for their trek, they were with a few other teams and at first, didn’t realize that Arthur was following them. Once they were alone, they noticed Arthur on their trail, so the team took him under their wing, feeding him when they stopped to rest and helping him through the mud on the particularly difficult parts of the journey.

Here comes the amazing part: the next leg of the adventure involved a long kayak trip, and of course, race organizers advised the Peak Performance team that Arthur should stay behind (after all, who ever heard of a dog on a kayak?!). Well, Arthur was having absolutely NONE of that.

When the team set out in their kayaks, Arthur followed them — straight into the water, swimming right beside them. In that instant, the team, who described leaving Arthur behind as just “too heartbreaking”, knew what they had to do: Arthur was coming for a kayak ride. And kayak he did; all the way to finish line (with a few swim breaks in between!).

People were cheering the team on from the shore, and the press, who had gotten wind of the team’s newest (canine) member, were waiting at the finish line to greet Arthur. Overall, the Peak Performance team ended up in 12th place; not as high as they had hoped, but they gained something even better along the way: a new workout buddy.

For now, the team is recuperating at their hotel with a furry houseguest: Arthur! And the great news? Lindnord says they’re looking into how they can bring Arthur home to Sweden for good. Go Arthur!

Doggone it; we just love a story with a happy ending!

[Source: Team Peak Performance]

Christina Peden
Christina Peden

Christina Peden is a lifelong animal lover and avid wordsmith. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Ryan where they are proud pet parents to puppy, Matilda and cat, Oscar. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying Toronto, Canada's all-too-short patio season, taking advantage of the city's numerous parks or curled up with a good book.

More by Christina Peden