Exhausted, covered in mud and desperately hungry, a team of Swedish athletes sat down for a meal as they prepared to take on a dangerous 20-mile trek through the Ecuadorian rainforest. As they opened their canned meat, a tired Mikael Lindnord noticed a scruffy, miserable stray dog staring at him out of the corner of his eye.
Feeling sorry for him, he fed the dog a meatball and thought nothing of it, but as the team stood up to continue their race the animal started to follow them – and he didn’t stop.
As the group of four navigated the final two stages of the 430-mile Adventure Racing World Championship, the dog befriended them and was eventually given the name Arthur.
Every grueling task the team face, Arthur would do the same. He swam alongside them while they kayaked down rivers, dragged himself up hills during hikes and pulled through knee-deep mud during treks. Even when the team tried to get rid of their new member out of concerns for his safety – he refused to leave.
This meant when he was tired they stopped for a break and when he got stuck in the mud they pulled him out.
After six days the team finished the race, and the dog had suffered. They therefore decided to take him to a vet while still in South America to have him checked out.
During that time Lindord thought to himself that after their experience, they could not leave Arthur, so he decided to adopt him and take him back to Sweden. He applied to the Jordbruksverket (the Swedish Board of Agriculture) and was made to wait to see if his application was successful.
After a tense few days, the team arrived at the airport with Arthur and boarded the plane with him back home.
Adventure Racing is a form of extreme sport that combines continuous hiking, trekking, mountain biking and kayaking over a successive number of days. The world championships held in Ecuador covered three diverse geographical regions – the Andes, the Pacific and the Amazon rainforest.
Source: The Daily Mail, UK