In the first part of the interview with the Slovak musher Katarina Vigodová, we talked about how to prepare for a skiing trip with your furry friend. Today we are going to hit the skiing trails with Katka. What commands should the dog know? Why are a...
Marcel Dučák & Katarina Vigodová
We’re a couple who share the same interests, plans, and goals. Heart and soul, we love the combination of adrenaline and the relationship and trust we have with our four-legged friends. Our priority is their health and comfort and ensuring that in their nutrition and care they receive the same as they give to us on the trail, in training, and in competition. Our plan is to do this sport for this life at least, and then the next one too.
Originally from the Low and High Tatras, we’ve lived in the Czech Republic since 2012. I’ve been mushing for ten years, and Marcel for eighteen. Our main disciplines are bikejöring and scooter with either a single dog or teams of two dogs. We have five dogs on our team: Alex and Zizzou are nine-year-old sisters; Fly is six years old and is currently our most active and fastest competition dog. She’s also the mother of the next racing generation – eight-month-old Bailey and Nino – our beloved future sporting hopefuls.
We regularly participate in competitions in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland during the main season in the autumn and the spring. Every year, we compete in the European Championship and the World Championship. We consider our greatest success to date to be the fact that the result of our approach and care is a healthy and active dog that remains competitive in this sport at nine years of age. We’re also proud of our bronze medals from the Bikejöring European Championships in 2016 and 2017 as well as a 4th place finish in the 2017 World Championship, where in the second round Marcel and Fly posted the second-fastest lap time.
Our training programme comprises a variety of techniques. A lot of it is strength training on the scooter combined with free running, during which we develop speed. We also work on balance and agility, both of which help us prevent injuries. In the spring and summer, we spend a lot of time in the water swimming, which is excellent for conditioning and building muscle without stressing the joints.