The idea of Hard Dog Race was conceived by András Púza.
The race was a result of many defining experiences in his life. The greatest factor was primarily – and chronologically – his relationship with dogs. He was captivated by the world of dogs at a very young age – as he says, ‘I learnt to walk while hanging on to our dog’s hair.’ Another important experience for András was his time as a member of a dog rescue team. The skills he had learnt here led him from a being hobbyist to becoming a dog professional.
Later, he served in the Hungarian Army, he went to Afghanistan, to a 7-month mission as an IED dog handler. Here, he learnt the importance of perseverance in extreme situations and the life-saving quality of team spirit. After the tour was over, his dog Ronin, after a long career of searching for bombs, became a member of András’s family.
Apart from the love and understanding of dogs, the mentality of martial arts – which András has also been studying since his childhood – is also a prominent part of HDR. András learnt on the tatami and in the dust of training camps that there is no obstacle one couldn’t overcome with enough willpower and belief in one’s self, as well as the fact that in athletes’ communities, one can create lifelong friendships based on mutual trust.
Last but not least, extreme obstacle courses he competed in have also shaped him a lot. These served as the ‘dogless’ preludes for HDR. After tackling such a challenge, he’d always think, ‘Okay, that was awesome, but where’s my dog?’
Therefore, combining all these virtues in a single race was a straightforward step for András to make, and this is what eventually led to the creation of HDR.