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Competitors give their "pre-run" impressions.  By Brenna Fender

It's already warm at 9:30am in Scottsdale and the sky is sunny and clear as competitors mull over their walk throughs.  Most competitors seem to think the course is fair and fun. 

"I think it's a terrific course.  It's fair - technical without being over-the-top," says Julie Koblin, who is running her All-American, Elvis, in 22" Performance.  She continues, "The trickiest part is after the weaves to the 180.  If you can leave your dog in the weaves you can pull over the first obstacle in the 180.  If not, you'll have to front cross and push them out.  The tire is alluring after the fourth obstacle but if it's handled right it should be OK."

The need for independence is a frequent comment amongst competitors.  "I think the course requires a lot of independent skills so you can get ahead in the opening by leading out three obstacles and again at the weaves, being able to move lateral to perform the back side of the course as a serpentine," says Sharon Freilich, who is running her 10.5-year-old Border Collie, Rip, in 16" Performance.  "The rest is straightforward," she adds.

The section of the course after the weaves is a source of concern for some.  "I think people are going to misread that back line and get the tunnel," says Terri Lee, who is running Porsche, a Border Collie, in 22" Grand Prix and Bear, a Schipperke, in 12" Performance. "I think it's a very doable course," she adds.

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