What is Canicross?
Canicross is essentially running with your dog. It involves having a harness attached to the dog, a bungee lead with some ‘give’ which must be no longer than 2m and usually a waist harness on the runner. This allows dogs and owners to exercise and compete together as a team.
What equipment do I need?
Most canicrossers will have the kit described above, but we understand this can be an expensive outlay when you are just starting, so if you are just coming along to try (debut) we are happy for dogs to be run on a normal collar and lead, but please make this clear to the Race Director on arrival. Please note choke collars, retractable leads and head collars are not acceptable.
A decent pair of shoes (for the human!) are also important, but metal studs and spikes are strictly forbidden. Trail shoes are recommended.
Is there any compulsory kit?
Yes, for our summer series, all competitors must carry at least 3 poo bags on them at the start of the race. Failure to pick up after your dog will result in disqualification. In case of any delayed starts and for our winter series (details coming soon) head torches are an additional essential item for canicrossers and we strongly advise that the dogs have a light on their collars or harnesses too.
We will provide water for humans and dogs. However, we are aiming to minimise our eco footprint for these events, and we will therefore not be providing any plastic cups etc. and every competitor needs to bring a reusable cup or bottle with them. We will have several dog bowls scattered around.
Can I run with any dog?
There are no specific breeds for canicross and any fit and healthy dog is welcome to take part. If a dog appears at all anxious or aggressive the Race Director reserves the right to refuse to allow you and your dog to compete. Dogs always take part at their owner’s risk.
Do I have to run with a dog to take part?
No, if you decide that it is too hot on any particularly day or event, you are able to run without your dog and your times will still count towards the series. Family members are more than welcome to join in and simply run a 5k or 10k race.
How old does my dog have to be to take part?
To compete all dogs need to be at least 12 months old, for larger breeds we recommend waiting until they are 18 months. Puppies are welcome to come along for socialisation but they will need to have someone to look after them for the duration of the race. Dogs must not be left unattended. Our beloved friends that are older than 10 will need a note from a vet saying that they are fit enough to take part.
What if my gorgeous girl is in season?
In that circumstance we would ask that you do not compete for the safety and comfort of all the other competitors and animals.
Can I run with more than one dog?
At the moment our answer is yes but as it is our first series we are not operating a separate category for runners with one or two dogs. This will be subject to review as the event grows.
Are headphones and music permitted?
Sorry, this is a no. In canicross events competitors need to be able to clearly hear what is going on around them.
What if it is too hot to run with my dog?
We have planned our summer series to be in the evening to hopefully avoid the worst of the heat and keep the events as safe as possible for our dogs. However, all owners have full responsibility for their dogs and if they feel it is too hot to run with them, they are still very welcome to take part without their four legged friend. If the temperature is above 20 degrees, the Race Director will advise that dogs are left at home, and if the temperature is above 25 degrees, no dogs will be allowed to run, but people can. In these circumstances we are not able to offer a refund.
Can my child run with a dog?
Yes, we are happy to encourage juniors to take part. They may enter the 5k events if they are 11 or over, and the 10k events if they are 16 or over. They do not have to be accompanied on the course. However, for anyone under 18 we insist that a parent or guardian is present at the event at all times – they cannot be dropped off and picked up later. If a child wants to take part but is not confident enough to run independently then they may be accompanied on the course. In these circumstances only the child will be given a timing device and therefore a recorded time. The adult runner supporting them will pay a reduced entry fee (£10).
Can my dog be off lead?
Dogs must be kept on leads at ALL times during an event UNLESS to do so would present a danger to the dog, the owner or any other competitor.
How does the points system work?
At the end of each run our series points will be awarded and our final series winners will be decided on the best 3 results out of 4.
For each event the fastest 5 male and female runners, for both the 5k and 10k will receive the following points:
- 1st = 10 points
- 2nd = 8 points
- 3rd = 6 points
- 4th = 4 points
- 5th = 2 points
Every other runner who takes parts will receive 1 point, which will also add towards the team series results (again based on best of 3 out of 4).