Back in February 2019, I approached Tailrunners knowing nothing about canicross. They suggested I met them over Hockley Woods and come and see what it was all about. So off I went with Oreo intending just to take him for a walk. We got met by a lovely lady who put a harness on my dog and a belt on me and it all happened so fast, before I had time to back out, everybody at the park run started running and off I went with them. What were my legs doing? They were moving one in front of the other and never in my wildest dreams did I know I would complete the 5k course in one piece.

I found myself beginning to enjoy watching my dog run with me and to be able to see how much he enjoyed running with the other dogs. I was then joined by my youngest son and my partner. It turned out that my youngest son, Euan had quite a talent for running, so he began to coach me by pushing me to run further without walking. Now a year down the line, I am able to complete 5k runs, even I tried a Chase the Pacer at a park run. Which I set my PB thanks to my son chasing 32 minutes. My bond with Oreo has always been strong, but it is even stronger now and it is so lovely to be able to watch my youngest and Oreo gaining the same bond and trust as they run together.

Last month I made a decision and entered my first canicross event at Fidos Frenzy. Was I mad! Can I do it? These were the thoughts going through my mind. On arrival I panicked as so many people looked very focused and professional and there was me like a little child in a sweet shop – so excited! The wind was super strong and the course was longer than I thought, but with the help of Claire, my very good running buddy who I met through the club and my dog Oreo, I wouldn’t have made it through the event. I will never forgot the look in Oreo’s eyes when I slowed down and he turned round and looked at me and dug his paws in deeper and started pulling me faster to get me going again.

I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone in Tailrunners. Through this group I have met some lovely friends and without their encouragement and advice, I wouldn’t be running today.

Exciting times ahead of us, we got my youngest a Sprocker puppy, team Ocean, looking forward to seeing their new adventure and watching the love, trust and bond build between these two.

Cathy & Oreo
(And Euan & Ocean)