WOW Endurance Life presented us with a fantastic selection of events to enter for canicross:-
Yep you read that right!!!! With the correct training you and your canine can enter any of these distances.
Well, we of course chose the 10k, previous photos and videos on their website plus friends told us would be a good scenic run and…scoffs… a PB event as ‘flat’. Oh the humour of trail runners. You have to keep your sense of humour at all trail events as the infamous ‘’trail mile’’ I have run plenty of events that are shorter or longer than the advertised distance you literally have to take it in your stride. It was not flat.
So off we trot and it was a good 1hr 45mins away and we wanted to arrive in plenty of time so set off early as there was a shuttle bus to take you to the Race registration which worried me a bit as I was abandoning the safety of my van and my kit but I guess made me literally get my sh!t together and pack just a change of clothes and a bottle of squash for after and a rehydration drink for the dogs.
The shuttle bus reminded me of our Crufts experience with Ripley, everyone being uber dog friendly and no one minded Ripley saying hello to them and even put her head on one passengers lap while Diesel sat on mine. The return journey Ripley decided to be co pilot and got strokes from the actual bus driver while again my Prince, Diesel stayed on my lap. The steps off the bus were a bit steep I wouldn’t let Diesel descend them and another trail runner carried him down for me. We had arrived to a proper dog friendly event which made us very relaxed and happy.
We arrived to what felt like a mini Olympic village with lots of flags (no music) and plenty of tents. We easily found race registration and I started to get a bit wired. Glad we had our day glow orange kit bags so were easy to spot afterwards amongst the pile up of bags from all the other competitors in all the other fields. This was a big and well organised event.
There was an event manual – yes a manual, emailed out and lots of professional videos and photos on their site. For our event the timings organised at
There was a bit of hanging around IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT we whizzed through registration and just had to hang about till the race briefing which was a massive 17mins long. The dogs, all the dogs were so well behaved. I started thinking about lunch. We finally got started at 11.30am. I was happy to see Paddy with his two dogs who gave me a quick heads up that we could start at the front (if running fast as he does) but he had spoken to the race organisers prior and as we hadn’t, we started as per the manual, at the back and I felt some camaraderie with the other canicrossers so we stayed in our huddle. That was a mistake, the entries were over 150 and as you can guess we pretty much over took at least half of this field in what should be known as a canicross mile!
Again this was a super dog friendly event and as I struggled to keep up with my Diesel who was chasing down his Dad and Ripley we got nothing but support and comedy comments from the other competitors. We as ever wanted to represent the sport well so while making a new land speed record for that first mile was breathlessly saying thank-you and see you soon I cant keep this pace up!!!!!
The route had promised to be scenic and it was. The heathers reminded me of my spiritual home in the new forest . Beautiful blue skies, not to be gazed at and nearly running into an unmarked cattle grid. The route was hard being on mixed terrain including sand and hills but utterly glorious.
There weren’t enough water stops – I was sure we were told there would be trough for the dogs every two miles but I must have heard that wrong as the only water stop was two miles from the finish.
We had stopped plenty and even let the dogs off for a swim in the river as again it got warm. Too warm, so we eased off and teamed up with a fellow canicrosser running his first 10k with his fluffy german shepherd. Again really enjoyed the camaraderie out on the trails chatting to other runners and canicrossers and encouraging each other along. This is the trail running community as I know it and love it.
To fast forward to the finish Steve and Ripley did get a pb. We didn’t see Paddy for dust after he started (speed team). We did catch up with some competitors we met on the Thetford Trails event (they had finished the half marathon) and knew the amazing Jenny Paul with Cooper who completed the Ultra.
Diesel Power and Amanda x