BBC Countryfile Magazine
NOW TRY CANICROSS
There are canicross groups, clubs and training sessions all over the UK. Your dog must be at least one year old to take part, but there are no other barriers to participation for either you or your pooch.
DogFit has more than 50 groups in the UK, run by certified canicross trainers. They also offer an eight-week canicross couch–5k programme. “If you are new to canicross, it is advisable to start by walking with the kit, to get used to being handsfree and not holding on to the line, and for your dog to get used to the harness,” recommends
Ginetta. “From there, you can progress to walking and running, incorporating some simple commands.” There is further advice on their website, where you will also find their podcast, Talk Canicross. dogfit.co.uk
As well as being home to the CaniCross Clinic, Trailrunners has advice, information and instructional videos on canisports (biking and scootering as well as running) and an online beginners’ programme. There is also a map showing local groups and events across the UK. canicross.org.uk
CaniX has been running canicross events in the UK since 2005 – many races offer a ‘short course’ of 2km – the perfect distance for your debut – alongside 5km and longer distances. They also run the annual ‘Fur Nations’, a competition between canicrossers from England, Scotland and Wales. The 2019 edition was the biggest-ever canicross event held on British soil. canix.co.uk
The British Sled Dog Sports Federation is the UK’s official member body of the International Canicross Federation, which hosts the annual World Championships. thebssf.org.uk