FOUR-LEGGED FUN RUNNERS
Canicross is one of the fastest growing sports and it has
arrived in the Lake District. Irene Rothery reports
Five dogs of varying breeds and sizes emerge from a van. The ‘Joggy Doggy’ logo emblazoned on the side of the vehicle gives a clue as to what is to happen next. Enzo, Foggy, Billy, Dolly and Jayke, tails wagging, are eager to get started on their afternoon run. Jayke, the smallest and liveliest, gives a bark of excitement and enthusiastically leads the way.
These keen canines are ready to take part in a canicross run with Alexia and Julie Taylor who run the West Cumbria branch of Joggy Doggy. They are joined by Michelle Shuttleworth, an enthusiastic athlete and part of their team.
Alexia explains: ‘We offer dog walking, from gentle strolls to fast-paced runs, within a 15 mile radius of Cockermouth. Canicross, a popular option, is the sport of running with your dog where the dog runs ahead while attached via a bungee line and a waist belt. The bungee line absorbs the shock for both human and dog, if needed.’
Alexia, Julie and Michelle, who are based in St Bees, acknowledge that when it comes to finding running routes they are spoilt for choice with truly exceptional places on their doorstep. ‘We run on many different types of terrain; fells, beaches, quiet cycle tracks and forests where the dogs always have access to shade and water. Water is a favourite with most dogs so we often visit the local lakes, although French bulldogs and pugs like to avoid puddles which isn’t always easy around here!’