If you are thinking of taking part in our canicross event, it will be a canicross event first and a dog-less event second we welcome runners who love dogs, here are our top tips for being prepared and getting the most out of the experience:
Find out as much about the canicross event as possible. As well as the distance, check out the terrain (so you can plan your footwear), the likely number of participants (you may prefer a smaller race if your dog gets overwhelmed by too many people and dogs), the route (in the summer you will want a course with plenty of shade) and water stations (you may need to carry your own hydration pack).
Arrive at the canicross event with enough time to do a recce of the area, to warm up and to give your dog a chance to relieve himself, not rushing around will also help keep your dog calm (well, hopefully!) before the race starts.
However, don’t arrive at the event too early if you have a high energised/excitable dog as too much hanging around may get them all agitated. Every dog is different of course – just be mindful of the environment that your dog is comfortable being in and don’t put them under any unnecessary stress.
The canicross event will follow a staggered start where runners go off in small groups at intervals, dog less runners will leave first. For some dogs it can be very stressful joining there first start line (Much like the Beyond events team), especially when they are waiting and excitement levels are heightened – so you may want to consider keeping your dog to one side or at the very back until the race starts…or perhaps not doing it at all.
Practising and perfecting some handy commands will make a big difference to your overall race experience, whilst also building a great bond with your dog. Favourites such as ‘left’ and ‘right’ for technical courses and ‘with me/behind’ for those challenging downhill sections will help you race much more efficiently.
When you overtake other runners, especially dog-less runners, be mindful that they may not be aware that there is a dog coming up behind them or they may not be too keen on dogs. Communication and a friendly approach is key here. Just call out that a dog is coming past on their left or right, keep a good distance as you overtake (ideally keeping the line short while you do) and thank them when they move to one side for you. Politeness and consideration goes a long way and ensures that all runners are welcomed at future events.
Always carry poo bags and be prepared to stop during a race if your dog does feel the need to poop!
Hopefully if you’ve arrived at the event in plenty of time that has already been taken care of before the race itself has started.
As with any event it’s worth thinking about hydration and nutrition and also running with a small rucksack with emergency supplies, such as water, collapsible drinking bowl, food, spare clothing and basic first aid kit. Some events will insist on this anyway so do check their rules.
After the race it’s worth having a few provisions back in the car depending on the conditions.
For example, a handheld portable shower for your dog is useful if it’s been particularly cold and muddy (if you fill it with hot water in the morning it should still be warm for when you need it), a coat for your dog, water, treats etc
Do contact us if you have any general questions – we are all happy to help.
Beyond events uk is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 10747095 Registered Address: Beyond events, St Swithens, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 5DS.