Two years ago I would never have contemplated running anywhere. In fact I totally disliked running and despite many friends trying to coax me to join them in a 5K sponsored race, there was nothing further from my mind.
I was relatively active through cycling and horse riding and lots of dog walking of course; but heading towards my late 40s and gaining a few extra pounds along the way, I thought that running with my dog (not just on my own) sounded like a fun thing to do!
As a result of my telling my family “that I was going to start canicrossing with Coco soon…” guess what they bought me for my next birthday present?
So the first thing I did was try to find out more about the sport online. At that time there was very little information for beginners as most of the sites were catering for experienced competitive canicrossers as opposed to complete novices.
Eventually after more searching I managed to make contact with a social canicross group locally and summoned up the courage to go along with Coco “just to check if the harness fitted” but everyone was so friendly I actually joined them for my first short run!
After that I was hooked and met with them regularly enabling me to run my first 10K race about 6 months later.
Canicrossing is such a rewarding activity, you build a stronger bond with your dog as you really feel like a team exercising together – whether you are just going for a short run or taking part in a race or park run.
Since starting the sport I’ve lost weight and toned up. I’ve also met a whole new circuit of friends who love dogs too and want to keep fit. When you’re out running with a group, you chat, you laugh and have a really good time.
Your dog is also content when you get home, well exercised and happy. It’s a great timesaver – no need to go to the gym and then walk the dog – you can do it all in one go.
If there had been a site around at the time, like Dogfit, I would have gone there for experienced informed advice, quality kit and also be able to link with a canicross trainer at the beginning to get started in the right way.
Canicross is a fabulous growing sport and together with my business partner Gail, we aim to help encourage and motivate lots of new people into the sport even if you’ve never run a step in your life – you can do it!