Canicrossing at Park runs

Canicrossing at Park runs

Park run are free timed 5ks that pop up all over parks across the UK
a fantastic way to work on your 5k race pace, or just get out and enjoy a sat am run. Park run allow dogs to take part, however there are rules and etiquette to be aware of, and more so when canicrossing.

Sandra Rigby of canicross Dorset and captain Archie’s Hound runners, has put together some helpful tips re canicrossing at Park runs.

“I have been lucky enough to take part in many parkruns with my dogs and I can honestly say they have been incident free. So here are my top tips for a successful and enjoyable parkrun with your dog .

1. Most importantly I would say check out your parkrun without your dog first and make sure it is suitable for you and your dogs. Some parkruns are not the best for dogs due to the course or amount of people attending. For example, Pollok parkrun is very busy and has narrow paths, so not the best. However Stratyhclyde and Eglinton have good wide paths and are not as busy.

2. Introduce yourself and your dog to the organisers so that they know who you are and they can check you heave appropriate equipment and also give you any course specific rules.

3. If anyone tells you they are scared or don’t like dogs, do not be offended, be respectful of their views and give them a wide berth when running.

4. Control your dog. Just because it is on a collar and lead or canicross set up does not mean that you have automatic control. If you are unsure if you can control your dog you should not take part in a parkrun until you do. A good way to help with this is to join a canicross group. In Ayrshire there are two that I know of, my group, Captain Archie’s Hound Runners and Cani-Fit.

5. Use suitable equipment. Most canicross lines are too long however any reputable company will be able to make you a parkrun suitable line or one that can be adapted to suit. I would recommend you use specific canicross equipment and not a collar and lead, for not only you and your dog’s comfort, but also to control your dog. If you are unsure if what you have is suitable , I would be happy to advise you on this. I am at most parkruns in a yellow t-shirt with Archie’s face on the back and my name, or If not there, I live local to the park so can always meet at another time. Under no circumstances use a flexi-lead!!

6. When you are running if you are approaching someone ahead of you but can not get past safely, allow 2 metres of space between your dog and them until you get past. If you see a gap you can get through safely, shout out to them to let them know you are coming, eg “ I’m going to pass on your right.” If the runner looks apprehensive, slow down as you pass. Always say hello and thanks as you pass by.

7. Do not let your dog zig-zag on the path. Either run directly behind him or with him tight at your side.

8. Don’t wear headphones so you can hear people coming from behind who may want to pass you. Always give way to them or other members of the public.

9. Only run with one dog.

10. VOLUNTEER!!! Parkrun is only successful with your help, so take your turn.

11. Remember your barcode!

Sandra Rigby “