and Chantelle entered their very first canicross race in 2002 after
seeing an article about the sport in the newspaper Dog World.
Thinking it looked like fun Jane put her name down and enjoyed the
race so much she has done pretty well every organised canicross
event since, always with Chantelle, the glamour standard poodle of
the canicross world.
Here Jane chats about running with dogs.
"When I bought Chantelle I wanted a dog for running and for showing
so she was, and is, ideal. She is nice and steady and very easy to
"I would say her intelligence is her main strength - she is good at
finding the best route through a group of runners. When we ran
Longleat there were about five human runners blocking the way and I
could see her looking back and forth to choose the easiest way
"However, she is not competitive
and nor am I so Chantelle is the perfect companion and never
my slow pace. Our strength is that we just keep going.
"As far as training is concerned we try to run at least three to
four times per week. We do a 30-minute-plus run during the
week before I start work as a groomer and we have a longer run at
"During winter months most of the runs have
to be on roads but during summer we try to go off road to nearby
woods and across public footpaths.
"Some of our favourite training runs are when we go out with my
training group from my running club and we run off road and
Chantelle is treated like a human being and they say hello to her
before I get a look-in.!
"The longest distance I have canicrossed is 16 miles but the
furthest I have raced her is 10 miles. I am a bit lazy and don't
generally like running more than six to nine miles. Or the
equivalent of one or two hours.
"We compete in all the canicross races as well as the 'human' ones
when they allow me to bring Chantelle. I have enjoyed all of these
but some of the most memorable ones have been where she has come
home with mud up to her
"During one race we had to cross a field which
had been under water the day before and the mud was way past my
ankles so you can imagine what a state Chantelle was in!
"Canicross races are the best because I usually
have to get permission to run in the humans-only races and there
aren't very many that will allow dogs.
"I really want to carry on entering all the canicross races and try
to tell other dog runners to enter as well. The most important thing
with the sport, though, is to ensure you both have a good time and
"I think it is a great sport and it could be even better with more
advertising - in the running magazines for example.
"My husband Richard now runs with our poodle, Hugo who also loves
it. We have many funny stories about the dogs but the one our
friend likes to tell is the time, after a race, I was eating a hot
dog when Chantelle jumped up, knocking the hot dog out of my
hand. Before it hit the ground Chantelle had
the roll and Hugo got the sausage.
"Through canicross, Chantelle is getting quite famous and people
keep telling me that they have seen our picture in various papers so
we will have to keep running."