By Cushla Lamen
IT WAS a small but dedicated and enthusiastic turn-out at Canicross
Trail Runners first event, held in the New Forest on October 28.
It was an interesting course, well sign-posted and selected by
Simon Lamen for its mud, terrain and undulation. (I hope I was not the
only one with slightly tight hamstrings the next day!)
All the canine competitors seemed to enjoy the opportunity to wade
through the muddy puddles, although admittedly along some of the paths
there was little choice offered.
Pixie, one of my husky running partners, was enjoying herself so
much in the water, that I thought she was in training for her 50-metre
As you would expect with canicross events, there was a wide
range of breeds. We had poodles, huskies, pointers, Jack Russells and
beagles, to name but a few, and they all seemed to have a great time.
There was a wide variety of humans too, with ages ranging from 10
to 72 - and all age groups were in the prizes.
The prize for chic , if there had been one, would have been won by
Chantelle, a white standard poodle who finished looking as clean and
poised as when she started.
There were two lengths of course on offer, 2.7km and approximately
5km. There were only two takers for the shorter course and
congratulations to Laurie Tews for being our junior competitor of the
day. He ran with Pepper in a time of 17:40. Well done Laurie!
Sean Cleeve was making his canicross debut and he did so in style,
winning the M1 class with Charlie, his springer-lab cross. We hope to
see you both back at our next event to defend your titles.
The winner of the F1 class was Lara Mills in a spectacular 20:51
with Blaise, a German short-haired pointer.
The VM1 class was hotly contended, John Walsgrove was the winner
with Harvey, his border collie, in a time of 18:40. Hot on his
heels was Dave Hydon with Zola, who is an amazing 11 years old and is
still looking as fit as the proverbial fiddle.
Jane Morris won the VF1 with the chic Chantelle. Jane and
took home the red lantern - the legendary award to the overall last
finisher in sledge events. Once upon a time the lantern was awarded as a
bit of a joke but today it is regarded as a symbol of
For the slightly unhinged among the
canicross circuit there was the opportunity to run with two dogs.
Alice Webb won the ladies' category with Lima and Cleo in 21:33.
Simon Lamen won the men’s. Okay, so he was the only entrant, but credit
where it’s due!
Click here for the results in detail.
The day was a great success. Thanks must go to the Forestry
Commission for their permission to use Wilverley Inclosure, and for
their support for canicross.
Helen Chalk, Project Officer for the Forestry Commission, has been
a stalwart for canicross and its ethos, and we look forward to
organising further events in the New Forest.
Congratulations to Helen for coming third in the F1 category with
Poppy, her beagle.
Special thanks go to David Giddy for driving down from the Forest of
Dean with Nicky Hutchison at four in the morning to
do the timings for us.
From little acorns great oaks may grow and
|Jane Morris of Frome with Chantelle.
Note the elegant braiding and absence of mud
|the most important fertiliser is you. Tell your friends of your experiences and get them
out to the next meeting.
Let us know what you want from the sport and what we can provide
for you. We are already planning the next runs and the level of
track/mud depends on you. Keep checking the website
for details of forthcoming events!
Hutchison writes: What a fabulous day we had in the New
Forest. Simon Lamen had devised a cunning trail on forest tracks and
muddy paths with plenty to interest the eager canicrosser.
For non-natives it was a new experience diverting our dogs'
attention away from the New Forest ponies, and a welcome change from
sheep. It was a lively bit of forest with horse riders, dog walkers and
scouts using the trails and all showing a real interest in what we
strange canicrossers were up to.
We were a small but perfectly formed group and it was so lovely to
see some familiar dog and human faces again. Lara and Alice with their
rangy pointers gave everyone a good run for their money as ever.
David Hayden's Zola, the original canicross dog and marathon
also on good form even though she is now 11years old. And of course
Chantelle, the standard poodle who runs with Jane Morris, always adds a bit of
glamour to the occasion.
Jane competed despite a tummy bug, and ran the
course with husband Richard and the now all-grown-up miniature poodle, Hugo.
It was a sociable event and the relaxed "when you are ready" start
proved popular, especially with the husky people who just simply had to gooooo!
husky Beans, who wasn't meant to be running, was straining for the start
that dog read?). It just goes to show that our dogs enjoy canicrossing
as we do.
A drink and cakes party while times were announced was a friendly
end to a hugely fun day. Thank you to everyone who came along to support
We hope to see you again very soon.
Rumour has it that Simon is now out in the forest mapping
new, muddier and more challenging trails for unsuspecting dog runners!
This is Hampshire
Contact Cushla and Simon Lamen on: 07792 854771 or 07817 396150.
mail: 37 Drakes Avenue, Devizes, Wilts. By email: email@example.com
Contact Nicky Hutchison on 07799 646508 or at firstname.lastname@example.org