At Canicross UK we wanted to give back to the sport - so we took on the responsibility of developing a program to support athletes. We now have the Canicross UK Athlete Program which provides financial support and kit.
We plan to expand the team ready for next season so watch this space.
My name is Tamara, I’m from Cornwall and I’m 27 years old. My running partner is Rudy, he is a Hungarian vizsla and is 2 years old. I have a road running background (if you can call it that) but after suffering many injuries off the back of my first marathon in April 2019, I was abit done with running. When we first got Rudy I wanted to run with him when he was old enough but hadn’t really considered canicross specifically. I actually stopped running completely in 2020 but after watching Matt Baker try Canicross on the one show this year I decided to book a lesson with Helen at Canicross UK. Helen was fantastic and took us back to basics. I decided Rudy’s verbal commands and was prepared to practise lots but, to be honest, he took to it like a natural. He loves running and also loves being in front so it’s quite easy for me provided I keep talking to him! We joined Canicross Cornwall and attended the weekly social runs but kept it fairly low key as I didn’t want to over do it with him. We free run together mostly but don’t do that much canicross outside the club … although this might change over winter now! After a few months I decided to enter a local race - what was the worst that could happen. I was super nervous that Rudy just wouldn’t pull (to the extent that my partner didn’t come to watch as I thought Rudy wouldn’t want to leave him) but he was amazing. We had a minor incident with a barrier (definitely highlighting the fact I need to stop being lazy and nail down our “left left” and “right right” commands) but finished first female in a time of 16:12 over 5k. A few months later (whilst I worked on my own fitness .. finally getting back to doing some solo speed sessions) we ran our second race (a local 5k trail run) and somehow got a time of just over 15 minutes and came first overall (even the men!!) I was stunned as it was fairly undulating. Rudy was quite a timid little dog before and he has improved so much being around the other canicross dogs. We now have lots of impatient barking on the start line! Our bond is even stronger now and I can’t wait to build on this more as we continue our canicross journey having fun together! Watch this space!!
My name is Rory. I'm originally from Kent but moved to Cornwall for work in 2020. I have been involved in cani-sport for about 7 years, after getting into canicross with my parents border collie, Bramble. Together we have raced at European and World championships, and have finished 3rd in the British rankings in 2018/19. Having got the bug, we introduced a new running buddy into our family, Odin. Odin is a 3 years old euro-hound, and is really just an overgrown puppy. This year is our first season racing, and so far our results show what a great partnership we are developing. I love running with Odin, it has built an amazing bond between us all while having fun, and we both trust each other to make the right split second decisions out on the trail. I can't wait to see where our partnership will take us in the future!"
Hi! My name is Sophie, I’m 32 and I live in the beautiful Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire! I am relatively new to the cani-sports scene having spent most of my life owning and riding horses but have had dogs for many years. I first began running with my dogs back in early 2020 with the C25K program and caught the bug. I also started running with the Forest of Dean Canicross Group on social runs which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Early last year I injured my ankle so to keep myself & the dogs fit, I bought a bike and started riding having not ridden a bike since I was a child. The adrenaline rush & teamwork you can experience through Bikejor is like no other. I work on my bike skills by using the mountain bike trails and downhill tracks around the Forest of Dean- the thrill is amazing!
Let me introduce my clan to you! So, we have 7 dogs in our family all ranging from little to large:
• Ollie- 11 year old lurcher- my original running buddy but Ollie broke his leg back in April 2021 because of a tumor so now happily free runs on shorter trails on his amazing 3 legs.
• Maisie- 11 year old Sprocker- boss lady! Also now just free runs but still keeps everyone in check.
• Skye- 6 year old Border collie- my assistant trainer! Skye doesn’t really like to work in harness & finds the race scene quite nerve racking, so she helps to train the fasties at home.
• Pip & Poppy- the terrier support crew- happy to trundle along in a bike trailer but not up to anything too dynamic!
• Pippa- 2.5 year old Eurohound- I brought Pippa over from Belgium in July 2021 to be my new running companion and we have done some awesome races together but we have found that our main passion lies in Bikejor as we both thrive off the speed. You can’t miss this lovely lady with her rather large ears!
• Winston- 19month GSP- the newest addition to our pack! Winston came to us in December 2021 having never travelled, been off lead and lived in a flat…. He has blossomed into the most amazing chap with a heart of gold. He gives his all & has taken to cani-sports better than we could have ever imagined. We came 3rd in the Womens CaniX at Thetford on New Years Day!
I work full-time as a Paramedic Partner in a GP Surgery so find keeping myself and the dogs fit hard going sometimes but its worth it for the enjoyment we all get out of it. I also have the best support at home and couldn’t do this without them.
Cani-sports provide that release you need for your mental and physical health. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me & the team!
Hi I’m Natalie,
I’m 51 years old and I live in Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. I have a 23 year old son, 3 dogs & 14 Chickens!
I started canicross in 2011 when I got my rescue Springer Spaniel Jess (now 13) and a friend introduced me to the sport. With Jess I entered a few charity events that allowed canicross such as the Brutal series, Hard as Snails, and mainly ran fun and fitness. Fast-forward to 2018, I decided I wanted to get into canicross and eventually Bikejoring more seriously after following Mark Dunbar and some other friends with their adventures in Canisports, however it still had to be fun. So, I brought Edna a European Sled Hound and there our racing journey began with our first event being the Trophѐe Sud Bourgogne (TSB) in France when Edna just turned 12 months. TSB is a 7 day event, with participants from all over Europe, races are at different location with the races being from 4km – 8km in the beautiful French countryside. Edna was bred to race, the moment we hit the start line she knew what she had to do, and we had an amazing week of racing and learnt so much. Since then, we entered TSB in 2021 and came 3rd in our age group, I was not expecting to get a podium place. Again, Edna was amazing, the weather wasn’t kind, rain, wind, cold and lots of mud! We have also competed at Canicross Midlands, Canix, Canicross UK, Devon Howlers amongst other events and completed the Para 10 mile and Tri-Dog. This last season Edna has now become my Bikejoring dog, I have lots to learn about bikejoring and mountain biking, I absolutely love the teamwork, trust and bond we have built. In June 21 I decided to get a 4-month-old rescue puppy from Vizslamentѐs UK Rescue Trust. Ernie is a Vizsla cross and in February 22 we started our canicross racing journey, Ernie is showing a lot of potential and is turning out to be a great sports dog. I’ve had to improve my fitness this year as I’m canicrossing and Bikejoring at the same events.
Events still to come this year before the next racing season begins, is the Trophѐe des Montagnes (TDM) which is 9 days of racing and fun in the heart of the French Alps with over 300 participants from all nationalities and all different breeds of dogs. We going to the TSB again, however this year we are Bikejoring instead of Canicrossing.
I work full time as an Accreditation Manager.
My dogs are my pets first and Canisports keeps us all fit, healthy, and most of all, we all have fun.
I’m really looking forward to our racing journey and adventures, and how we work together as a team.
Hi, my name's Adam, I'm 25 and I'm from Salisbury, Wiltshire. I run with my dogs Arlo (19 month GSP) and Skye (4 year old Labrador). I started running with Skye before I knew about Canicross and we trained for and completed our first ultramarathon together. We started Canicross when I heard about it at parkrun and entered our first race in March 2022. It wasn't the best of starts because we were disqualified on the first day, I may have gone the wrong way (oops), but Skye was amazing and had the best time. This led to us joining Wessex Canicross and competing in the NATB Dog Sports races for the 2022/2023 season. Arlo joined us in February 2023 and debuted with a victory, he's absolutely nuts about running and likes to make himself heard on the start line! I love running with the dogs and can't wait for next season to see what it brings for us.
Photo courtesy of Geoff Pirie
Hi! I’m Jen, I’m 32 and I live in Wiltshire with my boyfriend Chris and our three dogs. We’ve got Poppy, a 10 year old Whippet whose favourite activity is sleeping, Betsy, a 3 year old Dachshund x Yorkie who is tiny but full of personality, and Freyja, an 18 month old Pointer who lives to run and bounce!
Poppy and I started canicross two years ago, and we fell in love with it straight away. We joined Wessex Canicross, got the kit, trained, then started racing. Over the 2022/23 season we raced together at lots of series races as well as Tri Dog and the BSSF British Championships, all at which Poppy tried her heart out. Now she’s getting a bit older, Poppy and I will be racing in the short course category and will be running bikejor, which is an exciting new adventure for us.
Betsy doesn’t do canisports, however she competes in hoopers, scentwork and also enjoys mantrailing, swimming and paddleboarding, all with 110% enthusiasm!
Freyja spent the 2022/23 season getting used to being out at competitions, learning what her harness is, and then building up to doing some start sequences, learning directional cues and going on some short training runs. Our focus this season is to start racing on the short course, and keep building her strength and confidence. So far, she’s really taken to it, and absolutely loves running fast. I can’t wait get out there with her this season and build our skills and speed together.
I’m also very lucky to run with San and Howard Clark’s amazing Eurohound, Dolly, who I will be running the 5k series races with. Dolly competes in many canisports disciplines, and is fantastic to run with as not only is she fast, but she looks after me too.
There’s nothing I love more than being out with my dogs, camping, training, racing and relaxing. They’re amazing team mates and canicross is such a fantastic way for us to have fun together. 2023/24 season, let’s go!
My name is Josh, and I am originally from Northern Ireland and now live in Wiltshire. I live with my fiancé, Maria, our little girl, Gigi, and our three dogs: Parker, Penelope and Gordon.
Parker is a nine-year-old New Zealand Huntaway who takes part in reccy classes and competes in tri-dog events (excellent swimmer!), Penelope is a two-year-old Greyster, my bikejor teammate, and Gordon is a puppy, he will be a bikejor dog of the future.
I began cani sports by running canicross and competing in the occasional event. My passion would lie with bikejor because I have always had a strong interest in mountain biking from a young age. I began competitively racing in bikejor with Maria's dog, Penelope, in 2022 when we were expecting Gigi. Penelope and I got on so well and came away from the season with great results, including qualifying for the ICF World Championships in Germany.
Penelope and I have made a brilliant start to the 2023/2024 season, with our sights set on qualifying for the world champs in Italy. Penelope is still a young Greyster with incredible drive and instinct for cornering lines, making her a wonderful bikejor dog with lots more to give in the future as she matures.
I enjoy spending time with my family, of which the dogs are a big part, so cani sports are a perfect pastime to bring us all together.
Outside of cani sports, I work full-time as an electrical engineer and enjoy tinkering with old cars.
Photo courtesy of @Geoff Pirie