why i do what i do

Passionate About Encouraging Others

Canicross and running with my dogs, first came onto my radar when I was looking at different activities I could do with my dogs around 10 years ago. I wanted to get fit with my dogs and began looking for coaching and a way of learning about the different activities I could do. At the time, the only real information about Canicross was in books and on some internet searches where most of the detail was around mushing and husky running / sledding. There were no coaches or training specific groups that you could go to and nothing showed up on searches when I asked about 'running with my dog'.

A couple of hours searching on the internet and via Facebook groups helped me to find a group of people who ran with their dogs and before I knew it, I was driving off to a remote location to 'give it a go'. I arrived, I was given a belt, line and a harness for my dog and away we went! I didn't know what to do or how to do it, but thought it looked easy. I was so wrong.

Happy schnuazers after a trail run!

On our first outing, we ran. We ran the furthest I had ever ran before and I was struggling to keep going and felt incredibly unfit and out of place. I just hated the feeling of being unfit and unable to run and didn't know if this was for me and my dogs. However I tried again with my other dog and we went at my pace, slowly and for a very short distance..and I was HOOKED! By being able to go at my own pace and without pressure, I found that I was able to enjoy that moment and bonding with my dog. I had low confidence with running, but I could see how happy it made my dog and I loved seeing her so content.

INCREDIBLY UNFIT AND NEW TO RUNNING


At the start of our journey, we couldn't run half a mile without walking or being shattered, so steadily I increased my running distance and began running out with the dogs more frequently. Training to run with my dog, became our normal routine. It took time to get going and before I knew it we decided to try racing.

Fast forward to over 8 years on and I have competed at regional and club race levels with all three of my dogs, bikejored with them at National competition level and competed at National and European Championship level. At the end of the 2019-2020 season, I held the rank of 5th in the UK in Masters Female Dryland Canicross, which we are looking forward to defending and improving upon in the forthcoming National Championship race with The British Sleddog Sports Federation.

SUPPORTIVE COACHING FOR NEWCOMERS

Over the last few years, I wanted to be able to shape that first introduction into canicross for people who wanted to try it. There are lots of places where you can go and 'try' canicross with kit and a group, however there are no real instructions about running a dog. Often it feels a little bit too much like 'turn up and keep up' which can be a little daunting for new runners. My goal is to help you enter the world of canicross at your own pace and build those foundations that make you not only a safe running team, but a more bonded and therefore happy human and dog. As a qualified teacher and a Chartered teacher, I understand the need for structured sessions and planning and as a Leader in Run Fitness and trainee run coach being mentored by a Head England coach, I enjoy bringing in fitness, education and organisation to the world of canicross. Over the next few months My final qualifications in Strength and Conditioning will be complete, along with being a fully qualified Coach with England Athletics.

I have focused on trying to support others and give them all the information that I wish was available to me when I first started out. I want to help others to fall in love with the outdoors again, building better bonds with their dogs and improving their mental wellbeing.

Certifications

  • Certified Cani-fit Leader

  • England Athletics Leader in Run Fitness

  • England Athletics FHMT Leader

  • Canine Emergency First Aid

  • Complete Fitness Trainer: Beginner to Advanced

  • Health Walk Leader

  • DBS cleared including enhanced.

  • Mental well being in Sport and Physical Activity

  • Safeguarding Children

Qualifications

  • CT (Chartered teacher)

  • PGCE cert

  • Level 3 Outdoor First Aid

  • Level 3 Pediatric First Aid