Canicrossing the Cotswold Way

It’s now only one week until my friend Karen and I start one of the biggest running challenges we have set ourselves with our dogs, by canicrossing the 102.5 miles of the Cotswold Way over 5 days. I worked it out as being just under 4 marathons in those 5 days, so it’s no small challenge!

The Cotswold Way route

The Cotswold Way route

The Cotswold Way is something I have wanted to canicross since I failed in an attempt to complete the 96 miles of the West Highland Way in Scotland nearly 5 years ago now. The weather conditions then were awful but I had actually torn the ligaments in my ankles the weekend before and so although we managed 60 miles over 3 days, I physically couldn’t finish the challenge.

This time around the training has been taking place over the winter which has made things a little easier than last time, as the weather has been better for running dogs. Between us Karen and I have clocked up hundreds of miles with the dogs over the last 6 months and are about as fit as we can be. The training for long distances with dogs can be a little trickier than if you’re just training yourself and often our own needs get put to the side so the dogs are getting the focus.

Training run with members of my social canicross group Cotswold Canicross

Training run with members of my social canicross group Cotswold Canicross

training run Coln

Photos courtesy of Colin Roberts Photograpy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a carefully planned out route starting at Bath Abbey and ending up in Chipping Camden on day 5, with stop off points along the way to enable us to swap the dogs, and rest some of them for sections. Each section is between 6 and 15 miles long and the longest day is currently planned at just under 25 miles. It’s surprising how much thought has to go into a challenge like this, as we need to make sure we are carrying enough water without being overloaded and re-fueling ourselves as well as the dogs, so we have enough energy.

We are very lucky to have picked up some fantastic sponsors for the challenge too, the main one being Arctic Wolf who have provided us with two new Dragrattan Multi-sport harnesses each:

http://www.k9trailtime.com/shop/dragrattan-multi-sport-harness.html

a couple of the fantastic canicross length lines:

http://www.k9trailtime.com/shop/arctic-wolf-line.html

a comfortable Ergo belt each:

http://www.k9trailtime.com/shop/dragrattan-ergo-belt.html

and in addition to all that, Stuart at Arctic Wolf has also provided sponsorship for our very own t-shirts for the challenge designed and printed by

http://www.pupmalup.co.uk

 

Arctic Wolf have been a very generous sponsor of our challenge

Arctic Wolf have been a very generous sponsor of our challenge, with kit for us and the dogs

Arctic wolf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have also been offered the very best in sports nutrition for the dogs in the MEAT and trEAT Power Duck:

http://www.fleischeslustuk.co.uk/meat–treat-power—duck-88-p.asp

(coming soon to the K9 Trail Time website) from Sarah at Meat Love (Fleischeslust UK)

Meat Love MEAT and trEAT Power

Meat Love MEAT and trEAT Power

In addition to that we have received a last minute sponsorship donation from Big Bobble Hats (also coming soon to the K9 Trail Time website) who are kindly providing us with a hat each and one for our support crew, who will be hanging around to swap dogs and make sure we have everything we need on the route.

Big Bobble Hats will keep us and our crew warm

Big Bobble Hats will keep us and our crew warm

I am also sponsoring us through K9 Trail Time and my other business, Forever Fit Time which has been providing us and the dogs with supplements and nutritional support in training and for the tough physical challenge itself.

We have been blown away by the amount of support we have received so far for the challenge and donations made by our friends to both Macmillan Cancer Support and the Animal Health Trust who are our chosen charities. If you want to take a look at our page we have a team page on Justgiving which gives a little bit more information about why we have chosen the charities and a bit of background:

https://www.justgiving.com/teams/CanicrossingTheCotswoldWay

So all that’s left to do now is rest up and look after ourselves for the next week, and in preparation, I took all the dogs for a canine massage and check up with Cath at

http://www.dogsbodycaninemassage.co.uk

which I highly recommend if you are doing anything strenuous with the dogs as they can pick up muscle strains just as we can.

Massage has helped to keep all of us injury free during training

Massage has helped to keep all of us injury free during training

I look forward to posting updates from our adventure from the 5th – 10th May – Happy Trails!

 

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