Canicross: Starting Out

by Louise

I am a natural couch potato with no athletic ability whatsoever! I have dipped in and out of various sports over the years – hockey, running, cycling, swimming, yoga and triathlons but never stuck at anything for a sustained period. And, training was always pretty inconsistent!! As I am getting quite close to a fairly major mile stone in my life, I decided sometime in winter 2013 that it was time to start looking after myself and attempt to get fit. So, I started running again. It was really hard at first but I gradually built it up week by week. I entered loads of races so I would stay focused and motivated to run.

I had read about cani cross and actually spotted the group at a dog show in 2013. I thought it looked like fun! After a bit of research, I made contact with the club (many months later!!) and picked up the courage to go along to my first run. It can be quite daunting to go along to a club where you don’t know a soul but the group are a super friendly bunch. And, don’t be put off if you are not a runner (YET!) as there are always run – walk options to begin with.

I started off running with 1 dog and now I run with both of my dogs – a weimaraner and a vizsla. It really is great fun and they definitely help me go faster! I haven’t participated in any cani cross races yet but look forward to running a few later this year. The dogs love it, anytime I pick up their harnesses they get all excited! We haven’t been running over the summer but it won’t be long until we are back at Vogrie on a Saturday morning. :o)


What I didn’t expect when I came along to the club, was that I would get so much more out of it than just Cani Cross. Superb hill runs, various workshops, ultra marathons (whaaatt??!!), weekly sessions at Arthurs seat, loads of encouragement, good chat and best of all I am hanging out with people who clearly love their dogs as much as I do. My general fitness and running has improved over the course of the year – I can’t foresee not sticking to it this time as I am having oodles of fun as well as getting fit. I am sure the club is going to go from strength to strength and I look forward to sharing many more experiences with you all.

Running with Rescues

by Andrew

In 2012 I began volunteering at Borders Pet Rescue I had little idea of the journey I was beginning. I’d previously run with my late Lakeland cross Polly, so when asked to run a young energetic Dalmatian/ Husky cross called Oscar I was delighted. Over the next few months I ran with a variety of wonderful dogs. They were teaching me more than I them but we had fun learning.

In October 2013 I learnt of a cani cross race in Jedburgh. With the backing of BPR I decided to enter and raise some funds. A quick search online brought CSE to my attention. The support and advice I received was superb. Maisie and I started training regularly and we both loved every minute of it.


Race day arrived any nerves soon disappeared due to the warm welcome I received and Maisies impeccable behaviour . Once safely round the muddy course we were rewarded with a medal and rosette which Maisie took proudly back to BPR. We were hooked!

Over the winter Maisie remained at the centre. A bout of kennel cough led toquarantine and lots of frustration for all the dogs. Once clear I had 3 dogs to run with. Maisie didn’t like this at all! I got sad looks every time it was Dot or Santi’s turn.

Rescue dogs can’t get off lead in public, so Cani ross is a great way to enhance their time in kennels. They’ll assess the fitness and temperament of dogs in their care so why not call and see if you can help.


Maisies been in her forever home for 6 months now and is very happy there. I am awaiting the cooler weather so I can get back to my newest passion running with rescues.


CSE Races at Dunbar

We are delighted to have secured a fabulous venue for CSE’s first ever very own canicross races, which will be held at Foxlake near Dunbar on Sunday 16th November. The day will comprise not only of races for all age groups, both 2.5K & 5K courses, and 1 & 2 dog classes, but will be a fun day out for all the dog-oriented family with many doggy businesses & charities in attendance with stalls. We have some fantastic sponsors, who will be providing both class & spot prizes & filling all our runners’ goody bags. Hot & cold food & drink will be available too.  Entries are via Entry Central, with race numbers limited to 150, so be sure & enter nice & early so you & your dogs don’t miss out!


If you would like to print a poster & help spread the word about our event you can download one here.

Click here to enter —->    entrycentrallogo


Chat to others who are attending & ask any questions you may have about the event on the Facebook Event Page.

Summer with Cani-Sports Edinburgh

The hot weather means that there hasn’t been much in the way of canicrossing for the last couple of months as it has been too hot and humid for dogs and some humans!  However that hasn’t stopped us having a great programme of fitness events to keep us in condition till the canicrossing starts again in the autumn.

First up was Gavin’s running workshops.  Gavin is an ex GP and now a sports massage therapist.  He specializes in working with runners, cyclists, triathletes and now canicrossers!   It was a really interesting workshop with lots of information to take away, with tests to see what shape our various muscles are in and discussion about running form and stretching.  It was so popular we had to put it on twice.

Next on our busy calendar, Leszek Stelmachowski of Edinburgh’s only Kettlebell Club kindly put together a two hour kettlebell workshop.  This gave us a basic grounding in technique in case we ever wanted to attend classes or pick up those neglected bells at home that so many of us seem to have.   Kettlebells are a great way to build strength, particularly core strength, without bulk and work on our posture and flexibility.  It fits very nicely with many of the things Gavin was talking about such as activating our glutes.  Les was very patient with us and gave clear and helpful explanations of all the technique while being thoroughly fun.  Again it was so popular, a second one had to be put on.

Kettlebell Workshop
Kettlebell Workshop

Also on the theme of running injury free, more efficiently and enhancing running performance, a Chi Running Workshop with Nick Constantine was organised for CSE.  Chi Running is both a running form and a philosophy,

We’ve also had Keith Bremner organise a series of three speed sessions for us.  The third one is on Saturday August the 30th.  Following a similar format to the previous two there will be a warm-up, canicross racing drills, a hill session, core work and a cool-down.   As it’s the last one of the season and to celebrate the end of August and a new season of canicrossing, we will be off to a nearby food and drink establishment afterwards for breakfast.  Hope to see you there, click here for more detail and say you’re coming.

With all these stronger and injury free muscles and extra efficiency, Cani-Sports Edinburgh should storm the upcoming season of canicross!

Canicross Taster Session

Have you been looking at this group, wanting to join in but something is stopping you? Why not come along to this taster session…?

If anybody wants to try canicross we have our annual “Come and Try Canicross” session at Vogrie Country Park on Saturday 9th August for beginners as part of Vogrie Walking Festival – just a mile and its from 10am to 11am.

Dogs must be fit and healthy and over 1 year old to participate. Limited spaces so book your place now by contacting Vogrie Country Park on 01875 821716. Bookings must be made by Friday 1 August.

There’s lots of other fun things on at the walking festival as well like nordic skiing!

Here are some pics from last year’s Come And Try Canicross event at Vogrie, featuring many folks & their dogs who are now regulars at the club =)

CSE and the Queen’s Baton Relay!!

Monday 16th June 2014, was a huge milestone for CSE.  Ali (Running Jasper) and Viv (Viv N Storm) were both baton bearers in the Queen’s Baton Relay, in the Midlothian area . They were nominated and selected for founding Cani-Sports Edinburgh, which has created a vibrant, enthusiastic and supportive community based around sport and dogs.

This honour belongs to everyone in the club, each and every member has achieved incredible things on a personal basis and has made the club the fun and friendly group that we all enjoy today.

Of course the day would not have been complete without Rogue Dog featuring.  He even made friends with Clyde; the friendly mascot (who remained in one piece!)

Viv's Baton moment
Viv’s Baton moment
Ali's Baton moment
Ali’s Baton moment










The day finished with 5,000 people flocking to Dalkeith Country Park to watch the baton arrive on stage.  The day, time and venue could not have been more perfect for CSE.

To top it off …. we even managed to get a quick photo with the one and only baton itself and all the CSE members present got to touch it.  An incredibly special moment!


CSE crew with the Queen's Baton
CSE crew with the Queen’s Baton

In true Rogue Dog style …… he was featured in the media, this time the Daily Record – alongside Hollywood celebrities!!!!  🙂

Rogue Dog & Viv
Rogue Dog & Viv

More Kit for the Club!

We are putting the money coming in from memberships to good use stocking our Spare Kit Boxes & have just purchased new lines and belts and 2 kids belts! from the fantastic Sharon McNicol at Trailbaby. These are free for members to borrow and just £1 per run for non members, and are present at all of our regular runs.


Zac wanted to model them for you …. strange dog!


Canisports Edinburgh Summer Training Days

  1. Find your own Pace – Saturday 21st June, 0900hrs at Vogrie Country Park.
  2. A Simple Speed Session – Saturday 12th July, 0900hrs at Vogrie or Dalkeith Country Park, TBC.
  3. Race Drills and Hill Session – Saturday 30th August, 0900hrs at Holyrood Park.

All sessions can cater for any level of runner and can be done with or without your dogs (temperature dependent).

All sessions coached by Keith Bremner.

Each session will include; a warm-up, running drills, a distance run (5km max), core work and a cool-down.

These sessions are free to CSE members and £2.00 for non-members (money donated to a doggie charity).

Compulsory coffee and cake at local cafe after the hard work!

Rogue dog’s fundraising has exceeded over £1000!!

A complete impromptu 55 mile run by Rogue and his hooman has raised in excess of £1000 down to the kindness and generosity of his fans and members of the public.  All the animals at Border’s Pet Rescue will benefit greatly 🙂

Rogue dog chilling after his epic run
Rogue dog chilling after his epic run

Read Rogue Dog’s full story here