About Our Races

Here you will find everything you need to know about our race events! Still have questions? Head over to our Facebook page and ask.

Courses

For our race events we use four different courses, please note race distances are always approximate:

Long Course - We aim for the course length to be around 5km. The length will vary depending on the difficulty of the course and the venue.

Short Course - We aim for the course length to be around 3km. The length will vary depending on the difficulty of the course and the venue.

Odds & Bods Course - This is used for Bikejor, Scooter and Canicross and does not form part of the series or weekend prizes. We aim for the course length to be around 1.5km. The length will vary depending on the difficulty of the course and the venue. This courses is also used for under 13 and junior wheels categories, which are part of the weekend prizes and series prizes.

Under 8 - This is a special course for the under 8’s and is between 400m and 800m

Start Times 
Below is a rough idea of start times to help you plan what classes to do, but please be aware they are subject to change. Sunday start times are seeded from Saturday's results and races usually start at 8:30am Sunday.

8:30  - Long Course  -  Wheels
9:45 am - Long Course  -  Canicross
11:00am - Short Course -  Wheels and Novice Wheels
11:30am - Short Course - Canicross
11:45am - Short Course - Novice & U16 Canicross 
12:30pm - Odds & Bods + Junior Wheels
12:45pm - Odds & Bods + 8-12 Junior Canicross
13:15pm - Under 8 Canicross

To be eligable for a prize at each race weekend you must race both Saturday and Sunday. You are more than welcome to just race one day but you won't be able to win a prize for the weekend. Each race you do will help you gain points towards our overall series prizes. 

What happens on race day? 

The usual order for a race day is 

  • Long Course Wheels (Bikejor & Scooter)
  • Long Course Canicross
  • Short Course Wheels ( Bikejor, Scooter & novice)
  • Short Course Canicross ( Novice & 13-16's)
  • 1.5k Course Canicross (Odds & Bods & 8-12's)
  • 800m Course Canicross (under 8's)

Before you start

Canicross Midlands use a chip timing system so it is important that you collect your race number from the Canicross Midlands tent before you start. If you are competeing on two days your number stays the same on both days. If you are entered in multiple classes you will seperate numbers for each class.

As with us eating just before exercise is not a good idea, if you are going to feed your dog before racing it is recommended to allow a couple of hours for your dog to digest their food.

At the start

At the start you will find members of the race team to help you. They will make sure that you are in the correct order and if you need help handling you dogs at the start they will endeavour to assist.

You will be given a countdown from the starter, then away you go! All starts are individual, we do not do mass starts.

At the finish

When you cross the line your time will be logged automatically. 

Results

A full set of results are published after each day. These will be printed and put up in the Canicross Midlands gazebo, and posted to the Facebook page.

Times for the two days are combined to give an overall time for the weekend, this will determine your overall position in your race class. After racing is completed on the Sunday the weekend results will be announced and prizes awarded. You are welcome to only race one day, but you will not qualify for an overall prize/placing from the weekend.

The Race Series 

In addition to the individual weekends, Canicross Midlands run a series that lasts the whole season with prizes. Please note that Novice and Odds & Bods are not series races and are not part of the series.

Everyone who completes enough series races to qualify for the series will automatically be awarded a series medal at the end of the season. To find out how the scoring system works for the series, click here.

Race Temperatures

Canicross, Bikejor & Scooter are primariy winter sports. Dogs feel the effects of heat more than we do and participating in these sports means your dog will be working hard for longer periods that it is used to. 

If the forecast for a weekend is looking warm, in an effort to beat the temps Canicross Midlands will take the following actions

  • Wheels will start at 07:00 to allow us to start the Canicross at 08:30
  • The temperature will be taken 30 mins prior to racing 
  • If the temp exceeds 14º WBGT we will shorten the long & short courses
  • If the temp exceeds 20º WBGT we will not allow dogs on the course (with the exception of the U8 who only run a very short distance

We will make these changes to protect the welfare of our dogs, but the responsibility still lies with yourself to decide if your dog is fit to run at any given temperature!

 
So what is WBGT and why do we use it at our races?

Wet Bulb Globe Temperature is the best measure of ambient conditions. It takes into account the ambient temperature, humidity, windspeed and solar radiation. It is the measure used by the military and top level equestrian events and is far more representative of conditions than temperature alone. We have a specific WBGT monitor that calculates live WBGT continuously. This means that although we have set a cutoff to shorten the course at 14 degrees, with a light breeze, low humidity and cloudy cover for example, the WBGT will actually be well below that cutoff and racing may continue full distance at an ambient temperature of 17 or 18 degrees.

We want to have a single approach for the season. Whilst 14 may seem cool when temperatures have been over 20 degrees, 14 is warm when it’s been down at zero. Midlands courses vary but tend not to be flat and generally lack natural water stops to cool your dog mid race.

 
Why do we shorten both the short and long course?

Many dogs that run the short course do so because they are younger/older, coming back to fitness and a host of other reasons. This puts them into a higher risk category of heat related illness. Whilst we can’t stop dogs getting heat related illness, we want to minimise the risk.

Overall, we want to minimise the risk to all dogs so whilst the cutoffs may be below what you would feel happy running your dog in, we have to take into account to range of breeds, ages, fitness levels of all the dogs competing.