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 15º 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 15 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 15 may seem cool when temperatures have been over 20 degrees, 15 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.