Canicross runners take on inaugural Coastal Challenge

The SDCC runners by the mill pond
The SDCC runners by the mill pond

A team of 22 runners from the South Downs and Coastal Canicross (SDCC) group met for their inaugural 15 mile SDCC Coastal Challenge.

The event, which took place on January 27, saw the best turnout the club has seen since it opened five years ago, and members of all abilities took part in the 15 mile route from Havant to Chichester.

SDCC is a Facebook group for runners who want to get fit with their dogs, and holds two weekly events: the beginners group, which is run by founder Jenni Kenyon at Bracklesham Bay, and the intermediate advance group, which meet for 10km to 10 mile runs on Saturday mornings in local countryside locations ranging from the South Downs to the Coast.

Chris Doe, event organiser, said: “The lure of a custom medal for each participant and their dog was enough to make this event our best turnout. Despite the poor weather over the past week, all runners and their dogs set off for the epic adventure. I wanted this run to mix all abilities of the group and to motivate and inspire the runners and their guests with the introduction of optional stop off points along the 15 mile route from Havant to Chichester. Runners would have the option to leave the coastal paths at each village and catch the train back to the start point which proved popular with both the newly initiated canicrossers to the more experienced runners. This is a free club, and we welcome all enquiries through the Facebook page. All members have the ability to ‘host and post’ their own run for the group, and quite often the run ends with nibbles or cake! We treat the welfare of the dogs as top priority and drinks stops are often pre-planned along with rest stops. We have canicross kit to try out or to buy and we boast being the friendliest running group around, so any enquires, please find us on Facebook.”