Top tips to get your pup race ready

Paws up… Who wants to take their human to the first ever Simplyhealth Great South Run weekend?

The first ever Simplyhealth Canine Run

British middle distance runner and recently qualified vet, Laura Muir, is launching the inaugural Simplyhealth Canine Run, which takes place on Saturday 20th October 2018 as part of the iconic Simplyhealth Great South Run weekend.

The Simplyhealth Great Run Series is looking for 100 dogs and their humans to take part in the 2.5K run on the scenic Southsea seafront starting and finishing on Clarence Esplanade. The event is the first of its kind in the Simplyhealth Great Run Series and will take place on the morning before the Simplyhealth Great South 5K, the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great South Run.

Each dog can be accompanied by one owner to run the 2.5K course and once they cross the finish line, dogs will be rewarded with a collar tag and a treat, while their owners will receive a Simplyhealth Canine Run t-shirt. Post race, finishers can celebrate in the bespoke dog-only area in the event village.

Laura, who’s also the 1500m British record holder and World Indoor silver medallist, will be setting everyone on their way as honorary starter. “I am thrilled to be part of the very first Simplyhealth Canine Run. As well as being a runner I recently qualified as a vet and know how important it is to keep dogs fit and healthy. It’s vital that dogs get plenty of safe and fun exercise with their owners and for some breeds changing the usual walk to a run can be a really positive sensory experience. It can really help to increase the bond between pet and owner but you should always check with your vet first to make sure the training plan is suitable.”

Want to take part? Follow these top tips on how to prepare for the Simplyhealth Canine Run…

  • Consult your vet ahead of starting your training plan
  • Tailor your exercise to what is suitable for the breed/age/health status of your dog
  • Like humans training for a long run, a dog’s fitness also grows steadily. So build up to the distance
  • If new to running the dog should be trained to walk nicely on a lead then build up to running via brisk walking and jogging
  • Use a relatively short lead and make sure your dog stays close to you and doesn’t run into the road or other people
  • Owners should always make sure their dogs are hydrated
  • Avoid hot weather. Dogs still need their exercise when it is warm but they can easily overheat so plan your exercise for early morning or late evening when it cools down
  • And if it is especially hot take care of their paws and avoid tarmac
  • Most importantly make sure your dog is enjoying the experience

To take part in the run, all participants – both dogs and their owners – will need to be well behaved and in a fit condition to run 2.5K. If this distance is longer than normal runs or walks, then a training plan should be put in place.

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