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Humans and canines to race in ‘canicross’ event

  • Thursday, January 16, 2014

The sport of “canicross” is coming to Charleston on March 1 on the historic fox hunting and equestrian trails at Middleton to benefit the Middleton Hounds.

Rarely enjoyed by the public, the 6,000-acre plot across the street from the formal gardens at Middleton Place will host trail runners, dogs and families.

Guests will enjoy the lakes, forests and fields; home to wild turkeys, hawks and deer.

Canicross is a combination of “canine” and “cross-country” running. The dog is in a harness with a flexible line attached to the human at the waist. The dog pulls the human along adding distance to the runner’s stride and assistance to the uphill bits. Canicross is cooperative running as the runner and dog work as a team.

The sport is best known in the UK and European countries and is just getting started in the United States.

According to the race director, Rebecca Gosnell, the day is designed for everyone interested in getting out to enjoy the property, with or without a pet.

“The day is set up to accommodate competitive trail runners, runners who want to compete with their dogs and those who want to walk the trails with or without their dogs,” Gosnell said. “When they finish running and walking the trails we will have music, food trucks, a beer garden and a full scale pet expo in Bailey’s field. It is the perfect opportunity for competitive runners to bring along the whole family and make a day of it.”

Early registration prices are $20 - $30 and include a T-shirt and information on how to gear up to compete as a canicross team.

To register visit www.runingwiththehounds.com or www.active.com.

Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark localted south of Charleston. For more information go to www.middletonplace.org.

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