Frequently Asked Question - Do I have to do all my runs off-road ?

Do I have to do all my runs off-road ?

The view is subjective, however multi-terrain is acceptable. That is if you do a run with a ‘reasonable’ mix and ratio of grass, track or trail to asphalt/concrete then that is acceptable. This is another reason in selecting multiple distances to encourage variety of courses. Remember that Canicross is a shortened form of Canine Cross Country.
However, to the purist, UK Athletics defines cross country as - “ races that are held off-road and take place in the winter, outside of the track and field season. The courses can be flat, hilly, undulating on grass or muddy terrain. Even the same course can become a very different test as the weather and conditions underfoot change. As such, while times are usually taken, there are no rankings for any given distance. Events can be over a range of distances, the length of races usually being dependent on the age group competing.”
If you ran everything on a hard surface you would gain an unfair speed advantage, we would probably notice it and more than likely have a discreet private word in any case. Just as much from a canine welfare point of view.
However, we recognise we all live in different environments and the league is run based on sportsmanship and an honour system. So there is an element of facilitating participation vs deliberate gaming the spirit of the league which is contrary to good sportsmanship.
The above is applicable for knockouts, full-league and off-season leagues.
For the recreation league we look at things in a little more relaxed way and we would allow such terrains as beaches, sand dunes for example.
Summary - Its OK to do multi terrain, but don’t overdo unnatural surfaces.