A weekly 5K virtual race championship only one entry per person. You can run with up to 2 dogs in a virtual race and you can rotate your dog teams between rounds. 


  1. East Midlands
  2. East of England
  3. London & South East (Incl. Channel Isles)
  4. North East
  5. North West
  6. South West
  7. West Midlands
  8. Yorkshire and The Humber
  9. Wales
  10. Highlands and Islands: Highland, Western Isles, Shetland, Orkney
  11. Central and Western Scotland: Strathclyde, Central
  12. Southern Scotland: Dumfries and Galloway, Borders, Lothian
  13. North East Scotland: Fife, Tayside, Grampian
  14. Northern Ireland and IoM




Introductory Pre-amble

League Canicross is designed to provide a framework and format for competitors to compete in a virtual manner safely, and enjoy the friendly competition observing a spirit of goods sportsmanship. We know its not the same as a real event and meeting up with fellow people who love the sport. But, perhaps this may be the next best thing ?.

The league generates a modest amount of revenue that is either donated to charity or ploughed back into the sport to promote growth of Canicross at grass roots level

The corner foundations of the league is of course good sportsmanship, canine welfare, and enjoyment of the sport we love so much. With this in mind the league is a points based format with WAVA age graded corrections, this makes it a level playing field and negates differences in performance according to age and gender. Naturally, we can’t compensate for the different abilities of our dogs, but since we are all the slower part of our team, physics will probably be the factor of difference.


The league nor ‘Bark Life’are not affiliated with any organisation, we may refer to organisations such as The BSSF (British Sled Dog Sports Federation) etc., we are not affiliated with this or any other organising body, but we are generally aligned with the ethics and rules of the IFSS (International Federation of Sled dog Sports).



  1. You must run with a dog, no-dog runners do not qualify as a valid submission.
  2. Dogs must be at least 18 months old on the day of the race.
  3. Dogs over the age of 9 years old should be checked and passed as fit to race by a vet prior to each season.
  4. Pregnant or lactating bitches do not constitute a fit-to-race dog and will render a virtual race result invalid.
  5. Dogs must be kept on a fit for purpose canicross bungee lead at all times during the race.
  6. A dog should not be run in a slip lead, check/choke chain, head collar, flexie lead or any collar that restricts breathing.
  7. If a muzzle is required it must be of the wire greyhound racing style.
  8. All dog shall be raced in a suitable harness.
  9. Dogs should not be raced if they are coughing or have recently been in contact with infectious disease.
  10. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure their dog is fit and healthy before racing. If in doubt consult your vet.
  11. A dog may only run in one virtual race for champion submission in one week (Sat-Fri)
  12. All participants compete as an individual Human/Dog(s) team.
  13. You are not restricted to rotate dogs as team members throughout the season.
  14. Up to 2 dogs can be used with an individual human competitor per race.
  15. We recognise that both Human and Canine competitor athletes may be subject to injury during the championship.
    1. If you or your dog are ‘doubtful’, please don’t run.
    2. A Human/Dog team must not run a virtual race unless fit to do so.
  16. All appropriate welfare rules apply to your dogs.
  17. Any participant found abusing their dog(s) in any way shape or form, shall be subject to (if proven, as a minimum) an irrevocable lifetime ban from the league and Bark Life and its evolutions.
  18. Use of shock collars, prong collars and electrified “hound gardens” are banned from use anywhere for league virtual races or any race with a reckonable submission. Any use of such devices is classified as abuse and subject to the penalty defined above.


  1. It is presumed that you are running with your own dog.
  2. If you must borrow a dog to race with you may only run with a single dog
  3. You should be familiar with each other, have trained together prior to the race.
  4. The handler should be aware of the dog’s behaviour in a running environment and be responsible for its care throughout the race.
  5. Virtual racing with a borrowed dog that you have only just met will invalidate your result.


  1. The league organisers will not cover your virtual racing with any insurance.
  2. All racers run at their own risk.
  3. You accept you are running as a leisure sport and not an organised gathering.
  4. Therefore you assume liability and responsibility for yourself, your dogs and third parties affected.
  5. By participating in a league virtual race, you will not hold liable the league organiser nor bark Life, sponsors or partners for any consequential loss or damage in participating in a virtual race.
  6. The onus is on the participant to hold suitable pet, personal and third-party insurance for canicross. Bark Life specifies under its terms and conditions that appropriate 3rd party insurance is mandatory


  1. Should part of the championship have to be cancelled or postponed for reason beyond the organisers control no refund is applicable, however a discretionary credit may be issued against future league due


  1. You should read the organisation’s privacy policy. It is there for your information and protection.
  2. The following is all we will expose to public viewing;
    1. your name,
    2. your dog(s)’ name
    3. your bib number
    4. your points scored in any classification.
  3. We will need (in order for us to calculate your age grade points), the following;
    1. your name,
    2. your age as at the first day of the season
    3. your gender,
    4. your dog(s)’ name–
  4. Age and gender will not be published.
  5. We will receive your email address as part of your result submission. We will retain your email details until the start of the championship next year, as you may, (hopefully), want to sign up for this again. We will destroy your data 1 month after the scheduled start of the next championship.
  6. We have a private facebook group in order to facilitate feedback and private Strava group to research points calculations internal research and development, Strava and Facebook are subject to their own policies that are beyond our control.


  1. All human participants must be over the age of 18 years on the date of a virtual race.
  2. As scoring uses WMA/WAVA age-grading as a basis for results calculation there shall be no categorisation of age, gender or any other method of classification of a person. They are either an adult over 18 years or not.


  1. There is no entry fee for the championship this year
  2. Registration will only be accepted via the online form on our website
  3. Changes to entries must be made by email only to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



  1. All runs must be completed on a compliant course/route of your selection.
  2. A competitor may only submit one run per calendar week (Sat 00:01 -Fri 23:59)
  3. Run submissions must be submitted no later than that specified above


  1. Please respect the facilities and environment where you race.
  2. Clean up after your dog in all areas and on the route.


  1. The minimum and maximum temperatures and humidity shall be noted during a virtual race.
  2. Humidity effects actual temperature and the relationship between these two variables will be measured by Apparent Temperature
  3. Given the minimum and maximum, trail condition and local circumstance these rules and Apparent Temperature Chart must be used to make decisions for the well-being of the dog(s).
  4. Competitors shall not exceed the running temperatures for their dogs per the chart below. A dog’s durability in the environment varies between breed. However the chart should be viewed as guidance but also the maximum limit for the most heat tolerant of canines.
  5. Dogs shall not be harnessed and/or run when the actual temperature exceeds 22°C or at or above 22°C apparent temperature as per the red shaded area of the Canicross section ono  th  Apparent temperature chart.
  6. It is recommended that distances are shortened when apparent temperature reaches between 18 –21.5°C as per the yellow shaded area of the Canicross section of the Apparent temperature chart.
  7. Full distances are possible for most breeds fo all temperatures within the green shaded area of the Canicross section of the Apparent temperature chart.
  8. Depending on the race trail (i.e.large section under the sun) or other facts, the competitor should consider shorter distances or other measures, even if the maximum temperatures are not reached.
  9. The Apparent Temperature chart shows the relationship between actual temperature and relative humidity. That is; the effect humidity has upon the actual temperature (it assumes the wind speed is 0).To use this chart at a race:
    1. Assess the temperature and humidity
    2. Along the x axis of the chart locate the temperature and on the y axis the humidity
    3. Example:
      1. The actual temperature to be 10°C and the humidity is 45%. The Apparent Temp is therefore 7.5°C(in the green zone) and it is recommended a heat can run full distance.


  1. Please observe all national and local legislation and comply. Routes, courses and timings should be selected for ease of social distancing, also ensuring your personal safety at the same time.
  2. Where local and national regulations conflict with this document the law has precedent over this document.


  1. As a human runner, an appropriate sport approved harness should be worn.
  2. It's important to stay alert while running outdoors.
  3. Don't wear headphones or earbuds or anything else that might make you less aware of your surroundings.
  4. Staying safe while running involves the same common sense used to stay safe anywhere else, like avoiding parked cars and dark areas, and taking note of who is behind you and ahead of you.
  5. Runners should carry a few essentials, such as:
    1. a form of identification
    2. a mobile phone
    3. a whistle to blow to attract attention if you're hurt or in a situation where you don't feel safe
  6. Other safety tips:
    1. Run during daylight hours, if possible.
    2. If you have to run in bad daylight
      1. Avoid dimly lit areas
      2. wear bright and/or reflective clothes on yourself and dog(s)
  • Ensure you wear a head torch with a fully charged battery
  1. A rear reflector / led red light is advisable.
  1. Canicross should be run-off road.
    1. If you must run on a road keep to a pavement or shoulder of a road, if possible.
    2. Run facing oncoming cars.
  • Always give way to vehicles at intersections. Don't assume that cars will stop for you.
  1. Obey all traffic rules and signals.
  1. Only run through neighbourhoods and parks and on trails known to be safe.
  2. Its always best to run with a friend, if possible.
    1. If you do run alone with your dog(s) let someone know
      1. Where you are going.
      2. How long you are gone for.
    2. Dress for the weather. In cold weather, wear layers of sweat-wicking fabric, a hat, and gloves. On hot days, bring extra water and wear light-colored clothing and a hat.
    3. Stop running if you feel faint or sick in any way, or if your dog starts to limp or displays signs of distress.
  3. Any participant found contravening WADA anti-doping guidelines (we are serious) both or either themselves and/or their dog(s) in any way shape or form, shall be subject to immediate expulsion from the championship. Exemptions for therapeutic use are taken into account
  4. In the event of any dispute the decision of the organisers shall be final.


  1. Please ensure that the mobile phone you carry is programmed with details of an emergency Vet in operation in the area run your virtual race.


  1. Downhill running,is a canicross skill that, can be without sufficient experience of training, pose a danger to both human and dog.
  2. Selection of race routes should preferably be a loop or out and back so any gradients are self cancelling, (unless you are wanting to compete for climbing points).
  3. Single direction routes are permissible. However should the organisers and/or league adjudicators identify a consistent trend of races with significant elevation loss, (we would define as a gradient equal to or exceeding -2%), The ruling adjudicators would initially request a participant to submit their next result with a climb that would bring their nett elevation closer to zero over their total overall submissions.
  4. A downhill run must include a reasonable content of ascent to be considered reasonable.
  5. Should the competitor refuse to comply with the adjudicators request then the league will remove sufficient valid previous submissions until there is a nett overall elevation loss of less than -2%
  6. In summary, try and run out and back or a loop otherwise competitors must accept closer scrutiny of the course elevation characteristics to make sure there is no gaming of the rules or spirit of participation in the league. – The adjudicators reserve the right to reject a run based on an overly advantageous selection of route.


  1. League Canicross by definition is an off-road sport and the topic of terrain 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.
  2. This is a reason the sport format includes multiple distances to encourage variety of courses.
  3. Remember that Canicross is a shortened form of Canine Cross Country. 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.”
  4. Running consistently on a hard surface will mean gaining an unfair speed advantage, we will probably notice it and more than likely have a discreet private word initially.
  5. Competing consistently on a hard surface is also a threat canine welfare point of view.
  6. However, we recognise competitors 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.
  7. Therefore the responsibility of the participant is to minimise racing on speed advantageous terrain generally defined as an unnatural surface that is deliberately fashioned by humans.
  8. This is transcribed as avoiding tracktype Grade 1 , limiting Grade 2 runs and attempting to maximise run / racing on grades 3 through 6
  9. The League defines terrain into 6 grades. These are generally in line wilth Openstreetmap in order for the league to validate course terrain from GPX files submitted from time to time…


CCF Co-efficient





Solid. Usually a paved or sealed surface.




Solid but unpaved. Usually an unpaved track with surface of gravel.




Mostly solid.

Even mixture of hard and soft materials.

Almost always an unpaved track.




Mostly soft. Almost always an unpaved track prominently with soil/sand/grass, but with some hard or compacted materials mixed in.




Soft. Almost always an unimproved track lacking hard materials, same as surrounding soil.




Grade 5 + Obstacles / Exposure to Risk /  Technical



Championship Format


  1. Every Saturday participants shall submit a virtual Canicross run and ensure it is presented within the Strava Club https://strava.com/clubs/barklife.
  2. For safety please feel free to restrict security as much as you wish regarding visibility. However, the league chairman’s account must be allowed to follow your strava account in order to auto download your run.
  3. If submissions are viewed to have a substantial errata content. Then the organisers reserve the right to reject submission(s).
  4. All points are either rounded to 1 decimal place
  5. After completing your run make sure your activity is selected as run and that it starts with CH#bib# for example…. Abigail and her dog Molly run a 5K her bib number is 6789. Therefore she will modify her Strava activity that says ‘Morning Run’ to ‘CH#6789# Morning Run.



  1. The classification of the run is World League Canicross Zone 5 (4.5Km-5.499Km) – The participant will score points according to their WAVA/WMA age grade. The league is currently using 2022 age grade tables.
  2. If submissions are viewed to have a substantial errata content. Then the organisers reserve the right to reject submission(s).
  3. All points are either rounded to 1 decimal place,


  1. One 5Km run a week on a Saturday
  2. Submit it on Strava by Saturday 23:59 latest
  3. If in doubt join the World League Canicross Group and we’ll help you