World champions in a fast growing sport

Carol Higgs

Carol Higgs

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A former Forfar woman has become a world champion in one of the country’s fastest growing sports at the age of 51.

Carol Higgs recently took part in the veteran female category at the inaugural dog-running, officially called CaniX, world championships at Pembrey Country Park in south west Wales.

Over 140 people from all over Europe competed in the event and Carol, and her two-year-old German short-haired pointer Mo, recorded the best time over the two 5km courses that had to be completed at the event.

Carol and Mo took 34 minutes and 11 seconds to finish the course - a whole two minutes ahead of her nearest competitor.

The prize for the competition was £500 and a handful of CSJ dog treats.

The sport consists of owners attached to their dogs by bungee cords as they run behind them and Carol first caught the CaniX bug after watching a demonstration at Crufts Dog Show a few years ago.

Carol said: “The sport is still relatively new, so it’s still trying to establish itself, but it’s doing very well on the continent and it’s great fun.

“It’s a little bit different but it works really well and it’s a great way to stay fit and keep active.”

She added: “Dog lovers should give the sport a try. It’s for everyone and for any dog and if anyone is unsure of entering an event they should just go along and watch one.”

The events are held over various distances and over cross country terrain so the sport is demanding but with so many levels to choose from all competitors are catered for.

The duo got off to a great start when they won the first event they entered back in January. Since then they have gone from strength to strength with the world championship win just the beginning.

Looking to her future in the sport Carol and Mo are preparing to tackle a half-marathon event next May - a distance significantly larger than the 5k distances they have been competing in recently.

They train two or three times a week with the harness but Carol likes to add variation to the training so that Mo never gets bored.

She said: “I always go out with Mo at the same time every morning and we have now built up a little bit of a fan club, which is lovely and means a lot to me.”