Meet Elle Comacho and Gruff

Representing the United Kingdom at the World Championships in the as part of the UK Canicross team

For centuries dogs have been referred to as man’s best friend, and as a nation of dog lovers (with almost one-quarter of households in the UK owning one) it’s not surprising that Canicross, the sport of running competitively with your dog, is becoming such a popular pastime. You couldn’t ask for a better companion to have by your side whiles battling the forces of nature, Elle Camacho and her dog Gruff do exactly that.

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Elle has been competing with Gruff in Canicross for several years and is also a member of the British sled dog Sports Federation. Elle no longer only competes with Gruff but has recently taken on a new team-mate (another rescue dog) a Collie X Podenca as her primary Canicross dog. Elle  is focusing on the scooter division with Gruff and competing in both events on the same day would be too staining on him.

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Elle took part in her first ever 50 mile ultra race this year beating the clock, she is now ready for the next 100 mile challenge in April next year and with the team at Restoring Health helping with preparation she is feeling pretty confident.

The highlights of Elle’s image6year so far was the amazing adventure she and Gruff took part in during August, the race called the Trophee des Montagnes. This exciting adventure took place in the beautiful French Alps, an 8 day 10 stage Canicross Race. With 280 adults competitors from across Europe only 184 crossed the finish line of the last stage!
Racing 5-10km each day, sometimes twice a day; up, down and around the ski slopes surrounding L’Alpes d’Huez.

 “ It was really tough on my legs and the weather played mind games! One race it was nearly 38 degrees and yet another had horizontal rain, thunder and lightning (guess which conditions the British Team excelled in!)”

They successfully set out to finish all stages the race uninjured and Gruff was absolutely amazing! He was eager to race everyday and even managed to curb his enthusiasm by slowing  down when Elle was whimpering with terror at the steep downhills and sometimes vertical drops that they were traversing. Both Elle and Gruff had an amazing experience!

Elle and Gruff both enjoy competing and with the added benefits of exercise, mind stimulation and social interaction no one could blame them! Yet they also have to show tremendous commitment and determination; Elle generally runs 5 days a week and some days without Gruff as he does not enjoy the interval seasons. Currently Elle has started working with a running coach who has set up a training plan to challenge them in all different aspects of different events with recommendations from Deborah of course. So come rain, come shine or any kind of weather (apart from blizzards and lighting storms) they are to be found out training!

image2Elle and Gruff are yet to win a competition but are currently ranked 3rd in England and 5th in the UK in the Scooter category.
They have just taken part in the two-day European Championships in Scotland placing 5th in the Women’s Scooter Division and 21st in the Women’s Canicross Division.

They will hopefully be competing at the World Championships in Canada at the end of October.
We are supporting her by trying to raise the funds to get her there. So help us support this amazing lady on her journey by giving generous donations via www.crowdfunder.co.uk/gruffIFSS or through sponsorship (please contact Elle via Restoring Health if you would like to help her!!)
We all wish her and her furry team mates the best of luck!

Photographs of Elle supplied by:
Houndscape Photography
and Fay Frost Photography 

 

*Update: Unfortunately Elle was unable to raise the funds needed to compete at the World Championship in Canada this year, but with her dedication and determination in this sport we are eager to see what lies ahead for this amazing lady.

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