What should I know to help me look like I know what I'm doing at the event?

If you've never run Fastcat before, it can feel a little daunting going to your first event.  Please feel free to approach any of the volunteers, who will be happy to answer any of your questions at the event.  We all want everyone to be safe, have fun and have great runs. A few tips:
  • You have signed up for a time block to complete your runs.  All dogs scheduled to run in "Test 1" will be run first (both runs), followed by those dogs scheduled to run in "Test 2" within each run block.  You should plan to be onsite for anywhere from at least a half hour to as much as two hours total, depending on how many dogs you have and the conditions when you are onsite.
  • The first thing you need to do when you arrive is to check-in and have your dog inspected. You will receive a sticker with your dog's name and run number on it.  This will need to be with the person releasing the dog. You will receive a sticker each time you get inspected.  As soon as you complete your first run, you should get your dog inspected for their second run so you are ready when you are called.  Dogs must be inspected before each run.
  • Please bring someone with you to help release or catch your dog, or arrange to have someone available to help you.  If you don't have someone with you, we may have people who can help.  Please let us know when you are placed in the cones to run if you need someone to release your dog.  It is not the club's responsibility to have releasers available to release your dog, it is a courtesy.  You might also ask around to see if someone else waiting can release your dog.  You might offer to release their dog in exchange.  This is a great way to meet and make a new friend at events!
  • Catchers, please walk outside of the flagged area along the course - this is to ensure there will be no unfair distractions to dogs that are running.
  • Handlers MAY NOT walk down the track BEFORE the dog is released, per AKC rules effective Nov 1, 2022.
  • Dogs MAY NOT be recalled back to the startline after they complete their run, per AKC rules effective Nov 1, 2022.
  • Dogs will be put in a queue with one dog on deck and 4 others ready to move up.  There will be cones with numbers on them where you will stand by, and move up as necessary.  Once you are in this line, your catcher must be at the other end to ensure they are ready when your turn comes up.  If your catcher is not ready, we will move onto the next dog that is ready and put you back in line when your catcher is ready.  This isn't meant as a punishment of any sort, but is to ensure we keep the course moving efficiently and without unecessary delay.  As soon as your catcher is at the other end, you will be called back into line, but we won't delay another dog that's already in line.
  • You will need to have 2 leashes - one at the start, and the other for the end of the run.  Dogs should not run with tags on their collars.  If they must, the tags should be taped or secured so they won't interfere with the dog's run.  It is recommended that dogs run in flat collars (or naked - wheee!). Dogs MAY NOT run the course in a harness OR any type of collar that has a "choke" component (including martingales) - you CAN bring them to the line in these. Per AKC rules, choke collars, e-collars and prong collars are not allowed. This includes hidden prong collars.
  • You cannot use anything to entice your dog to run other than yourself - treats, toys or artificial noise makers are not allowed.  You can scream, clap, call your dog and whistle, only if you can do it without any artificial aids or devices.  You can use a treat or toy AFTER your dog has crossed the finish line to help catch them, if necessary. 
  • Once your dog has crossed the finish line, please leash them up and leave the course as soon as possible.  The lure cannot be moved back to the front of the course until the field is cleared.  Please don't be that person holding up the course unnecessarily!  
  • Your qualifying ribbons should be ready at the ribbon table as you leave the run area, complete with time, MPH and points.  Title ribbons will be there as well.  
  • It disappoints me to have to say this, but DO NOT ALLOW YOUR DOG TO PEE ON ANY EQUIPMENT, FENCES, GATES OR TENTS! The crew has to handle all these items and they are often transported / stored in people vehicles or homes.  This is just common sense, but we all know how rare that seems to be for many.
Our goal is to follow the run order as well as can be accomplished in order to keep the course running, while putting on a safe event.  We want everyone to have a great time!  If you have any questions or comments, please be sure to talk to us, and we will do our very best to help you.