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Clean Run Course Designer

The professional way to create agility courses

Produced by Clean Run
Reviewed by Jo Sermon

Description: This is a computer program that enables you to design and easily adjust agility courses. It also enables to you store and transmit them in a very economical fashion.

 

Specification:
To run CRCD, you need the following:-

  • 486DX or Pentium PC
  • Microsoft® Windows® 95 or 98, or Windows NT® 3.51 or later
  • 8MB of RAM if running Windows 95
  • 32MB of RAM if running Windows 98 or NT
  • 5MB of available hard disk space

Best Features: This has to be the ease of use. It's almost idiot proof. You simply point and click. The only time that I had to refer to the Help file was when I was trying to edit the text that I had inserted to the course. Other than that everything was self-explanatory.

The next best feature is the very small file that the courses are saved down to (on average about 2KB.) Previously I had used a standard graphics program for which I had composed a template that I simply adjusted and then saved as a new file. This and other programs that I have tried all save to either a bitmap or related image type files. The storage is huge and the transmission time if you want to share courses or training ideas with friends over the Net is enormous.

CRCD 2000 saves to a text file that can be attached to an email in the usual way, or that can be cut and pasted into the text of an e-mail. The recipient can then cut the text and paste it straight into their copy of the program.

If you are sending to friends that don't have a copy of the program, you can save the course as a Windows Bitmap file, and then send the Bitmap file. Or you can copy your courses into other graphics programs and then send the course as a .jpeg/bitmap etc.

It is worth noting that a free fully-functional copy of CRCD 2000 can be downloaded from the Clean Run Web Site at:-
http://www.cleanrun.com/category.cfm?Category=80. You can try the software for 30 days before deciding whether or not you want to buy.

I have stored three terms worth of courses for my club (Benbow AC) using this program without raising any protest from my other half who used to make me delete the image files on a regular basis as they were taking up room that we could ill afford. (I'm supposed to be working! J. ) This is so useful when planning sessions and checking for continuity and progression.

Other features that I liked!

  • Courses can be printed easily and without any problems, either with or without gridlines.
  • Courses can be planned in Metric or Imperial.
  • Multiple shapes can be rotated and moved as a group.
  • Text can be easily inserted.
  • Numbering is easy. If the Control button is held down the program will consecutively number each obstacle clicked on. 

Worst features: I had to look really hard for this, but for me it is the fact that because the program is set up for the whole world to use, there are all sorts of sizes of equipment available. This means that not only do you have to know what size of dogwalk we use (!), you also have to specify it each time you click on the obstacle. Irritating after a while and I think that I would like to see this as an options feature that you can set for the whole program. However, I had to look hard for that and it is a very small point in what is otherwise a brilliant piece of software.*

Instructions: There is complete documentation for the changes between CRCD 1.0 and CRCD 2000. If you look up Clean Run Course Designer, there are a number of options for getting more information about the software.

Value for Money: A definite must buy for anyone who designs courses on a regular basis, or just likes to have a record of their successful and not so successful! runs.

Score: 10/10

Price: £50 full version or £30 for upgrade of previous version

For more information on how to test Clean Run Course Designer 2000 for 30 days or purchase the software, contact:-

Also available from


YOUR FIRST STOP, ONE STOP SHOP FOR AGILITY THINGS

*A Note from the Developer: You don't have to re-specify it each time. If you pick FCI A-frame, for example, it stays selected for each course you create until or if you specify another size A-frame. Likewise, if you specify a particular length of dogwalk, whenever you click on the dogwalk, the dialog box will automatically suggest that dogwalk when you click on the icon. You have to confirm that you want it.
Monica Percival

Jo Sermon & Yogi win OlympiaAbout the author...
 Jo Sermon started her training career with a supposedly untrainable GSD. With him she did working trials. When the dog developed spinal disease, she borrowed her husband's Beardie and took up Agility in 1988. With Buzzy she won four Starters trophies and never looked back.

She lives in Surrey with her ever-tolerant husband Geoff, who says that it is bad enough living with the dogs, never mind training them! They have two daughters, aged nine and eleven. The rest of the zoo is made up the two Beardies, Yogi and Jester, one rabbit, a Water dragon called Puff (that'll teach her to tell the children that they can't have dogs) and a hundred or so tropical fish.

Jo has qualified has qualified for all sorts of finals including Eukanuba and Spillers with her Senior Beardie Yogi. They have qualified for every ABC final to date, and have been invited to Olympia three times, where they have won twice.


What Other People are Saying

As someone who has no financial interest in Clean Run Publications, I can enthusiastically endorse their Course Designer Program. It works like a charm! I have used Corel Draw and witnessed other design program, and I can say Course Designer is straightforward to use. You will be setting up courses - just like you see in the magazine in a matter of minutes. (Assuming you know how to point/click/drag...) It's well worth the $50! Instructors will find it a very helpful tool week after week!
Lynnda Lenza (USA)


I tried out CRCD (CD2000 Beta Trial), and I have to admit it's very good although I still believe there should be a view-only version also for people visiting websites not familiar to agility (yet)
Guy Blancke (Belgium)


Since I already had Corel Draw and paid megabucks for it, I resisted getting Clean Run Course Designer for months. Because I was having problems visualizing spacing between obstacles, (which CRCD shows for you) I finally broke down and invested the huge sum of $50.

IT IS WONDERFUL! Don't know why I resisted so long. It's easy to use and does pretty much everything. Although there are couple of places where it could be improved (could modify text instead of having to type everything over again, tunnel configuration could be improved, plus I'd really like to be able to rotate the entire course if necessary), for the price it cannot be beat!
Jo Ann Mather (USA)


I've used Corel Draw, Corel Flow, Visio - just about everything out there. CRCD is definitely worth $50 if you plan to do any amount of course drawing.
Mary Jo Smirkey (USA)


It is so easy to use that even you could be designing courses using the software in about five minutes. Compare that to CorelDraw, or CorelFlow, or any CAD program or Visio, any of which have about a six week learning curve if you are sharper than a butter knife.

The saved files are in a dandy text format which can be embedded into your email with an overhead of about 2KB. It is the only agility drawing program that I know of that allows you to specify metric or Royal measurements; specify the distance between weave poles and the count of the poles. It has more choices for tunnels than any commonly used agility drawing program.
Bud Houston (USA)


The course designer is really the most thoughtfully designed software package I have seen in years. It does what you need and it does not require huge volumes of memory. It saves files in text format so it's easy to send them even if the recipient can't get attachments. And it's cheap. This program really is good. Everyone should get one. And no, I don't get a cut .
Kate Eaton (USA)


I love it! I want it! It took me about one minute to beautifully draw my course.
Deb Locke (USA)


If you would like to comment on this product or add your name to the Agilitynet list of reviewers, email your name and details to Ellen Rocco at Agilitynet today.