Today we talk with Samantha West. Sam and Archie are very active members of the League and specialise in the endurance / longer distances. Sam is without doubt a focal point of fun in our racing. We couldn't be without her ! Here is what she had to say...
Q1 Hi Sam !, before we get to answers to those key questions spectators want to know, a few other questions...
So the first thing is what do you like about canicross ?
A1 I love being with nature, the trails, being as one in a partnership with my dog, enjoying the freedom together, adventuring. I love the feeling of accomplishment I get from completing a run, I love the social groups and community of canicrossers. Canicross rocks!
Q2 So, the next question is easy, what are the things you don't like about canicross?
A2 The snobbery and judgement surrounding general canicross high end competitions and elite athletics in canicross, That you need to have a certain breed dog to run fast, specific kit, be a certain age. It frustrates me, any dog or person can be totally awesome.
Q3 What are your canicross ambitions for the future?
A3 Archie and I are attempting the 1st Dog Ultra in Wales, I’d also love a Sub 20 min 5km, but my main goal is to enjoy our runs together injury free long term and not ever resenting going out to run. I’d really like to do a 3- 5 day run trek across Scotland one day. A WLC one maybe?
Q4 OK.... to the inside information. Do you have any thoughts about approaching a knockout competition for the first time?
A4 Being the member that came in like a wrecking ball of chaos last time, I just hope to hang on by my teeth for as long as I can! I cannot promise that I won’t throw out some cheeky jibs if I’m winning. I’m mostly excited to be part of a wider canicross community.
Q5 Do you think there are things to be careful of during the tournament?
A5 I think the biggest and most important thing is to enjoy the competition, to remember anyone can win it, not to beat yourself up if you don’t feel it on the day, you showed up and tried and that’s brilliant, it is all based so fairly, the points total up on your own induvial strengths, so everyone has a fair chance. Have fun and support others as well.
Q6 Without giving the game away. Do you think some strategies will work better than others?
A6 Plan your run day based on how you are feeling that week and the weather, get some good fast music for your phone. Listen to some motivational podcasts.
Q7 How do you think you will prepare mentally as well as physically for a tough knockout competition?
A7 Personally, If I run as much as I run my mouth, I’ll be just fine. It’s anyone's guess what mood I’ll be in daily or even hourly; the competition normally drives my fire on the day! I’ll force it in the rest days in though.
Q8. Are there other questions we should have asked that you would have liked us to ask? If so, what are they and what would be the answer(s)?
A8 What type of dog do you have and how did you end up coming into the canicross world? Having never had a dog in my life or really run more than a few kms before, about two years I rehomed my rescue dog Archie from southern europe, he was severely abused and starved and extremely reactive. I tried absolutely everything for him as we couldn’t even leave the house. I came across the canicross community and we never looked back! Canicross has saved us both mentally, physically and emotionally. It has been such a fun, kind and supportive network. We are a very different pair now, mega fit, happy, proud and brave. It changed both our worlds.
What is your biggest canicross proud moment? 1st on a 10 mile hilly race was a pretty awesome feeling. Overtaking two really fast cyclists with them shouting ‘OMG no way! ‘is definitely up there as a great memory too.