An Interview with Sam Cherry – OCR Racing, Royal Marines and Monkey Bars
Photos © SussexSportPhotography.com
It’s the first race day of 2014, and in honour of that today we are speaking to last year’s Dirty Dozen Races champion, Sam Cherry – member of the . One of the UK’s most elite contenders, Royal Marine Commando Sam Cherry burst onto the scene in 2013, and has been wracking up the titles ever since; including coming in first at our 2013 race.
Sam took some time out of his busy life to chat to us, and tell us a little about himself, what he hoped the Dirty Dozen Races London South event held in store, and proffer some advice to any of those out there with newbie nerves…
Can you tell us a little about yourself to begin with?
My name is Sam Cherry, I’m 20 years old from Hastings. I’m a serving Royal Marines Commando and my Team is RPCC Elite.
What’s your sporting background, and what was the journey to OCR like for you?
My journey in OCR has been great so far. I’ve had a top 4 result in every race I’ve done. I have just started competing a bit more seriously and I am now part of an RPCC Elite, which is a newly formed team that will be launching officially at the Dirty Dozen Races event this weekend! Other sports I enjoy include football, boxing, MMA, brazilian jiu jitsu, running and crossfit.
In your opinion, what sets obstacle course racing apart from other sports out there at the moment?
Well, I like to try and keep myself in the best shape I can; to me that isn’t ‘who can lift the most’ or ‘who can run the fastest’. I don’t want to be that muscly that I can’t run or be agile, and I don’t want to be a really skinny runner than can’t lift their own bodyweight (though no offence to either of those, as everyone has a passion and an interest/sport they enjoy!). Obstacle Racing is the best, I think, because to compete at the highest level you have to have great endurance and all round strength to get yourself over challenging obstacles. A lot of people tend to train one more than the other. With obstacle racing you have to be very strict with both.
You’re an incredible competitor – where do you find your motivation, and what pushes you to compete so hard?
I’ve always been very motivated to push myself to the limits and improve with anything I do. I would say my main motivation is being beat and then looking up to that person and thinking I want to be as quick and as strong as them. Then each race try to get closer and closer. Also making my family and friends proud is a massive one.
Could you tell us a little bit about your experience at the Dirty Dozen Race 2013? How was it for you…?
Dirty Dozen 2013 Was the best race I did in 2013. So professionally run, and a great course and great competitors. Plus, it was my first OCR win! I will never forget it. Dirty Dozen Races just seem to be going from strength to strength and I can’t wait to race the next one.
You were the winner of Dirty Dozen Races 2013 – are you hoping to defend your title this year at our London South Event?
I’m hoping I can defend the title, but the boys from Team Inov8 are seriously fast and are all attending this weekend.
Who are your ‘ones to watch’ in the sport of OCR at the moment?
Ones to watch are definitely all of team Inov8 especially Jon Albon and Ross Macdonald. Everyone from RPCC Elite, Rich, Adam C, Adam S, Zac, Ryan, Katie, Steve, Ross, Blake.
What are you most looking forward to about taking part this year? Any particular obstacle that you’re eager to take on again?
The new big monkey bars! I can’t to tackle those this Saturday.
As someone at the top of the leader charts for UK OCR, will you be competing in the UK OCR Championships this summer?
Yes, 100%! I can’t wait for that race. Being the UK Championships, I am really looking forward to Dirty Dozen Races building some really challenging obstacles for the elite heat. Stuff like we’ve never seen in the UK.
Any advice for someone wanting to start OCR but with no clue where to begin? It can be a little daunting, after all…
A great way to get into OCR is by going on various websites or Facebook pages to start with, like Mudstacle or buying Obstacle Race magazine. Also, have a look online as you can find training programmes, kit recommendations and everything you need to know about obstacle racing. Then find an event near you and go race! Don’t be worried, or fall into the trap of continually putting it back and thinking ‘maybe next time’ – go out and do one. I guarantee you won’t look back!
Sam and RPCC Elite would like to thank and announce their sponsors/brand ambassadors for the OCR season:
DryRobe (brand ambassadors)
For Goodness Shakes