Outside of Sweden, her home country a week ago no one knew who Siri Englund was. Today she is the reigning OCR World Championships Female Elite Champion for 2014. This 23-year old student from Umeå, Sweden made a huge mark on the OCR community this past weekend capturing the title of World Champion for not only herself but also all of Sweden. Learn more about Englund and how she became a World Champion in her own words.
How did you get involved in your sport?
I ran my first race in May this year, it was a race called Toughest here in Sweden. Since it was the first time I heard about OCR I wanted to try it out. I love sports that test your all around fitness, so when Thougest came to my home town I immediately signed up and ended up in third place in the elite group. From that moment on I was hooked.
Were you always an athlete?
Yes, for as long as I can remember sports and competing of all sorts have been my biggest interest in life. When I think about it I have tried almost every sport there is, like some kind of sport addict haha…
What are some of your athletic achievements?
Third place in the Swedish Championship in wrestling. Gold in the Nordic Championship in Bandy (Bandy is a sport similar to ice hockey). Gold in the World Cup for women in Bandy. Then I have done 4 OCRs not including the OCRWC and placed 3rd, 4th, 1st and 1st.
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
This season my focus was on the OCRWC 2015 and it still is, the good result in this year’s competition is just a bonus. A great bonus of course.
Who is/are your inspiration?
Cimmie Wignell a guy from Sweden is a big inspiration. He placed 4th in the men’s elite class in the OCRWC, he just floats over the obstacles and runs crazy fast. Another inspiration is Anna-Lee Markstedt O’Dwyer, who has been featured in your magazine before, if it wasn’t for her I would not have gone to the US for the OCRWC. She actually talked me into it 2 days before we were going… Anyway she is so cool and amusing and she keeps us together and happy.
What is your most proud moment in sport?
Oh, that is not a hard one, winning the OCRWC!
What is your most proud moment in life?
It’s a hard question, actually I don’t know..
How do you overcome a bad race or training day?
In my worst OCR I came in 4th and I was so angry and sad. Not because of how I placed but because I had a bad race, I failed an obstacle that I really shouldn’t have and lost 3 minutes. I am an emotional person so I cried and was so disappointed with myself. After that race I registered for two more races and won them both. So I cry for a while and then get back up!
What is your training routine like?
I train a lot of upper body strength in the form of climbing, gym exercises and crossfit, I try to do this at least once a day and then I do running intervals 1-2 times a week.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your sport?
Especially for girls I recommend a lot of hand strength and upper body. Because everyone can run but the obstacles can be hard if you lack the strength.
What is your favorite pre-race and post-race food?
I just eat and drink a lot the day before a race and not that much race day before the race, mainly because I’m just too nervous to eat. After the race I just by the first food I can find and EAT!
When not training and competing what do you do with your down time?
Down time is not me strong side, maybe if I’m really tired I watch a movie or something otherwise I just eat, train, study and sleep.
What is your favorite quote to motivate you?
“Attitude is a little thing that can make a big difference”
What is the best advice a coach ever gave you?
“Believe in yourself and have fun”, my bandy coach Ellen Persson. I have some problems believing in myself but at least I have a lot of fun.
What is/are the races you are most looking forward to this year?
There is not many races left this year because here in Sweden it’s winter and super cold. But next year I’m looking forward to a race called 24h-toughest, you are a team of four (I will run with Cimmie and two others) and run as many laps as possible on an obstacle course for 24 hours.
Any additional information you would like to share:
I just want to thank you Americans for being so friendly, outgoing and taking such good care of us on the OCRWC. I have never been to the US before and you left a great impression on me and I hope I can be back soon.