Samuel Roy was one of the 16 athletes chosen to be a part of the Salomon Running Academy with Anna Frost and Jonathan Wyatt in Garmish, Germany, last week. So XACT took the opportunity to ask Samuel a few questions about his experience.
Interview with Samuel Roy by Pierre-Étienne Vachon
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE SALOMON RUNNING ACADEMY?
Samuel: It’s basically a camp, with workshops and training sessions, set up by Salomon which sets out to find the next generation of runners for the Salomon trail running team. This year it went down in Garmish, Germany, 25 to 29 May.
Salomon were looking for ambassadors for the brand but also aiming to connect these young trail runners with one another but also with the previous generation, like Anna Frost and Johnathan Wyatt.
We had training sessions and workshops to improve our technique and also training on related topics too; for example we had courses on communication, social media, photography and video shooting during the whole length of our camp. They even taught us about athlete professional development.
So it was actually more like an internship with very specific clinics rather than a straight forward training camp.
The concept of sharing trail running values, passion, how to be a valuable ambassador of those same values, within the community and also at the heart of the action itself.
HOW WERE YOU SELECTED?
Samuel: I saw the advertisement on the Facebook page of a Salomon athlete, and I decided to apply! This year’s Academy was the 2nd edition and the 1st time that it was open to anyone. Last year, Salomon had pre-selected the athletes.
I had to make a video that answered a series of questions on me and my race results. I also had to present my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. So actually they were not just looking for a promising athlete, but someone that could could be a good future ambassador of the brand and of trail running in general. There were 16 of us, 8 guys and 8 girls, selected from 500 applications.
WERE YOU LITTLE BIT APPREHENSIVE?
Samuel: Not really, just very excited! Even a few days before the departure we still didn’t know what was in store for us. The whole experience really surpassed all my expectations, I could have stayed all summer!
NAME ONE THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU THAT YOU REALLY DID NOT EXPECT.
Samuel: I really was not used to so much downhill…. descending..
One funny thing during photo shoot, we were filing a guy jumping in a lake. I had someone else’s cell phone to film it, when all of a sudden I lost my balance and fell into the lake! Luckily I managed to save the phone I was filming with, but mine had no such luck… it was in my pocket..
AND YOU FAVOURITE MOMENT?
Samuel: Hard to day, the whole week was so fantastic. However, the first day was really something. We went to the Zugspitze, the highest summit in Germany to do clinics with Anna Frost and Jonathan Wyatt.
Right from day 1, all the athletes struck up an amazing rapport; and experiencing that, in that environment, is quite frankly one of the greatest moments I had the privilege to enjoy.
LAWRENCE TOLD ME YOU BROUGHT SOME XACT NUTRITION BARS ALONG FOR THE TRIP, WHAT WAS THE REACTION OF THE OTHER TRAIL RUNNERS?
Samuel: I gave them to all the athletes and everyone loved them. They asked me if XACT sis available in Europe and the USA.
ANY FINAL WORDS YOU’D LIKE TO ADD ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE?
Samuel: It opens doors and I warmly encourage young runners to go and try trail running. I think trail running is accessible and built on the values of discovery, sharing, a strong community spirit and fun.
Yes performance is a part of it, but it’s the community aspect that everyone rallies around, and that’s a part that I particularly cherish. I really want to focus on trail running because I think tis a very complete sport and loads of fun.