My name is Tilen Strmšek and I come from Slovenia. I have two dogs – a female greyster named Lynn, that loves to run and is in love with her Trop harness, and a youngster named Bitcoin who also loves to run. I can’t wait to start training him when he’s old enough.
I have been involved in team sport from my early years, I trained and played football from age 7 to 23, after that I became a football coach for young players. I stopped playing football because I was always a team player and I would do everything for the team, but not all the people are like that… and when I discovered dog sports (canicross) I quit playing and focused on another level of team sport.
I think that football gave me a lot of good body strength and will to train. I never had any problems with my ankles or knees, running in the rain was nothing new for me too. But I had another problem – as most of football players have – I had a bad running technique.
I started with this sport in 2016 with the family dog, but I soon realised that dog will never learn to pull beyond the initial 200-300 m which was fun for him, but not so much for me. When I started racing, winning positions were far from my reach, but I was training 2-3 times a week no matter of my results. So in 2017 I decided to get a dog specially for this sport.
In summer of 2018 I brought home Lynn. The same year I started borrowing Hungarian Vizsla Art for trainings as well as races. The owners were driving him to all local trainings to run with me and that dog showed me how to enjoy this sport and work as a team. So we started making good results, we had better times from month to month. We were always on winning positions at races and at World championships in Poland in 2018 we finished as 26 after being 21 on the first day.
But when Lynn was old enough to start racing this was something totally different. Next level of what we had with Art. Our connection as a team is something special. When I started racing with Lynn first place in Slovenia was not a question anymore and at races abroad we always finished in top 3 in our category so far. So we are both looking forward to go on a championship together in 2022 so we’ll see where we really are.
Canicross is a special sport in which you build a special connection with your dog. Dog helps you and you help the dog as much as you can. I never stop helping my dog even when I’m suffering and little voice in my head is trying to convince me to stop, but when I see my dog, my team mate in front of me, how it works hard for me – that gives me additional energy, so I can push my legs and muscles more and give everything I have left to help.
Lynn is using TROP equipment from the beginning and we also help testing the new equipment in development phase. We are happy that we are supported by highest quality dog equipment for sled dog sports.