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2010 UTMB: Pre-Race Interviews Part 2

Here’s the second part of the interviews with top runners on the occasion of the 2010 UTMB. Check out also part 1 of this interview and stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter for live coverage of the race!

What are the difficulties you expect the race might throw at you?

Sebastien Chaigneau – I avoid thinking of the potential difficulties I’ll find on the trail before they come up! I’ll be watchful on eating well, on following the marks, on not focusing on the others around me, on listening to myself,… I hope all this will help me to not find many difficulties

Julien Chorier – There are really many: from stomach issues to injuries, including exhaustion, hypothermia,…

Lizzy Hawker – A bag of mixed weather – heat, cold, rain, sun, wind, snow ….. the tiredness that comes with running through the night …. the challenge of eating and drinking just right …. long, long ascents and descents (1000m or more) time and again, unforeseen niggling injuries …. the unknown. The challenge in this race is to embrace the difficulties it throws at you – to get yourself through the ‘bad patch’ – to keep heart and mind strong – and to keep on running for the pure love of running.

Miguel Heras – Aside from the well known from the race (km, elevation,…) the physical and mental low moments which wil surely come up in such a long distance

Kilian Jornet – Difficulties might come with the weather, as late August has frequent storms and snow. And obviously the competitors, as it’s going to be a very hard-fought race and being on top is not going to be easy

Karl Meltzer – Getting poked with poles at the start.. As far as the course difficulty, it’s not really that technical, it’s just hilly. I like hills, so don’t see any strange occurances happening. The difficulty is carrying alot of stuff that is completely unnecessary, like my phone. I think it’s silly to carry stuff we don’t need.

Ludovic Pommeret – For me the main difficulty is the long distance and those long flat patches were you need to really run!

Geoff Roes – The terrain, the weather, the huge size of the field (2,300 runners!), lots of cold night time running (race starts at 6:30pm). Basically all the things that are always challenges in 100 mile races. It’s all about finding the best way to work with these things, cause they’re all going to be hard.

Dawa Sherpa – During the race, for me it is the night hours and the long distance

Plug in here your sponsors’ gear you will be using in the race

Sebastien Chaigneau – The North Face apparel with a pair of SingleTrack, a model which worked great last year. A Garmin 310 XT on my wrist to record my race, check my heart rate and the altitude. Energy products from Overstim’s which the rest of the racers will find at aid stations. Julbo sunglasses, Petzl headlamp,…

Julien Chorier – I can’t live without my Garmin Forerunner 310 which allows my to control my effort (HR, speed,…). As per my gear, the Salomon Skin backpack with 2 bottles is my best compromise and I take it with me on all my ultras. For long distance, Salomon’s EXO range gives a great support at calves and thighs level. I find this brings me comfort and slows down the muscular fatigue. As per the nutrition, since my beginning in trail running I use the Authentic Nutrition range which fully satisfies me (drink pre/during/after plus gels)

Lizzy Hawker – Lightweight and durable The North Face ‘flight series’ backpack, shorts, t-shirt – enabling me to ‘live’ the philosphy of The North Face to ‘never stop exploring’

Miguel Heras – As per shoes, I’ll use the XT Lab 3, the perfect shoe for such a long distance race thanks to its stability, cushioning and, most important, comfort. Weather permits, I’ll wear the XT Lite shorts and Exo Slab tee. My backpack choice will be, without doubt, the XT Advance Skin with a couple of 500ml plastic bottles and with no bladder

Kilian Jornet – Customized XT Wings SLab, with low cushioning and extremely light, cool clothing during the day and something warmer for the night. Skins backpack with all the mandatory stuff and then gels, drinks, sandwiches,…

Karl Meltzer – Red Bull, Hoka One One, Ryders Eyewear, Nathan Hydration, First Endurance (gel, drink, recovery products and supplements)

Ludovic Pommeret – Obviously my Hoke shoes, my main partner, but also apparel from different brands provided by Altecsport. I’m going to run with a Suunto T6, Leki trekking poles, Compresssport Quad and R2 compression sleeves. No gear from them but I don’t forget the place where I was born, Valloire, who are my partners too. on the nutrition side, GO2 products usually work perfectly for me and I hope this time they will too
Geoff Roes – Montrail Mountain Masochist shoes Nathan HPL 020 Pack. Mountain Hardwear shirt, shorts, jacket, gloves, hat. Clif Shots and Bloks for fuel. Nuun for electrolytes. Petzl Tikka XP headlamps
Dawa Sherpa – My sponsor’s gear is Petzl headlamp, Authentic Nutrition products, Suunto watch and Quechua equipment

Who do you expect you will running head to head? That is, who you expect to be your direct competitors?

Sebastien Chaigneau – Myself! On an ultra you compete with yourself! You should not focus on other runners. I also look forward running a bit with Jezz Bragg, with who I did a scouting tour. Runners like Topher Gaylord who I’m particularly fond of or Scott Jurek, both partners on that reconnaissance tour. With other French runners who I had the chance to already have run with, Julien Chorrier, Ludo Pommeret, or even Thomas Lorblanchet, though I think he will try to tail Kilian. I like to share my sport even if it’s with competition and I’ll defend my place as I did with Kubu last year. I hope to also have a great time with the runners also on board on this adventure.

Julien Chorier – The list is extremely long, and my race can be with twenty other runners, who will be more of runing partners than competitors

Lizzy Hawker – For me the most important thing is to focus on just running the best that I can at each moment of the race, to give ‘all’ that I can, and to feel joy in my run. For me that is more important than thinking about my competitors.
Miguel Heras – I haven’t really thought about it, as this is really a competition against oneself
Kilian Jornet – This year it’s going to be a hard-fought race. From Swiss Troillet and Jean Ives Rey (who I know well from sky mountaineering and are very strong), to French Tomas Lorblanchet, Julien Chorier y Seb Chaigneau, Ludovic Pommenet. American Roes and Jurek. Also Csaba, Taburaki, Miguel Heras, Sherpa… and many more!
Karl Meltzer – I don’t ever think about running “head to head” with anyone. I like to run my own race and end up where I end up. If I run smart, I’ll do fine. Paying attention to what others do especially early in a 100 mile race is foolish. I don’t consider myself a contender here. Geoff Roes and Killian Jornet should steal the show.
Ludovic Pommeret – There’s going to be plenty of friends, not competitors, and I hope those who have trained all the season just for this race will succeed. It is not my case but I still would like to see myself in Chamonix, hopefully on Saturday as I don’t have the courage to go further!
Geoff Roes – Certainly Kilian Jornet as the two time defending champ is the favorite in this one. Besides that there are dozens of other strong runners that I’ll be challenged by. I’m not focusing too much on other runners though. Even more than usual I really want to run my own race in this one. However that shakes out at the end will be fine with me as long as I have a fun run

Dawa Sherpa – I have no clue. I think this years we’ll be many on the trail

Would you like to throw out your bet for the top 3 spots?

Sebastien Chaigneau – Kilian, Troillet, Kaburaki

Julien Chorier – The favorite is Jornet, no suprises here, but the American Roes and the Swiss Troillet….

Lizzy Hawker – No! In a race like this anything can happen …..

Miguel Heras – I just can tell you who is going to be on the top: Kilian

Kilian Jornet – All those I mentioned earlier have the ability to be on the podium. Those suffering less issues will be there

Karl Meltzer – Geoff, Killian, and probably another European. I don’t really know who the fastest European runners are other than Killian, so that’s a tough one. Scott Jurek, and Mike Wolfe from the US will also be quick. Scott is due to run well there. He hasn’t yet, Mike is just fast…so is Joe Gray.

Ludovic Pommeret – Sure. I’d like to see a French and there are good chances with Chorier, Chaigneau, Lorblanchet, (and D’Ahene, but not for this year). But the competition will be really tough so I’ll pick my favourites: 1.Kaburaki, 2.Jornet, 3.Roes. But given the first class Swiss, Greeks and Americans it’s like betting on lottery, the chances of picking the right combination are really low! On the women’s race, I don’t know the field too well and even I’m not sure on who signed up!

Geoff Roes – Nope. I have no idea.

Dawa Sherpa – No, I never bet on results

What’s your next competition for you after the UTMB?

Sebastien Chaigneau – To finish the work on my house before October! After, I’ll likely go back to San Francisco for the TNF Challenge but that seems far away right now

Julien Chorier – The TransMartinique in December, but maybe the Templiers in October, depending on how the UTMB goes

Lizzy Hawker – The next major focus is the IAU 100km World Championships in November, with a few training races thrown in between.

Miguel Heras – On September 12th I have a race in my hometown (if I survive this one) and then the raid world championship in Gredos

Kilian Jornet – The Kilimanjaro ascent record attempt and La Diagonale des Fous

Karl Meltzer – I am not competing in a race, rather I am running the entire Pony Express Trail 2250 miles from Sacramento, CA to St. Joseph Missouri, starting on September 15th. This is a Red Bull project where we are making a movie and film and will be on my website, with updates daily, video….the whole shabang.

Ludovic Pommeret – Not too much planned fo rthe moment, but I will definitely run the Hasetune Cup in Japan with my partner Hoka. But we’ll see in a week as I need to save some time for the house, I need to have the slab in place before winter….

Geoff Roes – Run Rabbit Run 50 mile in Steamboat Springs in September

Dawa Sherpa – On September 19th I run in Italy