Timothy Olson continues to show that he can run with… or ahead of the best ultrarunners on any given day. At Lake Sonoma, Olson took second in 6:36:56, 20 minutes behind Dakota Jones and 14 minutes ahead of PI teammate Nick Clark. In the following interview, he talks about his race, how his training is going, where he’ll be racing, and how he envisions his running life once he’s a dad.
Timothy Olson Post-2012 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile Interview Transcript
iRunFar: I’m with Timothy Olson of the Pearl Izumi Ultrarunning Team. How are you doing?
Timothy Olson: I’m good.
iRF: Timothy just finished second here at the Lake Sonoma 50 mile, which has turned out to be quite the event in just a few years. The depth of the field was awesome today. Tell us how you came to be second?
Olson: There was definitely a huge group out there and there was definitely a good train of us for a while. Eventually, I got a little antsy and decided to cruise around and take first over for a little while. Then Dakota and Jorge caught me and we spent a good amount of time and did the climbs together up to the turn around. It was great, nice to have company, and hard work out there. It was fun. Dakota just kept creeping away. He’s one strong animal.
iRF: Yeah, I mean you crushed the course record and it wasn’t quite enough today.
Olson: Yeah, I felt like I had a good race, but Dakota is a strong guy and had a great race today. It was fun to watch and fun to be a part of.
iRF: Yes, so now you’ve had two really strong races so far this year. Are you aiming for anything in particular race wise?
Olson: Yes. I’ve really only done three of them, but I really like the 100-mile distance. I’m looking forward to Western States definitely this year. I might do a couple others but that’s the focus right now. I ran hard today, but it’s definitely preparation and getting the legs good and ready for Western States.
iRF: Do you feel like your training is going well this season?
Olson: Yes, it’s going really well. This past few months has been some good running, but I’ve kind of turned it on to higher mileage and definitely am getting ready for the season of good running. I’m feeling good.
iRF: You should and you bested Nick Clark by a while today and he was third last year at Western States and you were sixth. You beat him (today), so you have a good shot at moving up. Are you looking for the win?
Olson: Definitely. I mean we are all going out there and trying to give our best efforts so I hope to have a strong race there. If you’re having a good race there that’s great. I’m hoping to stay with the leaders as much as I can and some days they pull away and some days you stay strong. So we’ll see what the day brings.
iRF: What kind of tests do you have between now and then?
Olson: I’m actually doing Leona Divide in two weekends from now. I’m doing maybe a little bit too much racing, but I just love it. Two weeks from then I’m doing the Ice Age 50 mile back in Wisconsin.
iRF: Are you going to take a little time in May and June to…
Olson: After the Ice Age on May 12 I’ll definitely take a little time to relax. And then I’ll get the training going and definitely prepare for Western States. I’ll have a month and a half there where I’ll get to really get ready for that.
iRF: So you’ve had a couple of years now with each year stepping up your game in the ultra scene. Is there any new knowledge or is it consistency of training? To what do you attribute your rise in the sport?
Olson: I think one of the huge things for running, and there’s a ton of information out there, but it is the consistency, trying to stay as healthy as possible. Consistently putting in some good miles and getting in some harder efforts and take time to let the body heal, as well. It’s mentioned all the time, but I really try to listen to my body. I don’t have a definite plan for my training, but I feel like I kind of get what my body needs to do. Like I said, I kind of enjoy the 100-mile distance and I feel like I have a good idea of what my body needs for training for a 100-mile race.
iRF: This is kind of a big year for you. Come this summer you’re going to be a dad! Did that weigh at all into your racing? There are a lot of parents in this sport: your teammates Nick and Darcy, Becky, they’re all parents. So do you see this is sort of a last chance or do you see it’s just a transition in your life?
Olson: No, I love running and it’s definitely a lifestyle in our family. Of course, it will change racing and life for the better, but I’m really excited to keep trying to do that. I’ll just have a 30-pound pack on me for some training later on and me and my little boy, we’ll go and hike some trails and I’ll definitely be in it. It will be nice to do Western States and I might do one other race in July and then my baby is due in August, so we’ll see what happens with the rest of the season of running. You know, I like racing but I just enjoy running every day. As long as I can do that here and there and I get to spend a lot of time with my boy and my wife, which I’m really excited to do, then… It will definitely be part of my lifestyle, running, for many years.
iRF: Today, the running was a little sloppy, judging from my run yesterday. What were you wearing on your feet today?
Olson: Last time I talked to you I was wearing a Pearl Izumi Peak bottom and a Streak II upper [and I did again today]. And I love it.
iRF: You’re in love with a shoe that only you have.
Olson: Yes, I’m lucky they give me some fun prototypes and I get to play around with them. It’s really enjoyable to have that connection with Pearl Izumi. They worked well today. Actually, they’re working with a new rubber that’s really good and sticky on the trails and it worked really well out there today with the amount of mud and rocks. I mean we were in water all day. There were 10 creek crossings and all the puddles and everything, so it was a mess. But that’s what makes ultra running fun. You’ve got to get messy out there.
iRF: Better than being on the road.
Olson: Oh, totally.
iRF: Well, congratulations on your race today and best of luck on your season.