Darcy Africa, 2012 Hardrock 100 Champion, Interview

In winning the 2012 Hardrock 100, Darcy Africa achieved one of her running dreams. In the following interview, find out about her journey through the mountains, why she stays so positive while racing, and what it’s like seeing her daughter on the course.

[Ps. There’s a full transcript of the interview below.]

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Darcy Africa Finishing the 2012 Hardrock 100

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Darcy Africa, 2012 Hardrock 100 Champion, Interview Transcript

iRunFar: Bryon Powell here of iRunFar here with Darcy Africa, 2012 Hardrock 100 Women’s Champion. How does it feel Darcy?

Darcy Africa: It hasn’t sunk in yet, to be honest. So maybe later this week it will sink in.

iRF: You’ve been here before. You’ve had a couple good races. What was different?

Africa: Well, you know, I was in second for 24 hours and then pulled into Maggie and Diana [Finkel] popped out of the tent. She had similar stuff going on that had happened to her two years ago. So we shared a moment together and then I realized, wow, that puts me into first place now. So I had that in my head. I really didn’t know where anyone else was behind me, so I just kind of just tried to stay steady and keep running my race. That was kind of my goal this year to just remain consistent, to stay on top of my eating, and taking care of myself all day.

iRF: Did you have any real low points during the day?

Africa: Nothing really low, just typical 100-mile low points and high points. Nothing that was shutting me down, so I was thankful for that.

iRF: Any favorite moments out there on the course?

Africa: I love seeing Ice Lake from Grant Swamp looking down at Ice Lake—I love that just in terms of the beauty of the course. You know, there are a lot of special moments out there. It’s hard to pick just one. The people, it’s the people that are part of the course and the people that are part of the race that really make it.

iRF: Along those lines, every time I saw you at an aid station, you were always so positive, always just… you were smiling. You may have looked tired, but you always had a really great attitude throughout. Do you work on that or is it just who you are?

Africa: It’s one of my goals in running, especially this distance, in 100 milers. You know, if I’m going to have a crew and if I’m going to have people out there supporting me, I’d better… That’s the high point. If you’re having a low point, you’re like, “Nope, I’m going to see my crew in about a mile and they’re going to pick me up. So my goal is to always get to those aid stations with a smile on my face even if I’m not feeling great. That’s kind of always my goal is to at least appear happy.

iRF: And speaking of things that make you happy, a couple of times on the course I saw you with little Sophia here. How does that explain your race or your joy out there?

Africa: It’s great having her there. I love coming in and giving hugs. It’s great and it can also be challenging, too, to … I know as a child it’s hard to understand what your mom’s doing. So I’d come in, but I’d come in and then leave, and I’m sure that’s hard for her to process.

iRF: She’s a part of the race and of the Hardrock family.

Congratulations.

…. One more question, I guess. You’ve had a lot of great races in your life and a lot of great wins. How does this play in there?

Africa: Hardrock was one of my dreams to win. That’s why it’s not really set in just yet. So this was a big one for me because it’s such a special race and the community that this race embodies. This is why… I think Hardrock is really why… it epitomizes why I fell in love with the sport. So to win this race is a big deal to me.

iRF: Well, congratulations and we’ll see you at Leadville.

Africa: Yeah, see you at Leadville, thanks!

There are 11 comments

  1. Joe S.

    If there was an 'Ultrarunning Team of the Year' award, I'm pretty sure it would go to Team Pi this year!! Fantastic job. Salomon who?

  2. Billy Simpson

    Just gotta say a big CONGRATS to Darcy. She embodies the spirit of the race and understands the special community that makes Hardrock what it is. Sure, we all know how inspiring and beautiful the course is but she understands that it goes so much deeper than that. A fantastic effort by a very deserving champion.

  3. Chris Hancock

    That is so funny…I saw him too. Great thing is he is most likely a 50 + age grouper and that gives me hope!

  4. olga

    Darcy, while I agree with with you it is a little bitter-sweet that Diana had to stop with health things, you absolutely deserve the win nevertheless. Awesome run, beautiful smile, and a great competitor! Happy for you, was rooting for you, and looking forward more runs.

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