For the second time in three years, Miguel Heras is The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Champion and, again, he did it in bad weather and sloppy conditions. In the following interview, find out how he felt about not knowing his position during the race, his (famous) family and job, and where he’s looking to race next year.
You can find out more about Miguel in our pre-TNF 50 interview.
[Click here if you can’t see the video above.]
Miguel Heras, 2012 TNF EC 50 Mile Champion, Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Miguel Heras, champion of the 2012 The North Face Endurance Challenge. Congratulations, Miguel.
Miguel Heras: Thank you so much.
iRF: You have now won this race twice. How does it feel?
Heras: Yes, I’m so happy. It’s my second time in the USA to win, and I’m so happy.
iRF: In addition to a great achievement, you beat so many great runners yesterday; you had a big cash prize. You helped the Spanish economy.
Heras: Yes, good for me, eh?
iRF: You helped the Miguel economy.
Heras: Yes, but we are not here for the race money, but it’s a good help for me and for my family.
iRF: In Spain, you are a plumber?
iRF: Do you work full-time?
Heras: One year and a half ago, I only run. This is my job – only training. I am with my children. Two years and a half ago, I used to work and training and childcare which is a lot of work and time.
iRF: So now you are a professional runner.
iRF: In your family you are a professional runner. You have a brother who is a professional cyclist – Roberto. Do you have any other siblings who are professional athletes? Do you have other brothers or sisters?
Heras: My brother, Roberto, is a cyclist. I show him, but I think I never win at professional running because it’s a difficult sport to be a professional. But in this moment, I’m so happy to do this sport.
iRF: Yesterday during the race, there was some confusion. You did not know what position you were in. Was that hard to deal with?
Heras: It was difficult yesterday. I never know what position I was. I ask the people but somebody would tell me third; somebody would tell me fifth. In the moment, I told them I don’t want to know nothing and I run to the finish line. Someone tell me you’re first, second, or third person.
iRF: Even when you got to the finish line, they questioned you whether you had run the whole course or… and I’m there translating.
Heras: The head guy of the organization questioned me if I was in one point of the race and I told him, “Yes, I did all of the race.” I can show on my Suunto finally and no problem.
iRF: Two years ago when you won, there was bad weather. Yesterday when you won, there was bad weather. There were lots of good runners in both races. Do you think you are very strong in the mud and in the rain?
Heras: I don’t know. I like the race. It was surprising – it was so fast for me and for the European runner. I don’t know. I felt good. Two years ago and yesterday the rain and the mud were not cold but difficult conditions. I don’t know if it’s good for me or for all runners, but I liked so much the race.
iRF: Do you think you will come back next year to defend your championship?
Heras: I would like to come back, but I don’t know. I have to make decisions later.
iRF: It’s near the end of this year. What are some other races you hope to do next year?
Heras: I’m speaking with Greg [Vollet, the Salomon team manager] this day. I think I will do the Western States, Run Rabbit Run, and I don’t know. I would like to be here more time and with different races.
iRF: That would be great! We’d love to have you here. One more question about your race yesterday. What shoes did you wear? It was very, very muddy.
Heras: Yes. The Fellcross was my decision finally. I’m so happy because the Fellcross is suited for mud, for green, for wet, like the conditions yesterday.
iRF: Well, congratulations on your great running yesterday. Hope to see you a lot next year!
Heras: Okay, thank you.
iRF: Now we have a bonus question… an additional question. You’ve been here in the US about a week, yes? What have you enjoyed about your visit here aside from the race?
Heras: I’ve enjoyed today we have walking around the town and the streets, shopping. We have been a lot of time in this home, training, taking jacuzzi. It’s been a good week.
iRF: Great! I’m glad you enjoyed your time here.
Heras: Thank you.