After finishing eighth in back-to-back years, Amy Sproston stepped up her game to take third at this year’s Western States 100. In the following interview, Amy talks about the details of her race, what food and fluids worked for her once her stomach rebelled mid-race, and what else is in the cards for her this year.
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Amy Sproston Post-2013 Western States 100 Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Amy Sproston after her third-place finish at the 2013 Western States 100. How are you doing, Amy?
Amy Sproston: Good.
iRF: After two eighthplaces in a row here, how does that third place feel?
Sproston: It feels great, yeah. It was a pretty good day.
iRF: Were you aggressive at all early or how did your race play out?
Sproston: I wasn’t too aggressive. There was a pack of about four of us that were a bit back from Joelle (Vaught). It was Aliza (Lapierre), Kerry (Bruxvoort), Pam (Smith), and I, kind of all running with Topher (Gaylord) for awhile. Then heading out of Robinson Flat, I passed Rory (Bosio) and Aliza, and then kept moving up. I heard Pam wasn’t far ahead and then Joelle was in front. At some point, I heard that Pam had taken the lead and I was behind Joelle.
iRF: You were sitting in second… well, you were behind Joelle. When did you pass Joelle?
Sproston: I passed Joelle right after Dusty Corners.
iRF: So then you were in second.
Sproston: I was in second all day until Rucky Chucky when… uh… brain fart…
iRF: Nikki Kimball.
Sproston: Nikki Kimball!
iRF: It took me a minute.
Sproston: I thought it was Rory because I saw the orange. I was like, “Oh, Nikki!” That gave me some motivation to try to stay with her.
iRF: Did you hang with her for any time?
Sproston: We never actually really ran together. I kind of caught up to her once, but I was about two minutes back the rest of the race… two to five minutes back.
iRF: Wow, really close.
Sproston: Yes, and Meghan (Arbogast) was about five minutes back of me. We were a pretty tight pack I guess throughout the day, I just didn’t realize it.
iRF: I came out of Robinson and ended up sitting on some rocks and all of you were within a couple minutes of each other. At that point it was five or six or seven of you women. Is that nerve-wracking or is it more motivation to have those other women near you?
Sproston: Not really. I usually don’t like competition, but when I heard that Pam was five minutes up, I was feeling great at that point, and I was like, “This is fun!” I kept cruising heading in that long stretch to Dusty Corners. Then I got pretty nauseous around mile 50. Gels can really cause a gag reflex in me, so once I start gagging on them it’s not good. I got sick once then, and I just felt nauseous throughout the rest of the day.
iRF: You fought through. Were you able to take in food or fluids?
Sproston: Yes, but then I got sick a couple more times. I could take in coconut water and Sprite. I ate a lot of gummy bears.
iRF: Total change of nutrition plan?
Sproston: Gummy bears kind of always… UTMB I ran basically on a bag of gummy smurfs.
iRF: Were they actually gummy bears here or were they a particular…?
Sproston: They were gummy bears. The smurfs were from… France. They weren’t called smurfs. They were the French word for smurfs.
iRF: The heat didn’t really affect the Oregon crew much, yourself included.
Sproston: I was impressed. Out of the top 10 men and women, 30 percent were from Oregon. So that’s pretty impressive. Our weather is obviously pretty different.
iRF: And the top-three women were two Oregonians and a Montanan.
Sproston: Nikki also had no heat training, so it’s pretty impressive.
iRF: Heat training may have value but it’s not…
Sproston: I think on the Oregon side, I think all of us were sitting in the sauna.
iRF: I’m assuming your quads held up better than past years?
Sproston: My quads didn’t start to get sore until mile 95.
iRF: I’d say that’s okay.
Sposton: I’d say it was fine. They felt great.
iRF: Have anything else exciting planned for the rest of the summer?
Sproston: I’m going to do White River 50 and then UTMB again. World 100k is kind of up in the air right now because they just changed the location and we don’t know where it’s going to be or when. Maybe a race in Patagonia in November. It’s a Mountain Hardwear-sponsored event. I’m not sure what the name of it is. I lived in South America for three years, and I always love to go back there.
iRF: Go and get some mate…
Sproston: Yeah, I probably won’t make it back to Paraguay, but it’s fun to be on the continent.
iRF: Awesome. And are there other American women that you know going to UTMB?
Sproston: Yeah, I know that Meghan is going and Rory is going. Outside of that, I’m not really sure who’s going.
iRF: Well congratulations on your great race today and enjoy it.
Sproston: Thank you.