Miguel Heras started the 2011 The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, but was forced to drop with a knee injury not far before the finish. Since then, Miguel has had some highly successful races, and some others where he’s DNFed due to health issues. In the following interview, find out if Miguel is healthy for the 2013 UTMB, why he loves this race, and his thoughts on the camaraderie of running and racing in the mountains.
[Editor’s Note: Here’s our full 2013 TNF UTMB men’s race preview.]
[Click here if you can’t see the video above.]
Miguel Heras Pre-2013 TNF UTMB Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Miguel Heras before UTMB 2013. How are you, Miguel?
Miguel Heras: Fine. You?
iRF: I’m doing very well. It’s good weather and a beautiful mountain, yes?
iRF: How are you feeling? Are you excited for the race?
Heras: Yes, at the moment I feel good, but tomorrow I don’t know. My decision is, it’s good for me, but tomorrow I really hope I have a good day.
iRF: Two years ago, you started Mont Blanc and you ran to within 20k of the finish. Your knee—you had an injury. Are you healthy? Do you have injuries that could stop you this year?
Heras: Earlier this year I had several problems. I didn’t know what had happened with my body. I didn’t understand what happened with my body. I didn’t understand nothing. But at the moment I feel good. I feel good and have no problems and no injuries. I’m careful because I don’t know what happened, but I feel good.
iRF: Your training has gone well?
Heras: Yes. I did several races in July and August. I don’t know. We’ll see.
iRF: Why do you come back to UTMB? You’ve been here before. What is the attraction to Mont Blanc?
Heras: The race is ‘the race.’ No race is as much as this race. I like so much this race and this mountain. I always want to race this race because of the competition and it’s a long race.
iRF: Because it’s a long race, the beauty of the course, and the competition, yes?
iRF: I know you wanted to run Western States if you could this year. You were trying to qualify at Lake Sonoma and your hamstring, your leg, was injured. Do you have any plans to come and race in the United States again?
Heras: Yes. I would like to go back to USA because I would like to return to USA several times but I couldn’t go because my body wasn’t good. I hope the next season or maybe later this year in September or October or maybe December.
iRF: So maybe you’d come over for UROC?
Heras: Maybe, but at this moment I am only thinking about the UTMB tomorrow.
iRF: Two years ago was special. You had to stop, but you ran most of the race with Kilian (Jornet), Iker (Karrera), and Sébastien (Chaigneau). How important is the friendship and the community of this sport to you? How important is the camaraderie, the friendship between the runners to you? Do you enjoy that?
Heras: Yes. Two years ago the race was so beautiful, so nice with Kilian, Iker, and Sebastien spending several hours together. For me, they were so good with me because I was injured but they would stop and wait for me until my knee said, “Stop.” The doctor tried to help [iRF: Tried to cure or fix your knee?], yes, and I tried, but I had to stop because my knee said to.
iRF: Until, Seb and Iker and Kilian were at a checkpoint waiting with/for you. That’s amazing friendship.
Heras: Yes and Sebastien, too, of The North Face.
iRF: We’re all one team, yes? Well best of luck to you out there this weekend. I hope you have no injuries and I hope you run well.
Heras: Thank you so much.