Miguel Heras was the second man at the 2013 The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. While Miguel has started the UTMB a number of times, this fantastic result was also his first finish! In this interview, Miguel talks about the problems he experienced with his stomach early in the race, how he was able to finish strong, and if he’s satisfied with his second-place finish.
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Miguel Heras Post-2013 TNF UTMB Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Miguel Heras after he finished second-place finish at UTMB. How are you?
Miguel Heras: Fine. You? Tired?
iRF: I’m very… Yeah, I’m tired, and so are you. But you must also be excited.
Heras: Yes, good weekend.
iRF: Are you pleased with your finish?
Heras: Yes. I finished my time in this race finally.
iRF: You’ve been here five times and not on the whole course?
Heras: My first time at the finish line.
Heras: Thank you.
iRF: You must be very happy. Was your body ok during the race?
Heras: Yes. Yesterday, my body wasn’t good because in the middle of the race my stomach wasn’t good and I had problems with the food. I couldn’t eat. I know my body started to be no good.
iRF: You didn’t feel good?
Heras: But finally I could go.
iRF: In the late portions of the race you ran very strong. When did you start feeling good again? How many kilometers into the race did you start to feel strong again?
Heras: Courmayeur. In Courmayeur I felt good. My legs felt good. I had pain, but they felt good. But my stomach I had problems. My legs started to get tired and no good.
iRF: Was it all of your legs or your quads tired?
Heras: Yes. No food? No energy.
iRF: What foods were you eating before you felt ill? Were you eating sports gels?
Heras: No, I don’t like to eat gels.
iRF: Real food.
Heras: I prefer real food. Pizza, sandwiches.
iRF: What’s on your pizza?
Heras: My wife in all races buys pizza and I eat.
iRF: This race has some good pizza. During the race I stopped and ate pizza, too, at Courmayeur. Did you have any points, aside from your stomach, were there other times when mentally in your head you were not feeling good?
Heras: When my problems were beginning, my mind started to think about the worst because it’s my fifth time in this race. But I wanted to finish and yesterday I recovered.
iRF: How did it feel coming across the line after trying four times and now you got to run down thes streets of Chamonix?
Heras: It was amazing because there are a lot of people and it’s so exciting to me.
iRF: It must have been all the more special because you’ve tried so many times and not finished.
iRF: Late in the race did you think you could catch Xavier Thevenard? Did you think you could get into the lead? Did you think you could win?
Heras: I don’t know. Yes. I want to win, but sometimes second place is a good place because this year I’ve had several problems and injuries. I couldn’t train a lot. My mind is not as sure. The second place this time is a good time for me.
iRF: Now that you’ve had a good finish and you’ve finished second, are you excited to run more races this year?
Heras: Yes. I’m happy. My morale is higher and I want to do San Francisco maybe.
iRF: You have good luck there.
Heras: I need you in San Francisco.
iRF: I’ll be there. We’ll have some pizza.
Heras: My wife will not be there. You can give me pizza.
iRF: You need to tell me what toppings you want on your pizza. Jamón?
Heras: Spanish jamón.
iRF: I’ll try. In San Francisco? Yes.
Heras: Thank you.
iRF: Congratulations on finishing. That is amazing.