Cassie Scallon Pre-2013 TNF EC 50 Mile Interview

Cassie Scallon ran a smoking 6:24 at the Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile back in October. That was no fluke as she rocked the JFK 50 Mile in November 2011 and the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile this spring. In the following interview, Cassie talks about racing this late in the season, how her race went at Tussey and how she feels about it, and what she’s looking forward this weekend.

[Editor’s Note: For more information, we’ve published a full women’s race preview with links to other pre-race interviews.]

Cassie Scallon Pre-2013 TNF EC 50 Mile Interview Transcript

iRunFar: This is Meghan here with iRunFar. I’m here with Cassie Scallon ahead of the 2013 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championships. Good morning. How are you?

Cassie Scallon: Good morning. Very good thanks.

iRunFar: Good. It is about mid-morning on Friday. This time tomorrow you’ll be, I don’t know, 30, 35 miles into the race?

Scallon: Hopefully so.

iRunFar: Something like that? How are you doing? How are you feeling?

Scallon: I’m feeling really good.

iRunFar: You’ve been here for a couple days?

Scallon: Since yesterday morning.

iRunFar: You’ve had a little bit of an adventure. I know you walked across the Golden Gate Bridge yesterday.

Scallon: Well, halfway across.

iRunFar: Halfway across? How does that work?

Scallon: Well, from the Sports Basement where we were having an event last night, we just kind of followed the trail up and over.

iRunFar: Got it. It was an out-and-back journey.

Scallon: Out and back, yeah.

iRunFar: For some reason I thought you were going to walk from here all the way over. That would be a big adventure.

Scallon: That would have been a little too much for the day before.

iRunFar: So this is your first time racing The North Face Endurance Challenge out here, but this is not your first time facing some of the competition that you’ll see. Who are some familiar faces? Who are some of the girls you’ve spent some time on course with?

Scallon: I know Emelie [Forsberg], of course, from the Salomon team. Kerri [Bruxvoort]—I train with in Boulder, CO, all the time. I think I know most of the girls on the list. I haven’t really looked.

iRunFar: Who are you looking forward to racing? It seems like such a girls’ party—it could be a party out there, there are so many good women.

Scallon: I hope so. At Run Rabbit [Run] we ran together with a group of six of us women for a chunk anyhow. I hope it’s similar like that. I don’t know who in particular—the whole group of whoever is out there.

iRunFar: So when I look at the list of gals toeing the line tomorrow, my head filters out a couple favorites. You’re among them. Do you consider yourself a favorite? Are you going to be racing for the win tomorrow?

Scallon: I’m going to go out and race as hard as I can. I’m not putting a lot of pressure on myself. It is kind of late in the season even though I took off a big chunk of the year with injury and not racing as well as I wanted to. I’m just kind of in December mode at this point, I guess. So however it unfolds, it unfolds. I’m not worried about anything.

iRunFar: It’s December mode—does that mean that after this race is over you’re going to give yourself a little off-season?

Scallon: No, I don’t think I’ll have much time off. I’d like to race Bandera in January.

iRunFar: So maybe a little time to have some cookies around the holidays?

Scallon: Yes, for sure. Cookie making and cookie eating.

iRunFar: Your last race was the Tussey Mountainback 50, right, which was a 50-mile road race and the USATF 50-Mile Championship for this year. It’s a road race but a hilly road race. You ran 6:24 there. That’s blazing saddles.

Scallon: Thank you.

iRunFar: Does that give you any confidence or what are your thoughts transferring that performance toward tomorrow?

Scallon: It was finally a good race after a string of not very good races, so it definitely was a confidence boost. Also, it kind of showed me again that 50 miles is a good distance for me. I had three good 50-milers this year, so I was happy about that. Hopefully I can have a fourth.

iRunFar: You probably had some time to study the course for tomorrow or study it on paper. You came out here on a road trip a couple weeks ago so you got to see some of the course then. Do you have a time goal in mind?

Scallon: No, I haven’t really thought about it. I know last year’s course was a bit short, and the course is probably quite a bit different this year having not had so much weather that I don’t think you can go off that. I have no idea what the times were before that.

iRunFar: You’re just going to go and run.

Scallon: Yes, just going to go and run. I’m looking forward to finally getting to the top of some of those hills because I know there are plenty of false summits, looking out and seeing the ocean, and that sort of thing.

iRunFar:  So you came west—you’re from Colorado—but you came further west on a road trip a couple weeks ago. It looked like from some of the pictures you were putting out on social media that it was a fun, girls’ road trip?

Scallon: Yes, my teammate, Gina [Lucrezi], and I came out. She was already out here driving; I flew to meet her. We did some running. We did a little race—Mount Tam Trail Race, or something like that. We spent some time with the people over at San Francisco Running Company. So we got to see the course a little bit.

iRunFar: Do you have a spot that you’ve sort of noticed from your trip before that you’re really going to enjoy tomorrow—a trail that really caters to you or a view that you’re really going to like?

Scallon: When we get down by the beach I think it’s really amazing to hear the waves; I’ll be pretty excited for that. I think at one point we’re on the Miwok Trail and we go by some stables with horses; that will be really neat. We’re going to be in the dark so long, I don’t know how much I’ll see.

iRunFar: Yeah, the stables you’re probably talking about are at Tennessee Valley which is mile eight, so it will be dark on the way out. Then it will be mile 43 on the way back in, so you’ll get to see the horses as you gasp.

Scallon: I’ll look forward to that.

iRunFar: Anything else you’re looking forward to after the race, too?

Scallon: Well, yeah, being done. In my head, if it’s warm enough, we finish on a beach, I think—is that right? Or no, not really?

iRunFar: Not too close, but you can walk down and have a… soak.

Scallon: Maybe, if I can still walk.

iRunFar: Hobble?

Scallon: After the race I did a few weeks ago, I ran straight into the ocean and that felt really good. It’s kind of an idea, but if it’s cold like this maybe I won’t want to.

iRunFar: So if we see you cross the finish line and just keep running that extra distance…

Scallon: I’m just going to the ocean.

iRunFar: You’re just going to the ocean. Alright, well good luck to you tomorrow, Cassie. We look forward to seeing you out there.

Scallon: Thank you.

iRunFar: Bonus question for you, Cassie, what shoes are you going to be rocking tomorrow?

Scallon: Hopefully these.

iRunFar: These are the…

Scallon: Salomon Sense Pros.

iRunFar: The Pros.

Scallon: This is the first time I have them on—well yesterday and today—and they feel pretty amazing.

iRunFar: You’re feeling good in them?

Scallon: Yes, the Sense upper and the Mantra on the bottom—good grip, awesome fit. Love them.

iRunFar: Let’s roll.

Meghan Hicks

is iRunFar.com's Senior Editor, the author of 'Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running,' and a Contributing Editor at Trail Runner magazine. The converted road runner finished her first ultramarathon in 2006 and loves using running to visit the world's wildest places. For more information on Meghan and her adventures, please visit her personal website.

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