Anna Frost, 2014 Speedgoat 50k Champion, Interview

Anna Frost won the Speedgoat 50k in 2012… and she notched her second Speedgoat victory this year. In the following interview, Anna talks about how her race played out, here all-day back-and-forth with second place Kasie Enman, and what else she’s up to during a prolonged visit to the U.S.

For more on how the race played out, read our 2014 Speedgoat 50k results article.

[Ps. We know the audio in this interview is not up to our standards. We shot it with a second camera for which we don’t have an external mic. You can help upgrade our interviews by making a donation in support of an equipment upgrade. Thanks!]

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Anna Frost, 2014 Speedgoat 50k Champion, Interview Transcript

iRunFar: Meghan Hicks here from iRunFar and I’m with the 2014 Speedgoat 50k women’s champion, Anna Frost. Congratulations!

Anna Frost: Thank you.

iRunFar: How are you doing?

Frost: I’m a little bit tired, but really happy.

iRunFar: So, 50k in the Wasatch Mountains—does that tire even Anna Frost out?

Frost: Yeah, it was a long 50k. We were out there a long time.

iRunFar: Tell me about your day. It seemed like you went out pretty hard and just kept it with gusto all day.

Frost: Yeah, well, on the first hill, obviously, there’s the time-trial climb, and I really like that in a race. It adds something to it. No one was going for it. We were all just running together, so I was like, Okay, well I’m going to go for it.

iRunFar: Someone’s got to do it.

Frost: Yeah, someone’s got to do it, so I attacked a little bit. Kasie [Enman] could have easily come with me, but she was being very good and saying, No, I’m not going to go really hard up the hill now. I’m just going to have a little chill time for the rest of the day. She hasn’t done an ultra before. So, I attacked it and then she passed me pretty quickly on the downhill on the other side and then put a huge gap on me on the next downhill and the flat piece, which for me, I was crawling on the flat piece. It was horrible. Then at the top of the second climb I think she had something like seven minutes on top of me. I was like, Wow, I can’t really do much. Then I saw her on the last climb up and she was only just ahead of me. Then I was concerned about her. I was wondering why she was there so close to me when she was…

iRunFar: Coming back so quickly.

Frost: Yeah, so when I caught up with her we chatted briefly and she was fine. We tried to go together a little bit to the top. I got to the top…

iRunFar: I said something and we had a misunderstanding up there, didn’t we?

Frost: Yes. So, what did you say?

iRunFar: I said, “Hey, Anna, you have a 10-minute lead over Ellie [Greenwood].” You heard…?

Frost: I heard that I had two minutes.

iRunFar: That put fire in your pants.

Frost: Yes. So at that point I said to Kasie, “We can run down together so you can get there.” But when you said there was two minutes or what I thought was two minutes, I was like, “Gasp! Ellie! Two minutes! No!”

iRunFar: Ellie is chasing me down a hill!

Frost: So then I just bombed it. It was good because it got me into the finish because that’s a really hard finish now with the vertical part in there.

iRunFar: A little bit of climb?

Frost: Yeah, but it’s not so little.

iRunFar: No, it’s not?

Frost: No, no, it’s not.

iRunFar: A couple hundred feet?

Frost: Apparently, but it felt like more.

iRunFar: Okay. [laughs]

Frost: And it’s really slow going through trees and such.

iRunFar: Karl Meltzer

Frost: Yeah, exactly.

iRunFar: You’re known for your climbing skills. When girls think about you they think, Ah, watch out for Anna Frost on the hills. Today, Kasie put some time on you on the second big climb. Was she just going really hard or were you not feeling it there?

Frost: I think it was a bit of both. As soon as I got onto that flat piece down at the bottom after the first downhill, it was like I exploded. I had nothing. It was really hot downhill with no wind. So when I came back to get back up the hill, I was a mess. The difference for me is that the uphill here zigzags and is runnable. I’ve been in Chamonix for the last month powerhiking up hills. So whenever I got to powerhike, I could really shorten the gap between us. But every time I had to run on the zigzags, it was really…

iRunFar: She would get you back.

Frost: Yeah, exactly.

iRunFar: Interesting. What was that like being with her? From the outside perspective looking in, it seemed like kind of a duel. You were within minutes and then she put some minutes on you and then you got it back and then you passed her and then you were very close. It was all the way to the end within two minutes. How did it feel from the inside looking out?

Frost: I think actually when I had gotten to the second climb and knew that she was that far ahead of me, I was like, She’s so fast on the downhills and the flats that I don’t know if I can catch her anyway. So it was more of a surprise to me when I saw her on the final climb and knew I could catch her on the climb but thinking that it would be hard to get a gap on the way down. But I think, for me, it’s just when I was concerned about her that she was there, for me it was more about getting her through to the finish because I knew that this was her first ultra and her legs had gotten a little bit cramped up. So for me at that point I was thinking, Let’s just get her there to the finish. I don’t know if the competitiveness was really there at that point. It was just, Let’s get to the finish together.

iRunFar: She looked, as compared to you, on the final climb up the hill before you started the downhill bomb to the finish, she looked pretty whipped in comparison to you. But in the end, you basically had the same gap. You maintained the same pace on the down.

Frost: Yeah, she’s very good on the downs. I think she was the same, too. She just wanted to get to the finish.

iRunFar: Yeah, hungry to be done.

Frost: Yes.

iRunFar: Looking forward from this race, you just started a big American adventure. You’ve been here about a week. You were at Hardrock and the San Juans pacing. What’s coming up? You have a lot of fun here.

Frost: Yeah, I do. I love being in America. I love traveling. I love the mountains; they’re just enormous. It’s amazing and good. So there’s so much exploring to do. There are a couple of mountain races I might do—maybe the Telluride Mountain Run and maybe the Pikes Peak [Ascent].

iRunFar: The marathon or…?

Frost: The Ascent. Just for fun. Just to see friends and to go to different places. But really the next month is just about exploring and traveling and seeing some of the really nice mountains and ranges and cities.

iRunFar: Do you open up the map and put any x’s and places you really want to try out?

Frost: I think eventually, maybe not this trip but later on in the year, I’ll go down to the Grand Canyon. I’ve never been down there. That will be really nice to go and see. And maybe the Kings Peak area.

iRunFar: In the Uintas here in Utah.

Frost: Yes. Really, I’m very flexible and we’ll probably go to the 14ers near Leadville and play on those a little bit. But time will go so quickly, so I’m not sure if we’ll get too much exploring actually.

iRunFar: Yeah, you had said earlier in the year that you were kind of thinking about the Nolan’s [14] adventure, but maybe you’re putting that off to another year?

Frost: Yes, I think I’ll put that off until next year. I’ve got to have time to do the preparation that I need in terms of knowing the route and getting people to help support me and to be in the right time and the right place. I’m not sure if I really have the right time of year to do it because I really need to be getting around either side of the electrical storms. I think the time now is right in the middle. I think next year we’ll come back and have a really good go at that.

iRunFar: Nolan’s, watch out for Anna Frost. Sounds like you’re going to do some recon of the route?

Frost: Yes, this year hopefully.

iRunFar: Just perfect preparation for memorizing where you have to go in the middle of the night.

Frost: Exactly.

iRunFar: Well, congratulations on your win today. I hope you enjoy your adventure here in America.

Frost: Thank you very much.

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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