Núria Picas took second at last year’s TNF Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, her debut at the 100-mile distance. In the following interview, Núria talks about how she’s feeling after all the racing she’s done this year, what she’s learned about running 100-mile races over the past year, and what brought her back to UTMB.
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Núria Picas Pre-2014 TNF UTMB Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Núria Picas before 2014 The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. How are you doing, Núria?
Núria Picas: Mmmmmm [nervous sounds/signs].
iRunFar: You’re nervous?
Picas: No, just a little, of course.
iRunFar: Why are you nervous?
Picas: It’s a long distance. It’s a lot of good runners in front and behind me. It’s a special event and it’s an amazing race and I’m just a little nervous about this.
iRunFar: Because you care.
iRunFar: It’s important to you.
Picas: Yes, it’s important. The day before is interesting to be nervous. If not, it’s something happened.
iRunFar: Even after all these races this year… you’ve run so many races.
Picas: Yes. This year was a crazy timetable for me—a lot of races, but I enjoyed all of them. I’m here and happy to be here.
iRunFar: It’s good for your spirit?
Picas: Yes, for my spirit and my mind, but my body… I don’t know tomorrow because I’m just a little tired because of this big season.
iRunFar: But no injuries?
Picas: No injuries. No injuries and no pain, just a little on the left foot as ever but it’s okay.
iRunFar: So you’re a little tired?
Picas: Just a little tired.
iRunFar: Normally you go out very fast. If you’re tired, do you think you’ll go out a little more tranquil? Since you are tired, do you think you will be a little more reserved or tranquillo early in the race?
Picas: Yes. If I feel tired in the beginning it’s okay because I will go slowly and then I will see. I’m prepared to be tired at the beginning and at the end of the race.
iRunFar: Have you had races where you have not felt good at the beginning and then…?
Picas: Yes, it’s okay.
iRunFar: So you know it’s okay.
Picas: Yeah, yeah, yeah. In ultra trail it can happen a lot of things and a lot of up and downs. It’s okay.
iRunFar: It’s hard to imagine that last year was the first time you ran 100 miles here at Mont Blanc. What have you learned about running?
Picas: Now is my third time. I ran Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc and Fuji (UTMF) and this is my third one. So I’ve learned a lot of things. It’s 24-hour running. It’s long distance. Just enjoy. Run and think. Only with you and my feelings and nothing else.
iRunFar: You have a lot of familiar runners out there. Last year Rory [Bosio] was here. You ran with Nathalie [Mauclair] and Fernanda [Maciel]…
Picas: And Nathalie Mauclair. Yeah, it’s nice. Very strong women. For me, I’m very excited to run with them.
iRunFar: Is this going to be the last race of your season?
Picas: No, I would like to run in Cavalls del Vent (Ultra Pirineu). It was my first ultra trail in my life and I’d be happy to be there again. I’d like to win the race four times—the four-pack, you know? Then at the end of the season, at the end of October, maybe I will go to the south of France to run Templiers. It’s an interesting race—72k in a forest. It’s not in the high mountains. I really love this race because…
iRunFar: Lots of running but there’s a lot of climbs though, 3,500 meters?
Picas: Yes, but it’s more runnable. I won my first world cup there years ago and I would like to repeat.
iRunFar: So your season keeps going. But tomorrow…
Picas: But then, stop, relax, climbing, reading, my family, and nothing else.
iRunFar: Well, enjoy your race tomorrow. Good luck.
Picas: Thank you very much.