The last time Cassie Scallon ran the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile, she won the race (post-2013-race interview), but not without an great deal of struggle after going out too hard. Since then, Cassie’s had other great results, as well as setbacks with injuries. In the following interview, Cassie talks about the injury that sidelined her most of last year, what she thinks of the Lake Sonoma course, and how she’ll approach the race differently this year.
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Cassie Scallon Pre-2015 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Cassie Scallon before the 2015 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile. How are you doing, Cassie?
Cassie Scallon: Really well, thank you.
iRunFar: The last time you were out here in Sonoma you won this thing in a blazing time.
Scallon: Yeah, two years ago.
iRunFar: Two years ago. Talking earlier, you said that wasn’t a perfect race for you by any means.
Scallon: It was a disaster. I went out too hard. I fell apart 20 miles in when the climbing started. I would have taken any opportunity to drop over and over again. It was nice to see Joelle [Vaught] out there. She was very encouraging. Then it was nice to see her again when I caught back up to her. I just felt like the whole world should have passed me in that time when I was feeling bad, so it was a surprise.
iRunFar: Probably a good lesson that you can… if you tough it out in those hard situations, you can still sometimes get a good result out of it.
Scallon: Yeah, that’s really true, yeah. Already this year I’m kind of on the same route. I’m coming back from a big injury. Last time I ran Chuckanut first, and this time I ran Chuckanut race, as well. I ran a smarter race there, so hopefully I can run a smarter race here.
iRunFar: Timewise how was it in comparison?
Scallon: Only two minutes slower than the last time even though I went out a lot slower than last time.
iRunFar: So maybe a new strategy for races this year?
Scallon: Yeah, maybe.
iRunFar: Last year you kicked off the year really strong winning Sean O’Brien. Then what happened?
Scallon: Then I broke my ankle. I had a fracture in my fibula, and it was displaced so far that I needed surgery to put it back in place. It never felt good after that. So even though I was running with the hardware in, and the goal was that I was going to be able to keep that hardware in, it just didn’t work out. It hurt the whole time. I ended up getting the hardware out at the beginning of December. So that’s where I am now.
iRunFar: How has it gone since then?
Scallon: Well, it didn’t hurt at all after I got the hardware out, so it was hard letting the bone heal again. Right away in early January, I probably shouldn’t say this in case my doctor would see this, it just felt good to get back out and get on it. My endurance, I feel, is pretty good. I can get out and do a lot of miles, but I haven’t done a whole lot of speed.
iRunFar: Well, if you ran as well as you did at Chuckanut, this is an extra couple hours…
Scallon: That might be good.
iRunFar: That might be good. Your fitness is alright. Your speed’s not quite there. What other tools besides maybe changing up your strategy are you going to use this weekend?
Scallon: Well, I kind of know what I’m in for on this course. Last time coming into this, I knew what the elevation profile was, but I didn’t expect those hills to get so long. Now, I’m going to know it’s going to be big long grinders.
iRunFar: People underestimate this course. It’s not in the mountains, but it’s unrelenting. It’s over 10,000 feet of gain.
Scallon: There’s nothing flat.
iRunFar: Never. If I recall correctly, two years ago it was pretty warm during the race?
Scallon: I don’t know if it’s going to be much different this year though. I don’t think it was 80F last time. It will be mid-70s again.
iRunFar: Not quite… it’s just sort of like the hills. The temps feel a little warmer.
Scallon: True, but I was in the Grand Canyon just a week-and-a-half ago, so I think that will help a little bit—the heat training there.
iRunFar: A nice long run… not the full Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim?
Scallon: No, I did Tonto Trail, and oh, man.
iRunFar: How was that?
Scallon: I think that’s the secret there. You get all the views without the crowds and without all that other stuff.
iRunFar: What brings you back to Sonoma? You’ve won this. Why are you here again?
Scallon: Well, it kicked off another pretty good season last time I did it. I’m back for that reason. Also, it’s just so beautiful. There’s so much great competition here, and I think John [Medinger] just puts on a perfect event. Why not be back for it?
iRunFar: Nice. Maybe you’ll win yourself another double magnum of…
Scallon: I still haven’t drunk the last one.
iRunFar: That’s some good stuff.
Scallon: It is. It is. I know.
iRunFar: But it’s probably good enough at the red ages well.
Scallon: Yes, well, that’s what they told me.