Spain’s Luis Alberto Hernando took second at the 2015 IAU Trail World Championships after a late-race battle for the win. In the following interview, Luis talks about whether he was fresh and recovered enough from his win at the Transvulcania Ultramarathon three weeks ago, how he felt during the race, and what happened in the second half of the race with he and the other front runners.
Read our results article for the full story on the men’s and women’s races.
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Luis Alberto Hernando Post-2015 IAU Trail World Championships Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Luis Alberto Hernando after his second-place finish at the 2015 IAU Trail World Championships. Congratulations.
Luis Alberto Hernando: Thank you very much.
iRunFar: Just three weeks ago you ran Transvulcania. Were you tired coming into this race?
Hernando: Actually, I’ve been resting for the three weeks, but I think probably that it was not as good of a strategy for this race. It would have been better to be training and have a proper volume of training but I got rested. I was pretty well rested, but I think I should have done a bit more training during these three weeks. I’ve been regretting the last sprint in Transvulcania with the blue line in the middle. Every time here it got steep, I remember the blue line.
iRunFar: Next time, tranquillo. [laughs] During this race, it seemed like you were using the same strategy. You didn’t go out to the very front. You were just behind the leaders for the first half of the race, and then you made a move.
Hernando: Today was not a strategy, it was what I had. The French team started super strong. I got in back of them and I lost a couple of minutes between 35k and 40k. I had three minutes behind them at the 43k mark. So probably later they stopped and lowered their pace, and I was still constant so I could catch them again. But I couldn’t hold their pace actually. I got second. I couldn’t hold their pace.
iRunFar: But then you moved into the lead. When you moved into the lead, did you think you could hold it or were you just doing what you could?
Hernando: Coming down to the 44k mark, I had a pretty bad downhill. My legs were really charged. I could get back to them with the poles after the second uphill. As I said, I think they lowered their pace, so I found myself in the lead. I know this race is until the finish line. Anything can happen. We were all close, so I didn’t know what was going to happen actually.
iRunFar: So at the start, you have a great team here. You have Manual Merillas, Pablo Villa, Dani García, and many of your Spaniard teammates went out hard. It looked like you were going to get gold or silver. Then not. What happened?
Hernando: Thanks for the reminder. [laughs] I actually think that the French team was… I could really tell they prepared this race, like seriously. It was their main objective of the year. Everyone could see that we, Manu and I, we had a lot of races done. That was probably what happened.
iRunFar: Are you still happy with how the day went?
Hernando: Yes, I’m really happy about it. I couldn’t ask for much more. I only got beat by the world champion. It’s quite okay.
iRunFar: What’s next?
Hernando: I have no idea.
iRunFar: Congratulations on your good run.
Hernando: Thank you.
iRunFar: One bonus question: early in the race you had bastones, sticks that were fixed. They were one piece. Later in the race you had collapsible poles. Was there a strategy there or were you just using what poles you had available at different points?
Hernando: Part of the strategy was to keep my team awake at 4:30 a.m. so they had to carry my stuff around. The other thing is that at the end, the collapsible poles are a bit shorter so for the last uphill that’s a little more steep, I can get the same height. On the first part, it was a bit easier, so I could get them like this.
iRunFar: And they were lighter and stiffer?
Hernando: Yes, lighter and stiffer.
iRunFar: Thank you.