Myriam Guillot came to the 2015 Transvulcania Ultramarathon fresh off strong adventure-racing performances. Despite being a bit tired from those events, she took third at Transvulcania after running in second much of the day. In the following interview, Myriam talks about her lengthy background in endurance sports, how her run at Transvulcania played out, and where we might see her trail racing next.
For more on how the race unfolded, read our Transvulcania results article.
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Myriam Guillot Post-2015 Transvulcania Ultramarathon Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Myriam Guillot after her great finish at the 2015 Transvulcania Ultramarathon. Congratulations.
Myriam Guillot: Thank you.
iRunFar: You are an athlete of a diverse background. Can you tell me a little bit about your history with sports?
Guillot: Yes. My main sport is adventure racing, so I’m doing multi-sport races. It’s mountain biking, trail running, and kayaking, but my original sport is rowing. So for a few years I did a lot of rowing. And before, I was living in the mountains, so I practiced a lot of cross-country skiing and mountaineering skiing, and that’s all.
iRunFar: So you’ve been doing endurance sports your whole life?
Guillot: Yes, it’s what I like, and it’s what I’m doing.
iRunFar: And on the rowing side, you were on the French national team and very competitive?
Guillot: Yes, but I couldn’t do more because I don’t have the perfect body shape for a rower, so it was quite complicated for me. So that’s why I decided to change and to do more sport like mountain biking and running. It’s better for me.
iRunFar: When did you make the transition?
Guillot: At 22 years. I was sick about being a rower.
iRunFar: So you’ve been doing other sports for quite some time.
iRunFar: How has your success been with adventure racing?
Guillot: I’m two-time world champion at adventure racing, and I think I’ve won quite a few important races.
iRunFar: Was that the world championships in 2011 and 2013?
Guillot: Yes, it was one in Tasmania and one in Costa Rica.
iRunFar: Your now husband, is he one of your teammates?
Guillot: Yes, in fact, I have started adventure racing with him. Since we are racing together, we’ve decided to have a lifestyle that revolves around adventure races. So now we just travel and race. In fact, we are so lucky to race together, and it’s very convenient to train and to race together and to travel together.
iRunFar: Is it ever difficult?
Guillot: No, we enjoy to be all the time with him. Perhaps it’s difficult for people around us. No, we really love to be together. I think when you are a couple it’s that way, and we are so lucky to live like that.
iRunFar: Most of your focus is on adventure racing and multi-sport races. How did you choose to run Transvulcania?
Guillot: Because since one year, we decided to live in Tenerife. We love to travel, but now I’m quite content here, so I want to know all the island. It was a good opportunity to come here and to do this race and to see La Palma. Also it was like a little challenge to see what I can do in a trail running race. That’s why we decided to do this race.
iRunFar: You have done some other trail running races in the past, yes?
Guillot: Yes, I have done a few, yes, five years ago. In fact, before I started to adventure race I had done a few trail running races. After, I prefer to be more focused on adventure races because I like to do many sports. I think for the body it’s better for injury and for motivation because when you do many sports you have to learn many fun skills, and I like this. I like to improve my ability in different sports.
iRunFar: You just did an adventure race last week, yes? How long was this race?
Guillot: Yes, it was 44 hours. It was a long race.
iRunFar: You must have amazing recovery to be able to race for 44 hours last weekend and then…
Guillot: Yes, but for us because we are eating raw and we only eat fruits and vegetables, it’s a good way to recover faster and to help your body to improve the energy inside.
iRunFar: Did you have any trail races leading up to Transvulcania this year or were you just doing your normal adventure racing schedule?
Guillot: I don’t know yet. In fact, I had done also an XTERRA race last week just three days after the adventure race, and I had good results. I’m thinking to do more XTERRA race, but try to fit a few ultra-trail running races. I don’t know. It depends. I’d like to do what I want to do, and I choose things at the last minute. It depends on where I want to go and perhaps… I don’t know.
iRunFar: So you do a lot of adventure racing; you do some trail racing; you also do some 24-hour mountain bike races.
Guillot: Yes, also, yes.
iRunFar: Any other racing you do?
Guillot: What I’m doing? The XTERRA…. No, I think that’s all.
iRunFar: As for yesterday, you went out very strong. You were in second place early in the race not that far behind Emelie Forsberg. How were you feeling early yesterday?
Guillot: Like I told you before, it was more fighting by myself because I had recovered from last week but not enough. So when I took the start I didn’t feel very well in my body. My goal wasn’t to have a good result or not to have, it was just to race and to try to finish. When they told me you are just five minutes behind Emelie, Oh, it’s good, but I was not caring about that.
iRunFar: When did Anna Comet pass you?
Guillot: At the start of the downhill. I was in trouble.
iRunFar: With the body or the mind?
Guillot: Both. My body was not in a good shape.
iRunFar: Was your energy low?
Guillot: Yes, energy low, and I was just sore everywhere on my body. I said, “Oh, just 15k more to go.”
iRunFar: You must be happy with the result. You were third at a very competitive race.
Guillot: Yes, and in fact I don’t really realize because I know nobody, so I don’t know exactly what I have done. But everybody is happy for me, so I say, “Oh, perhaps I’ve done something good.”
iRunFar: Yes. Might we see you at some more strong ultramarathons in the future?
Guillot: Yes, perhaps. I don’t know, but yeah. I think I want to do the Transgrancanaria. I don’t know. I will do in Hong Kong also because I have a lot of friends in Hong Kong. When I have checked the race course, I know where it is. I want to do this race, but after, I don’t know.
iRunFar: Speaking of Hong Kong, you probably know a lot of people in Hong Kong because you do a ton of adventure racing in China. Why is that?
Guillot: How is that? I don’t know. When you are an adventure racer, China is the place to be because they are very involved with this sport. The race courses are perfect. The organization is the best you can have. They take care of you. They set up a nice race. It’s a good place when you’re an adventure racer.
iRunFar: You’ll head to China in a week, yes? What are you doing in China next with Jacky?
Guillot: Yes, we will do a bike race. It’s a different bike race. It’s a nonstop race and we are going from Chengdu to Lhasa. It’s 2,200 kilometers nonstop race. It will be quite high altitude because most of the time we are at more than 4,000 meters of elevation. Our goal is to finish the race because it’s a very famous race route for the Chinese people. It’s a famous route and we want to do that, so we will see.
iRunFar: Congratulations on a great run yesterday, and enjoy China and your ride.
Guillot: Yes, and thank you so much, and see you somewhere.