Nathalie Mauclair, 2015 IAU Trail World Champion, Interview
Nathalie Mauclair, of France, won the IAU Trail World Championships for the second time in a row. In the following interview, Nathalie talks about how the race played out for her, how she trains in the flatlands of France for a mountain race, and the psychological preparations she does for her big races.
Read our results article for the full story on the women’s and men’s races.
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Nathalie Mauclair, 2015 IAU Trail World Champion, Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Nathalie Mauclair after her win at the 2015 IAU Trail World Championships. Congratulations!
Nathalie Mauclair: Thank you very much.
iRunFar: Did you ever imagine you would be the two-time world champion?
Mauclair: No, it was not possible for me because it’s mountain terrain and I live in the plains. So, I said before the race it would not be possible and it would not be me with the gold medal. And I have it!
iRunFar: You do. And you have two… with your team.
iRunFar: On your race, your French teammates went out very fast and so did you. Were you at all worried that you went out too fast at the start?
Mauclair: No, I felt good. I wanted to stay with those women, so I ran around fourth. Sometimes I was fourth, but I stayed also near the first or the second. Near the finish, the first one, Caroline [Chaverot], was tired, so I passed as soon as there was a big descent. I was afraid she would come back, so I ran fast all the way. What can I do? I was able to stay at least three minutes in front of her.
iRunFar: So you passed her on a climb? You felt strong on the climbs?
Mauclair: Yes. Yes, I am better on the climbs but not on the descents.
iRunFar: This descent is technical. There are some rocks and some drops.
Mauclair: Yes, I do some glissading, but I wanted to go faster.
iRunFar: How do you prepare on the flats? How do you prepare for races like this?
Mauclair: I do bicycle. I do a little climbing, hill repeats for the climbs and the descents to make stimulation for my legs, and bicycle, and I do big work with visualization.
iRunFar: Really? So a lot of it is mental?
iRunFar: You work on that?
Mauclair: Yes, about three or two weeks before the race, I see the difficult points, and I imagine I am good in this part of the race. I don’t know if it’s really useful, but I am so quiet, and I say in my head, Why not? Maybe it’s possible.
iRunFar: It was such a strong race out there, and you keep doing this time after time. You run very strong and animated. You push. Some people run fast and they make it look easy. You look like you’re working. Do you feel that way?
Mauclair: Yes. [laughs] I don’t know. It’s like combat! But I don’t know. I try to be slowly and beautiful woman but it’s not possible. [laughs]
iRunFar: Did the French team, did you guys come here and train together before the race?
Mauclair: Yes, we do a stage in April. We did all the trail, so it was easy for me to do the mental preparation. I knew where it would be difficult, so it was good preparation.
iRunFar: Do you think it helped all of your team, not just you? Do you think the training camp helped all the French runners? Do you think, in April, having the French team come here, do you think it helped all the French team?
Mauclair: Yes, because we knew the trail. Some of the other runners came here only on the weekend because of the schedule. From the people who organized the race, it’s better to know the trail, and it’s better for the runners of this country.
iRunFar: Yes, it certainly worked out well. Both you and Sylvain [Court] win as individuals and both teams—what a day for France! How does it feel?
Mauclair: We are very proud. To have all this in our country is magic.
iRunFar: Where next? Where do you run next? Do you have races on your calendar?
Mauclair: I’ll do another time in Ultra-Trail [UTMB]. Before, I will do Lavaredo in Italy. In time I will do Diagonale des Fous. It’s so beautiful. It’s so magical.
iRunFar: So difficult. So technical. You have quite the season ahead of you. This would look easy in comparison, yes?
Mauclair: A little. A little.
iRunFar: Congratulations on your great win. We’ll see you.
Mauclair: Thank you very much.