Emelie Forsberg was not confident that she could compete with the best going into the 2015 Mount Marathon Race, but she proved herself wrong, won the race, and set a course record. In this interview, Emelie talks about racing with local star Allie Ostrander, how she thinks she can improve on this course, and her excitement about the Alaskan mountain-running scene.
Check out our results article for the full story on the race.
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Emelie Forsberg, 2015 Mount Marathon Race Champion, Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Mauri Pagliacci of iRunFar here with the 2015 Mount Marathon champion—well done, Emelie—Emelie Forsberg!
Emelie Forsberg: YAAAYYYYY!
Forsberg: I’m super happy. You know how I was nervous before. I’m happy and so surprised.
iRunFar: We talked before the race and you told us you were keeping it low and you were not going to go right in front. What happened?
Forsberg: The start was really comfortable. Allie [Ostrander] is really good on the streets, so she took the lead. I was behind. Then I took another way up actually and I was in the lead. Then I said, Okay, I need to wait for Allie. So I did for 300 meters. Then when the trees started disappear and it was more open, I felt, Wow, now I can run. So I started to run.
iRunFar: You made it to the top in front?
Forsberg: Yeah, I think they said a bit more than one minute in front of her.
iRunFar: It was a great difference for being 3k up. How do you feel about the race? The crowd is amazing. The people out there is amazing.
Forsberg and iRunFar: The mountain is amazing.
Forsberg: Yeah, it’s everything. Wow, if you have done this race once, you’re like, “Wow, it’s a cool race.”
iRunFar: Now you’re able to come back whenever you want.
Forsberg: I’m so happy about that! That’s the best!
iRunFar: You told us before the race that you were going to take it low to experience the thing and then come back and do it better next year. Now what?
Forsberg: I hope I can do it better. I think so because, as I said, if I don’t do longer races I can train before on speed and uphill climb. Yeah, I took some wrong turns in the downhill, so I lost some time here and there. Not much, but I think I can do it really well.
iRunFar: You did break the record anyway.
iRunFar: How do you feel about it? It’s a long record.
Forsberg: It’s crazy. I didn’t want to look at my watch. People, I couldn’t hear what they said, so I was just running, running, running. When I started to see the finish line and I saw 48-something, and I thought, Wow, it must be the other time for the other wave, but it was mine. Yeah.
iRunFar: It was really amazing to watch. What do you want to say to people who have never raced this now that you have the experience? Can you tell us about the course or…?
Forsberg: Yeah, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime. It’s a super technical course, and it’s so short, and it’s a bit muddy and rooty. The first part you climb on the roots or you take the cliffs where you also climb. It’s a very cool race.
iRunFar: One last question: what do you take in your mind from the race? What’s the most beautiful part of this?
Forsberg: So many things. First of all, I’m really happy to be at sea level again because I’m from Sweden and, wow, you can breathe here. It’s awesome. The people that are standing there cheering and coming up on the beautiful mountain. The super nice trail, steep and technical—it’s super cool.
iRunFar: Now you’re up for volunteering.
Forsberg: Yay! I’m starting soon.
iRunFar: Thank you very much, and congratulations again. Enjoy your day.
Forsberg: Thank you.