Former World Mountain Running Champion Kasie Enman will be headed back to worlds after taking second at the 2015 US Mountain Running Championships. In the following interview, Kasie talks about how her race went, how the U.S. team looks heading into worlds, why she hopes to race a marathon between now and worlds, and why she thinks it would help her run at worlds.
For more on how the race went down, read our 2015 US Mountain Running Championships results article.
[Click here if you can’t see the video above.]
Kasie Enman Post-2015 US Mountain Running Championships Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Kasie Enman after her second-place finish at the 2015 US Mountain Running Championships. Congratulations, Kasie.
Kasie Enman: Thank you.
iRunFar: You had a pretty good race out there.
Enman: Yep, I got my top four.
iRunFar: You got your top four. You’re going to Wales!
Enman: I’m going to Wales.
iRunFar: Are you excited about that?
Enman: Yeah, yeah, definitely.
iRunFar: You worked your way up during the race.
Enman: A little bit. A little bit. Like usual.
iRunFar: I obviously didn’t see. Where did you go out at the top of that first steep climb before you got on the dirt road climb?
Enman: I was in the top four or five. I was with Brandy [Erholz] on the climb. She’s always a good one to be with on the climb because she’s super strong on the uphills. I think there were three others. There were five of us that I could see. I didn’t know how many were piled up behind us. Then, I don’t remember if I was third or fourth at the top of that. I might have moved up to third at that point. I just kind of held that position coming down. Things started to spread out, I think, a little bit. Then on the next climb I moved up into second.
iRunFar: Did you make a distinct move or was it just you continuing a solid effort?
Enman: No, a couple of the other women who were up in front were hiking a lot of the uphill. I just kept running and just moved ahead. I had a better sense of the altitude after the first lap going into the second. I just had more confidence that I could handle pushing the pace a little bit.
iRunFar: Were you at all trying to get a little gap because Kimber Mattox who was in second has turnover?
Enman: Yeah, I knew she has turnover. I was just doing all I could. I was really focused on top four, so I really wanted to make sure I hedged my bets on not having… not killing myself so hard trying to get a gap that I then imploded and got passed by five people or something. I definitely, that first descent, tried to use it as recovery rather than push it hard, and then save that for the second lap. It worked out well today. I felt good enough and I handled the altitude well enough. I was in position the whole time. I didn’t have any real nerve-wracking moments where I thought I was losing it or anything. It was a nice, smooth race.
iRunFar: You have a pretty solid team going to Worlds.
Enman: Yeah, it seems that way. From what I’ve heard about the course, and if it’s a similar course profile to this and no worse footing, I think the couple of those people that do have that track speed and background could do really well on the kind of course that Wales offers.
iRunFar: Especially someone like Kimber that hasn’t done something like this a second time…
Enman: Yeah, you’d think the improvement curve could be super steep.
iRunFar: Like Patrick Smyth on the men’s side finishing second last year not having a bad race, but…
Enman: Yeah, totally.
iRunFar: Controlling the race.
Enman: Then you combine that with a couple of us who have experience, and, yeah, should be a really solid medal contender of a team.
iRunFar: Will you focus your training pretty solidly on that between now and then, or are you doing a bunch of racing?
Enman: I’m really hoping to get a road marathon in at the end of August, so I’ll have to be mixing some of my training preparation. It all works together really well. I’ve raced mountain racing really well coming off of good, solid marathon training. That’s the kind of training I respond the best to anyway. That’s kind of what my mountain training looks like anyway.
iRunFar: What is that for you?
Enman: It’s just getting in some good, consistent volume, getting in workouts that are practicing running fast on tired legs, so just some longer intervals and a mix of things, and just pushing hard at the end of longer runs—strength-type training. It’s real strength work which helps well in mountain stuff.
iRunFar: You’re not doing 8 X 400, you’re building a diesel locomotive out there.
Enman: If I’m doing 400s, I’m doing my recovery at tempo pace or something like that.
iRunFar: Rolling kind of work.
Enman: It translates well in the mountains because mountain racing is really strength racing. It works. You kind of have to push hard in the uphill and then you get the downhill turnover and changing gears and running fast when you’re tired.
iRunFar: It certainly worked out well for you today.
Enman: Thank goodness. You need a good race every once in awhile. I’ll take it.
iRunFar: You’ve had plenty of good races. It does feel good, doesn’t it? Congratulations, Kasie.