Jonas Buud, 2015 UltraVasan 90k Champion, Interview

For the second-straight year, Jonas Buud dominated the UltraVasan 90k. This year, he crushed his own course record en route to winning in 5:45! In the following interview, Jonas talks about his performance, whether he thinks he can improve upon it in the future, and where else he’s likely to race this year.

For more on what went down, read our UltraVasan results article.

[Click here if you can’t see the video above.]

Jonas Buud, 2015 UltraVasan 90k Champion, Interview Transcript

iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Jonas Buud after his win at the 2015 UltraVasan. Congratulations!

Jonas Buud: Thanks.

iRunFar: You’d previously said that your race from UltraVasan last year was one of your best ever. Does that mean yesterday was your best race?

Buud: Yes, I think so.

iRunFar: You ran an incredible performance. You took 17 minutes off your course record. The course, as you said before, was a little bit faster. Where did you run better this year?

Buud: I think it was everywhere from the start because my plan was to not run so fast in the beginning, but I didn’t check the speed until after 5k. I saw it was 20 minutes. It was a nice speed but the group was big, so I thought it was a bit slower. It was a fast speed from the beginning.

iRunFar: No one went off looking for the prime from the gun like Elov [Olsson] did last year, but you had seven people or more together?

Buud: Yes, we were together until Mångsbordarna.

iRunFar: Did that make it feel easier since it was a group kind of running together?

Buud: Maybe. Maybe, but after 12k, it’s single track and it’s a bit hard and stone and some bridges. I was first when we entered that part, so I thought I’d continue at quite high speed so other guys had to work a little bit more. I think that was one of the keys for the rest of the race also.

iRunFar: Why was that one of the keys?

Buud: I think that’s one of my best parts. It’s a little bit more technical and a little bit more different than the other parts of the course.

iRunFar: You set the pace there, but going into the first prime checkpoint, other people started taking the pace. Did you let the people go off the front?

Buud: Yes, I didn’t care about the first checkpoint. It’s… you lose so much energy if you want to have those extra.

iRunFar: Going for the second one about midrace, you and Max [King] pulled away. There were still a couple people with you.

Buud: Yes, he increased the speed with, I think, 3k left to the Evertsberg. I hope that he was supposed to go for the prize up there. So he did. Up in Evertsberg he also stopped and had something to eat and drink, and then he continued through Evertsberg. It was the same last year with Steve Way. He also wanted to have the Evertsberg prize. Then I also increased the speed after Evertsberg. So I tried the same this year and it…

iRunFar: It’s a strategy. People go for the prime there and pick up their pace, and they stop and you…

Buud: Continue to run hard.

iRunFar: So you pushed even harder after you…?

Buud: Yes, I did.

iRunFar: That was your place to make your move.

Buud: Yes.

iRunFar: You didn’t just build a minute or two and keep that. It was 20-30 sec/k for 30k.

Buud: Yes, it was. Yes, it’s strange because I started to… when I heard that I had a gap of six or seven minutes to Max, I thought maybe I should slow down a little bit, but I thought I would try to keep every 5k in 20 minutes, but I was running faster. Even if I wanted to go slower, it was the perfect day.

iRunFar: You had one 6k period where you ran 21 minutes.

Buud: Yes, it’s strange.

iRunFar: So all day you felt good?

Buud: Yes, it was just the last three or four k that it was a bit heavy.

iRunFar: You were tired, but there weren’t problems—no cramping, no stomach problems?

Buud: No, perfect day for running.

iRunFar: And the weather was perfect.

Buud: Yes, it was a little bit cold in the start and a little bit warm in the end, but it was okay.

iRunFar: Did everything go well with… you had people see you maybe 20 spots on the course. Did everything go well?

Buud: Yes. No problems.

iRunFar: It seemed to be a nice advantage in that even if other people had crew at the aid stations, they still had to fill up a bottle. You would just take a bottle from somebody, drink a little and…

Buud: Yes.

iRunFar: Do you think that every time you came through an aid station early in the race, you would just keep moving and other people would stop?

Buud: Yes, of course, but that’s good for me and not so good for them.

iRunFar: They were still quick. They were only five or ten seconds, but every time they would have to catch up to you.

Buud: Yes, and they could send their own bottles to the aid stations, but you must find your bottle.

iRunFar: Not many people did. So 5:30 next year?

Buud: I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s possible to run any faster than my time today.

iRunFar: It’s never going to break unless they change the course?

Buud: I don’t think so.

iRunFar: Do you think you can run faster?

Buud: No.

iRunFar: Your preparation wasn’t high volume. It was only a couple months.

Buud: No, it was totally different preparation than I have done earlier. It was different.

iRunFar: Maybe something new was beneficial.

Buud: Yes, maybe.

iRunFar: You were also fresh.

Buud: Yes, it was my first competition for this year, so of course I was fresh.

iRunFar: You have another race on your calendar in a couple weeks. The day after UltraVasan—what are your thoughts for World 100k?

Buud: Of course I want to go, but it went so well here in UltraVasan, and I want to run World 100k Championship also.

iRunFar: Good chance you’ll be there?

Buud: Yes.

iRunFar: Anything else on your calendar after that?

Buud: My calendar was just until yesterday before, but I think maybe I’ll go to Les Templiers also.

iRunFar: Do you think that suits you?

Buud: No, but… it’s a different type of course. It’s a really nice area. I have a little bit of vacation at the same time, so I think it would be good.

iRunFar: I think your wife wouldn’t mind going to Les Templiers. How was your hip during the race? Did it bother you at all?

Buud: No, nothing. I hope it’s okay.

iRunFar: This race, the organizers make it clear that it’s some single track with some pavement, but there’s a lot of dirt road with rocks. You know the area. What shoes did you go with?

Buud: I used Asics Fuji Pro this year.

iRunFar: Is that a pretty light trail shoe?

Buud: Yes.

iRunFar: About how many grams, do you know?

Buud: No.

iRunFar: It’s pretty light? It’s a racing shoe?

Buud: Yes.

iRunFar: Would you go with that again, or would you ever consider wearing a road shoe on this course?

Buud: Yes, of course. I don’t think it’s any problem to use a road shoe either. It’s okay also.

iRunFar: Especially on a day like yesterday when it’s very dry.

Buud: When it’s dry, yes.

iRunFar: How much faster do you think it made the course?

Buud: Maybe some minutes, but yes.

iRunFar: Congratulations on a great effort. Best of luck recovering so you can run Winschoten.

Buud: Thank you.

There are 4 comments

  1. karlhenning

    I feel like the rules allowing unlimited crewing along the course makes it unfair. And of course favouring the home runners. Races should strive to make the circumstances concerning the race as equal as possible.

    1. iRunFar - Bryon

      Unless I'm mistaken, this particular rule comes from the very long-term allowance of anywhere support at the Vasaloppet ski race. It certainly provides an advantage to someone who can find local supporters, but it's also a tradition-based aspect that makes the race unique.

    2. Ben_Nephew

      You are correct Karl, whether or not it is tradition. It's unlikely that it make much of difference for those following Jonas, but that type of thing has the potential to have a major impact on the results. There have been IAU trail championships where aid outside of stations may have affected the order of the top two finishers. It would be interesting to compare moving time vs. elapsed time for Jonas and other runners.

  2. karlhenning

    Its true. All the big Vasalopp clubs have their own service stations along the track outside the common ones. But there are 15000 skiers in the forrest those days. Quite different. All elite skiers go fully supported without any carry on fluids Or solifs.

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