After being too aggressive at last year’s IAU 100k World Championships in Doha, Asier Cuevas ran a much more consistent race this year to finish second. In the following interview, Asier talks about where he has problems at the 100k distance, why he took a conservative approach this year, why he might race more aggressively next time, and why he’s likely to stick to racing on the roads.
For the rest of the story of Saturday’s race, read our 2015 IAU 100k World Championships results article.
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Asier Cuevas Post-2015 IAU 100k World Championships Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Asier Cuevas after his second-place finish at the 2015 IAU 100k World Championships. Congratulations.
Asier Cuevas: Thank you. Thank you.
iRunFar: This is not your first trip to the world 100k championships, but it’s your best finish. Are you pleased?
Cuevas: Yes, I was two years ago the European champion, and also I have run twice at the world championships. The first time I was fourth, and last year in Doha, I had to leave the race.
iRunFar: So you were happy with your race today?
Cuevas: Very happy. Very happy.
iRunFar: As you should be. What brings you to run on the roads? Why run 100k on the roads?
Cuevas: I have run marathons and I wanted to test this kind of distance, the 100k. Now, I have a problem with the last 10k in all the races, but I expect to get better results in the future.
iRunFar: It didn’t seem like that today. Today, you didn’t go out with the front. You were patient and muy tranquilo, and worked your way up very quickly throughout the race. Was that the plan?
Cuevas: That was the plan. I targeted the first 31k at pace of 3:55 per kilometer, and then I changed the rhythm to go faster. That was the plan. I got the same rhythm until 80 to 90k and then I made a worse loop at the end.
iRunFar: But it wasn’t a bad loop.
iRunFar: Often in trail races and sometimes in road races, the Spanish runners tend to go out very strong or very aggressive. How did you keep yourself so calm?
Cuevas: My coach specializes in the marathon distances. He trains all the famous people and international people who run 2:12 in the marathon like Diego Garcia, who was second in the European championships several years ago. The coach has learned from the Italian coaches that they always run the marathon from slow to… from the back to the front. Last year in Doha, I had a bad result and I had to leave the race. This year, I wanted to try this kind of system, to start from the back and go forward.
iRunFar: That plan seemed to work very well.
iRunFar: Maybe you’ll do it again?
Cuevas: Normally if you want a gold, silver, or bronze medal, you must go to the front in the race. This year, I tried to change this kind, but maybe in the future I will try to make another change.
iRunFar: You mentioned you ran marathons. How long did you compete in marathons, and how fast did you run?
Cuevas: My best performance was 2:14, and I can’t remember how many times I’ve run the marathon.
iRunFar: Were you an athlete before you were a marathon runner? Did you participate in other sports before you were a marathoner?
Cuevas: Yes, I started with shorter distances like 5,000 and 10,000 kilometers, but the longer the distance, the better performance I get. I think I am better in long distances.
iRunFar: In the last few years, trail ultramarathons have really increased in popularity. Have you ever considered running any of those?
Cuevas: Now, I want to stay in this distance. I want to run 100k. Maybe in the future I’ll change because in Spain there are people who like to run long distances. We have a lot of famous races in Spain like Transgrancanaria. But now, I’m 42 years old, so maybe it’s a little late to change.
iRunFar: Congratulations on your great finish.
Cuevas: Thank you.