Having previously taken second and first, Didrik Hermansen can now add a third-place finish to his Transgrancanaria medal collection with his 2017 race. In the following interview, Didrik talks about what the ups and downs of his race were, what his race calendar looks like for this season, and why it is that way.
Read our Transgrancanaria results article to find out what else happened at this year’s race!
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Didrik Hermansen Post-2017 Transgrancanaria Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Didrik Hermansen after his third place at the 2017 Transgrancanaria. How are you, Didrik?
Didrik Hermansen: Fine.
iRunFar: Now in three years, you’ve been on all the podium finishes. How do you feel about yesterday’s finish?
Hermansen: I’m really happy, as you said, to get to the podium for the third year in a row. I had a hard night, especially the night, out there and especially on the uphills. I was really looking forward to the morning and the day and the more easy runnable last part.
iRunFar: What was holding you back during the night which is steeper and more technical?
Hermansen: Yeah, I know it’s a long race, so I know it’s really important to have some legs left to the finish. I think I was number 19 at the first stop, and I’m really getting used to it because it’s always like that. I love the speed. I thought I was pushing well, but still, number 19.
iRunFar: I hear you say that, and I think of Jonas Buud doing the same thing. You just set your own pace and you’re working hard, but you don’t get worried about people being quite a bit ahead of you early on.
Hermansen: I think my wife which was supporting me was more worried than I was. As I said, it’s a long race, so I just tried to keep it going quite well during the night—save energy, try to eat and drink a lot. I think that’s more easy in the beginning of the race when I still want food. After awhile, I don’t want anything, so I just have to keep it going without eating and always drinking. I try to take it easy and be smart in the first half because I know what’s waiting for the second half.
iRunFar: Just as last year, you started to move up into the top ten and closer to the middle of the top ten. Did it feel very much like last year, or did you sort of know it wasn’t quite the same?
Hermansen: It wasn’t quite the same. I knew I was too far back. I was half an hour at the most, and it’s just too much. Last year, it was 15 minutes, and that’s more easy to catch up of course. Yeah, I felt I didn’t have the same speed as last year. I ran on my splits, and it felt nice in the beginning to Teror and from Teror to the climb to Cruz de Tejeda, I think I used two more minutes than last year. I was feeling that it should have been two minutes less instead. I’m really happy and really satisfied with my last part.
iRunFar: That obviously plays to your strengths. You know it. It’s fast. Did you feel really strong on that this year?
Hermansen: Yes, I was really looking forward to it, because I know a lot of the other guys probably hate that part, and I’m loving it. I’m just pushing it and hoping to see a runner around the next corner. If I didn’t see anybody, perhaps around the next corner, just to keep on rolling.
iRunFar: When you see that next runner, you know you have them.
Hermansen: Yes, I know. Yes, because there’s nobody who is passing me from Pico ;de las Nieves], the highest point.
iRunFar: So from Tunte, you know if you’re in fifth place, chances are you’re going to move up a couple spots.
Hermansen: Yes, I wanted at least fifth or better.
iRunFar: What’s next on your calendar this year?
Hermansen: I will run Penyagolosa in April, then Lavaredo, and then my main goal this season is UTMB to finish business.
iRunFar: You feel like you’ve finished your business at Western States and you can move onto a new focus?
Hermansen: No, I want to do my best at UTMB. Last year, I tried to do both, and that didn’t go down very well. I don’t think anybody actually has managed to do both Western States and UTMB in the same year, so I will do Lavaredo. I think it’s a better race before UTMB, and it’s not that long, so I hope that will work out better for me than last year.
iRunFar: Penyagolosa should be a good race for you. It’s 110k this year and a reasonably fast course.
Hermansen: Yeah, I’m really looking forward to that.
iRunFar: Congratulations on your run here, and good luck at Penyagolosa.
Hermansen: Thank you, Bryon.