Ida Nilsson, 2017 Transvulcania Champion, Interview

Ida Nilsson had a breakthrough race at the Transvulcania Ultramarathon last year by winning at her ultra debut with a blasting time. And, not that surprisingly, she improved upon her performance this year with another off-the-front win and a new course record. We talked with her about her race, her feelings during it, her little incident on the downhill, and what’s left for her here.

Be sure to check out our results article for the full race story.

Ida Nilsson - 2017 Transvulcania Ultramarathon champion

Ida Nilsson, 2017 Transvulcania Ultramarathon champion. Photo: iRunFar/Nacho Barranco Frías

iRunFar: So, Ida, you did it again here in La Palma. Are you happy with your run? And, where are you now?

Ida Nilsson: Really happy. I’m on a layover in Oslo[, Norway] waiting for my last flight to get home, finally!

iRunFar: We talked with you before the race, and you told us you felt well but didn’t know what to expect.

Nilsson: Yes, I’m so happy things went well. I felt good all day, and I knew I had the chance but lot of things can happen in an ultra. And it’s always nice when everything works out.

iRunFar: You went hard from the beginning, taking the lead and just running in front. How did you feel during the day in general?

Nilsson: I had almost the same feeling as last year. Felt strong and good, comfortable, and happy to be able to run fast. But like everybody in this race, this was until I got tired on the downhill, and then with the fall I had to slow down and ran slow for a while until I felt better again. I actually felt really thirsty and tired in the canyon after Tazacorte, but just like everyone else does [laughs] and tried to ran as fast as possible to finish quick.

iRunFar: It looked like a tough fall, where exactly was it?

Nilsson: I fell exactly at El Time, at the aid station. I wasn’t paying attention to the road, I was waving at people and giving high fives, and I tripped and fell [laughs]. I felt really stupid actually, as there was a huge crowd watching. But people were great and immediately I had four people helping me to get up. I had to run slow after this, as my knee was hurting. But aside from this I feel great now. I can’t really walk well as the knee ended up with five stitches and I might look like I’m tired as I’m walking bad due to that injury, but the other leg feels fresh and the body in general feels great.

iRunFar: Now, with this result, do you have any extra plan for the season or is it a confidence booster for your schedule?

Nilsson: I’m going to the Mont Blanc Marathon in June, just a month from now. It is a motivation booster, I feel really good, but I will also run a few smaller races in between to get some speed such as some small 10k road races in Sweden.

iRunFar: One more question, I don’t want to forget. Did you feel any pressure during the day?

Nilsson: No, not pressure at all, so it was actually nicer than last year. I could get to know my times at El Pilar (26k) and they told me I had a big gap on the rest of the field, so that allowed me to run more relaxed. Then at El Roque I got splits again and kept on running with the same pace. It was good to know this there, as I didn’t have the feeling that somebody was going to catch me as I had last year, even though I knew Anne-Lisse [Rousset] had cut the time a bit as she is really good in downhills. Around El Time I didn’t want to relax so I pushed the pace a bit, as I knew I could break the record, so after the fall I slowed down for a while but when I felt better I just ran until the finish line.

iRunFar: So, you’ve won this race last year, you came back this year and won again and broke the record. Is there anything left to do in Transvulcania?

Nilsson: [laughs] Well, it’s always a pleasure to be here. The island, the course, and the people are amazing. I don’t know, maybe come back next time and break eight hours [laughs]? But I don’t know, it’s really soon now to think about it, I would love to come back but every year there are always new challenges and new races to face.

iRunFar: Thank you so much for your time, congratulations on your race, and we hope to see you soon!

Nilsson: No problem, thanks to you.

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