Thomas Lorblanchet (Salomon) of France won the Leadville 100 in his first 100-mile race. In the following interview, find out how his race went, why he chose to race a 100 miler, why he chose Leadville to make his 100 debut, and why he runs trails.
[Click here if you can’t see the video above.]
Thomas Lorblanchet, 2012 Leadville 100 Champ, Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Thomas Lorblanchet after your great win at the 2012 Leadville 100. How are you today?
Thomas Lorblanchet: A little tired because my legs are very fatigued, but I’m very happy after this race.
iRF: Not only did you run really well, but there was much competition during the race. There was a battle. Can you tell us a little bit about how that happened or what happened?
Lorblanchet: We had to fight all along the race because with Anton [Krupicka], he takes the lead, after me, I again take the lead just after 30 miles before the finish. It’s really mental to finish. It was really a fighting spirit all the way.
iRF: Training is important, but you had to be prepared [pointing to head].
Lorblanchet: Training is important, but when you do a race like Leadville, elevation is most important, preparation is a must, but you must know where you go. When you go to Leadville, you must prepare to suffer. After the u-turn at Winfield, it’s very on. You know all the paths you must go to Leadville.
iRF: Every step you took on the way out, you must take on the way back.
Lorblanchet: For the first way, “Oh, it’s a good downhill.” After you turn, “Oh, no. It’s a great up!”
iRF: We were just talking about how I run the race. Going out around Turquoise Lake—it’s very flat. Coming back—it is not flat.
Lorblanchet: Yeah, yeah! I don’t know what is the hard way, the way out or return, with elevation, but the return is horrible.
iRF: Making it a little more difficult for you than it might have been, you’ve never done a race longer than 80K, correct?
Lorblanchet: No. It was my first 100 miles. When I talked with Salomon manager, Greg Vollet, he said, “It’s the race for you. You are good on mountains and very good on flat. So if you want to do 100 miles, it’s a good selection for you. So, for now I would like to go to ultrarunning. This is my first, but now I would like to begin to be an ultrarunner.
iRF: So you think you’ll run another 100-mile race?
Lorblanchet: Yeah, yeah. I don’t know for next year, but 100 miles was a good experience in Leadville, but I’d like to make another.
iRF: What made you decide to run a 100-mile race?
Lorblanchet: Since I began to run, I like long races. In U.S., 100 miles is the metric. I don’t stop my career without 100 miles.
iRF: What made you want to run at all? What makes you run? Why do you run?
Lorblanchet: For me, running is just my life balance. When I wake up in the morning, I go to run at first, take a rest; but for me, running is my balance. I hate a day without running.
iRF: Why the trails?
Lorblanchet: Trails are magic. The origin of running for me, because I live in the center of France, there are lots of mountains, not with the same elevation as Leadville. But when I see across my window, I must go run in mountains.
iRF: Do you have any races planned for this year?
Lorblanchet: For [the rest of] this year? I take a rest. After that I’d like to go to Les Templiers [The Endurance Ultra Trail of Templiers] in France; I’ve won thee times. And yesterday in the race, the organization of Les Templiers, they came they came here to make a report on Leadville because of its reputation. He came here 22 years ago to do the race. He said to me, “Oh, it’s incredible! In 20 years, the race is the same. The difference is the finish line is not on the road but beside on the sidewalk.” We share the same passion, and so I must go to Les Templiers.
iRF: Best of luck there and congratulations on your great win here.
* * * * *
iRF: Here’s a bonus question for you. You’re in America; the food is very different here. Is there anything you want to have before you go back to France?
Lorblanchet: For me the big difference between France and America is the size. You can find the same products as France but with big size. When you buy milk, you have “arahhhhhh” [wide arms] a big bottle! In France, just one liter—it’s a small container. In France, you know Americans are big people, but if you want to eat organic in U.S. it’s really possible. When I come to U.S. to prepare for Leadville, it was not a problem, but interesting. You have kitchen; you have organic food; you have good products; it’s really the same things. But when we met for the first time in San Francisco, I like San Francisco, but Colorado is magic. We came with my family and we will come back.
iRF: We welcome you back. Enjoy a BIG American organic meal.