Dylan Bowman (Pearl Izumi) worked his butt off trying to run his way into the Western States 100 via the Montrail Ultra Cup the first few months of this year, which he did at the Leona Divide 50. However, Bowman was disappointed by his final 20-30 miles at States as he faded to seventh. In the following interview, find out what he learned from that race, how he’s trained since then, and how the large prize purse might affect his and others’ runs at the Run Rabbit Run 100.
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Dylan Bowman Pre-2012 Run Rabbit Run 100 Interview Transcript
iRunFar: This is Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Dylan Bowman of Team Pearl Izumi. How are you doing, Dylan?
Dylan Bowman: Excellent. I’m happy to be here.
iRF: I saw you a bunch early in the season back at Bandera when you were trying to sneak into Western States and did not.
Bowman: It was a little bit of a heart breaker there, yes.
iRF: Finished fourth—just missing out. Then you went to Leona Divide 50 and qualified and got to run Western.
Bowman: Yeah, that was sort of the highlight of the early season. It was tough going the last 15-20 miles but happy to get it done, and I look forward to next year for sure.
iRF: Did you learn anything falling back there in the last 20 miles at Western in June?
Bowman: Yes, and that was to manage a race in an intelligent way rather than run through every low point I have… sort of slow down and evaluate and roll with the punches and see how things develop… to run more with intelligence and a little bit more awareness of my condition.
iRF: This race is a little different. Unlike Western States where finishing top 10, whether you’re fourth or fifth or sixth or seventh matters because there’s personal pride in that; here there’s prize money five deep, and big prize money up front. How does that change things up front? Does it for you?
Bowman: Well, certainly, it’s definitely a carrot at the end of the stick. It will help the last 10 miles and help you find a little motivation in those last 10 miles. You know, overall, that’s not necessarily where I find my motivation for running these races. I would like to finish in the money and, hopefully, be as close to the top as possible, but I certainly hope to not be racing down this hill against somebody for a stack of cash at the end.
iRF: I think there will be people racing up that first hill.
Bowman: My strategy at Western was absolutely to just send it from the start. You know, things didn’t turn out the way I wanted to there. I’m taking a totally different tactic here and that is to start slow and sort of let things develop and let myself settle in. Then I’ll hopefully have a strong last 30 because at that’s where I really fell apart at Western, and that’s really the most important part of the race. I hope to be able to close.
iRF: Most of that last 30 if you’re running a good race is going to be in the dark. How do you think the afternoon start plays into things?
Bowman: Yeah, I’ve never run a race like this before. Quite honestly 100% of my training is done early in the morning. So pretty much, like you said, if things go well I won’t be running early in the morning. I really didn’t do much night running in preparation. That’s mostly because I have a day job, and I have to work in the mornings. Running at night doesn’t figure into my personal schedule well. I think I’ll carry a couple lights and extra batteries. It’s just running, at the end of the day. It’s just a matter of staying awake and focused.
iRF: You obviously were in great shape through the first half of the year. What have you done since Western States in terms of training?
Bowman: Western States really hurt me. I didn’t feel good for a long time afterwards—through Speedgoat. I really wasn’t feeling it, though I was still putting in lots of hours. In terms of mileage, I don’t keep track; or time, I don’t keep track at all. I’ve gotten a lot of really long runs in—four and a half hours or so. I typically don’t really go much longer than that in training. I’ve had several really strong weeks where I’ve put in a lot of hours and have felt pretty strong over the past five or six days since I’ve been resting. Who knows? I never feel good going into these things.
iRF: It’s sort of an interesting course in that it’s a lot of trail but not a lot of technical trail. What are you going to go with footwear-wise?
Bowman: I’m going to go with the trusty PI Fuels. Tony would think they’re boats—they’re probably 11 ounce shoes—but I’m a larger man and need a little bit more support. So I’ll be running in the Fuels, which I typically always do.
iRF: Well, best of luck out there and good seeing you, Dylan.