Jorge Maravilla brought his infectiously positive attitude east at the 2012 Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) 100k, where he finished third. In the following interview, find out what Maravilla means when he says he’s learning to race, how he’s able to stay positive even when he’s pushing his limits, and whether he might be up for running the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning next year.
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Jorge Maravilla Post-2012 UROC 100k Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here after the 2012 UROC 100k—the last UROC 100k here in Virginia for the time being—with Jorge Maravilla after a marvelous run.
Jorge Maravilla: Salud.
iRF: Salud. At this year’s race you were third. Did you surprise yourself?
Maravilla: I think so. Absolutely. I was surprised. As we all know, it was a pretty deep field, very deep field. But I think that’s what my thought was coming into this: “You know, I’m not here to concern myself with a deep field. I’m here to run a Maravilla race.” I’m here to run my own race and dictate my own effort even though there was a lot of pressure by everyone doing their thing. I think I ran smart. This kind of course favors my type of running. I can grind it on the road a little bit, and the trails are always super fun. It was a good day, definitely a good day. I can’t complain.
iRF: You ran your own race, but at the same time, I might be a little faulty in my memory, but at Western States I think Ian Sharman, Dave Mackey, and Nick Clark were all ahead of you this year.
Maravilla: You know what it is, Bryon, I’m learning to race. I’m learning to race. Do you remember our interview after Western? I said, “Hey, it’s making Jorge hungry.” I’m learning that. It’s learning to be comfortable with uncomfortable. That’s essentially what I did. I think the last 20 miles, I was running and saying, “Don’t be comfortable. Let’s go. Don’t be comfortable.” Any moment that I felt settled, I said, “No. Don’t.” I think that’s what helped being mentally and physically strong those last 20 miles for sure.
iRF: I know that’s something you’re focusing on. Not just you and I, but a group of us were talking about the benefits of having that experience of not just knowing how to deal with low spots and nutrition and pacing, but really to push past that comfort zone. And not that it necessarily has to be tough, but just to know that you’ve got another level.
Maravilla: I feel that I’m very fortunate to be able to run at the level that I do, but I feel that I still have quite a bit of a learning curve. That’s what this process is about. I like that this event was able to test that for me.
iRF: But no matter how hard you were pushing it and how uncomfortable you were, you were still the same “More Smiles Maravilla” out there. How do you do that? I can understand when you’re really pacing yourself well and running within yourself being cheerful, but you’re clicking your heels again across the line. Passing you on the road—you’re still joking. How do you do that? It’s much harder when you’re not comfortable to do that.
Maravilla: I don’t… it’s just my personality. It’s really hard to not do that. It’s just part of who… racing that way is fun. Like I said at the panel yesterday, when fun is my number-one priority I never fail.
iRF: You succeeded today.
Maravilla: Thank you.
iRF: So what does it leave you hungry for? You’ve really showed another level here. What do you want to do next—either a solid plan or what’s in your future?
Maravilla: We’ll see. I’m definitely signed up for The North Face 50 miler. That’s another race with probably a steeper field than today. That should be fun. I’m going to go have some fun in two weeks. I put my name in the lottery for Nike Women’s. You know how it is, “Single, bilingual, and ready to mingle.” I’ve got to go have some fun, you know? It’s going to be a total fun event. I might even wear a skirt just to have fun.
iRF: I hear Salomon has some nice Exo skirts available these days.
Maravilla: I might have to sport that. I’ll talk to [Anna] Frosty. I’ll say, “Frosty, I need a skirt.” She hooked Max [King] up with one over at Transrockies. Speaking of, I have to say having run Transrockies 5 to 6 weeks ago that helped me. Then I just did the Kauai Marathon, and that helped me. Those were the perfect training events for this because it was a mixture of trail and road.
iRF: One thing that sort of got tossed around last night was that you got your name in Western States automatically next year. Ian Sharman is talking about the Grand Slam; Nick Clark is talking about the Grand Slam; Karl Meltzer is talking about the Grand Slam. Is it a possibility?
Maravilla: I don’t know. I have to put some thought to it. I’m interested. The history of our sport is a beautiful thing. The Grand Slam perhaps hasn’t been getting that much attention. Seeing that these guys are doing it, it’s kind of nice to maybe jump on that trail and help continue to give some substance for us as athletes. I think we’re very fortunate that… you are amazing, Bryon, you are amazing. The fact that we have iRunFar and it provides everything for the community—that’s a pretty big substance. To have the Grand Slam and to have that many athletes who are very respectable at their own levels, it would make it very interesting for all.
iRF: It would be a fun summer. If the right names came together, you’d better believe we’d be out at Vermont and Leadville and Wasatch.
Maravilla: I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. I have to put a lot of thought into that and making sure where everything lies for me and where 2013 lies for me. Definitely one thing for sure, no matter what it is that I’m doing, “More Smiles Maravilla” will be there!
iRF: Awesome. Congratulations on a great 2012 so far. We’ll see you in San Francisco!
Maravilla: Yes. Thank you for your support and love out there. It’s greatly appreciated. I fuel off that stuff.
iRF: As do we. Thanks for the cheerfulness.
Maravilla: Thank you.