Heading into December, Emelie Forsberg had already run her way to an outstanding 2012, with a Skyrunning World Championship and third place in the Skyrunner ultra ranks… then, she went ahead and won The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championships! In the following interview, find out how her race went, what it was like having two-time defending champion Anna Frost pace her, and where you’ll see her in 2013.
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Emelie Forsberg, 2012 TNF EC 50 Mile Champion, Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Emelie Forsberg, winner of the 2012 The North Face Endurance Challenge. Congratulations, Emelie!
Emelie Forsberg: Thank you!
iRF: Wow! What a step up in the ultra scene for you. This is the best of the best, and you came out on top today in a very dynamic race! How did your race go?
Forsberg: I started out pretty slow because I knew I had more power to push if I wanted, but I felt that I wanted to wait for 20 miles or something. I was third and fourth sometimes. After 20 miles, I felt strong and I was just running faster.
iRF: Who did you catch first, Maud [Gobert] or Stephanie [Howe]?
Forsberg: I caught Stephanie, but they were pretty close.
iRF: How many miles into the race was that about?
Forsberg: I think it was about mile 23 or so.
iRF: So it as about half way through the race.
Forsberg: Yeah, a bit further up here.
iRF: So all three top women are together.
iRF: Did you run together…?
Forsberg: No, I just passed them.
iRF: And kept going.
iRF: You felt good the second half of the race — the whole way?
Forsberg: Yes, I felt really good.
iRF: When did you pick up Anna Frost — the champion the last two years who was pacing you?
Forsberg: Yes, she did. I picked her up at the last place. There were two. She followed me for…
iRF: 10 miles? The last 10 miles?
Forsberg: Yes, 10-12-15 miles maybe?
iRF: Okay, so maybe Muir Beach at the very far end?
Forsberg: Yes, something.
iRF: Did it help to have her with you?
Forsberg: I think so. I definitely pushed harder. If I hadn’t had her, I think I would have let Stephanie catch me; then I was going to run with her. Anna for sure helped me.
iRF: Were you planning to finish with her, or were you planning to make it a race at the end?
Forsberg: No, I was thinking I am really good at sprints, so I was thinking to have a sprint at the end.
iRF: What if she’s really good at sprints?
Forsberg: Yeah, that might have been fun!
iRF: That would have made for some good pictures and good press.
iRF: In the end you won by a couple of minutes. Is it the best you’ve felt in a 50-mile race?
Forsberg: No, I felt better in Cavalls del Vent. Of course, you push yourself when you run 84k and 7,000 meters [of elevation gain], but Anna really helped me to step out of the box. At Cavalls, I didn’t. When I felt tired, I was just walking.
iRF: Here you were tired and kept pushing?
iRF: Anna kept pushing you.
iRF: It was also a pretty big payday.
Forsberg: I didn’t know that!
iRF: You didn’t know that?! Emelie, you won $10,000 today!
Forsberg: Yeah! I know now. I actually got to know it yesterday when the Salomon people were talking and said it was a good race to win. “Yeah, how much do you win?”
iRF: We were talking about it two days ago because there was a song that cost $20,000 to use in a video and you won half and Miguel [Heras] won half, so you’re going to give your money to the team.
Forsberg: Yeah, yeah, of course.
iRF: Well, it is the end of the season. Have you thought at all about what you want to do in 2013?
Forsberg: Yes, I have. I want to do both short and long. I plan some races. I don’t know in US; maybe in Canada – maybe Speedgoat, maybe Meet Your Maker in Canada.
iRF: Are you going to try to defend your Skyrunning title?
Forsberg: Yes, I love sky races!
iRF: Awesome! I congratulate you on your win today, your great year, and I look forward to seeing you next year!
Forsberg: Thank you!