Emelie Forsberg had a breakout trail running season in 2012 and looks to continue that success in 2013. In the following interview, Emelie talks about ski mountaineering, traveling to New Zealand, her plans for the Tarawera Ultramarathon, her trail running focus in 2013, and her inspiration.
For Reference: Salomon New Zealand Harlem Shake Video
For Fun: Emelie Running Downhill in New Zealand
[Click here if you can’t see the video above.]
Emelie Forsberg Pre-2013 Tarawera Ultramarathon Interview Transcript
iRunFar: I’m Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Emelie Forsberg on the South Island of New Zealand getting ready for Tarawera this weekend. It’s early in the season for you. Are you mentally still in ski-mountaineering mode?
Emelie Forsberg: No. I think I’m in both modes. I like to do both right now. This ismy sixth day of running since TNF [The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-Mile Championship].
iRF: You won a 50-mile race and you just shut it down for 3.5 months.
iRF: Having run with you this weekend, you’re running well for not…
Forsberg: Yes, I’m feeling quite good. The compression when you run—I want to take it slow because all the tendons… and to get them used to that. I’m feeling quite good.
iRF: Your fitness is quite good.
Forsberg: I think so.
iRF: This last winter was your first as a ski mountaineer and you found great success.
Forsberg: Yes, I had good luck.
iRF: Good luck? Did you have a good teacher?
Forsberg: No, I just like to be out in the mountains. I don’t do any training for it. I did once to train on conversion to take on and off skins. But I don’t really like to train for that. I did it once and that was good.
iRF: What has your training been like then?
Forsberg: I’ve just been out in the mountains—up and down.
iRF: Not ski mountaineering but backcountry skiing?
Forsberg: Yes, but with ski mountaineering gear. I’ve been walking in ski systems just to get a good pace and to work on the conversions.
iRF: You won a bronze medal at the World Championships (ski mountaineering)?
Forsberg: Yes, two.
iRF: Which events?
Forsberg: Sprint—which is because I have the power. So if I get everything right, I can do quite good at short distances. Then it was the vertical—just uphill. It could be quite technical, but this wasn’t so technical, so I didn’t lose much energy where I normally lose in longer races. So I could make a third place.
iRF: You’ve just spent most of a week here in New Zealand. Is this a good place to transition back to running?
Forsberg: Oh, yeah. It’s been lovely.
iRF: What’s been your favorite part of being in New Zealand?
Forsberg: I think the mountains around Kepler’s Track that we were running yesterday. It was beautiful. I would like to explore the mountains around Queenstown as well because it’s so beautiful. Of course, the mountains have been a good inspiration for starting running again.
iRF: Yes, just being here the last hour or two, you were talking about how you’d like to run the Shootover Moonlight Marathon. That’s in February though which…
Forsberg: Yeah, that’s kind of hard… so maybe one year when I don’t do skiing.
iRF: You could come to the southern hemisphere and run all winter.
iRF: You are running up at Tarawera this weekend. Are you just choosing a short race?
Forsberg: I don’t really know because as I said, it’s early in the season. Maybe we’ll just do a relay or maybe I’ll do the 60k. I really don’t know. I’m sure I could run 60k, but I don’t know if not… I don’t know if it’s worth it because it’s not really an inspiring race for me right now.
iRF: Last season was your first really focusing on the ultra distance and you had great success. What is going to be your focus this year once you’re out of ski season?
Forsberg: I didn’t really have any focus last year. I was just taking race after race. I think I want to do it the same this year. I just want to feel what I want to do and see if I can manage a race good. I just want to have that feeling again—no pressure, and just do races that I’d like to do.
iRF: Running a bunch with you, especially yesterday, it really seems like… not only what motivates you but what influences all of your decisions is “fun.” Is that how you decide what races to do… what kind of training… is your training focused or just because you like to be in the mountains?
Forsberg: I just love to be in the mountains. You saw me… I did some sprints. That’s because uphill inspired me, so then I do it. Of course, it’s good training, but I never plan it. It’s just because I love it.
iRF: That’s awesome. So it never gets boring or old because you do something else fun.
Forsberg: Exactly. Then I just go climbing instead.
iRF: Thank you for sharing that fun inspiration with everybody. Everybody can see it I think. Hopefully it motivates everybody else out there.
Forsberg: Thank you.
iRF: Good luck this weekend whatever you choose and over your whole season.
Forsberg: Thank you, Bryon.
Bonus Questions: Booty Shaking Penguins?
iRF: Now two bonus questions today. First one, can you show us what a penguin does?
Forsberg: No… well, okay. [demo] It’s a blue penguin. It’s very small.
iRF: Salomon did a video of the Harlem Shake. I think I heard yesterday that you wanted to learn how to do the Harlem Shake while running quickly on the trail?
Forsberg: Nahhh…. My goal for this season is to shake my butt when I’m running.
iRF: Well, we’ll have to be out there watching for it.
iRF: Thank you, Emelie. Take care.
Forsberg: Thank you.