Timothy Olson made up 20 minutes on Sage Canaday (post-race interview) in the final 30k of the 2013 Tarawera Ultra (results article), but it was too little too late and Timothy ended up finish second three minutes behind Sage. In the following interview, Timothy talks about the dangers of losing contact, making up ground, the Tarawera Falls, and racing Sage Canaday again.
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Timothy Olson Post-2013 Tarawera Ultramarathon Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Timothy Olson. Long time no talk.
Timothy Olson: Yes, this is every day.
iRF: We only put a couple of these online. Every day we get on Skype and just chat.
Olson: Yes, get on there, sip a beer, a Glutinator, and chill.
iRF: Today you ran the Vibram Tarawera Ultra. How did it go for you out there?
Olson: Good. I’m happy with the finish. I felt pretty solid all day. I lost Sage too early and he’s just a fast dude. He was flying at the beginning. I was trying to play it kind of smart. That’s just something you can’t do in ultras. You have to be smart, but you can’t lose sight of them and let the leaders get too far ahead. He had 20-some minutes on me. That was too much. I closed in a little bit on him in the end, but…
iRF: Was your plan to make a concerted move at some time? Did you make one?
Olson: No, just kind of going by feel and seeing when things felt right to push it. I didn’t have that day where something like, this is the moment to take off. I just kept maintaining and, yeah, we were moving quickly. The terrain was hard. I think had a little mind games going on because I tweaked my ankle early on. So I was limping around a little bit. That kind of threw me off. It was nothing bad. It’s not swollen or anything, just tweaked it. So it takes a little bit to shake it off and everything. Then you just keep going. Sometimes getting your mind straight when something happens—okay, this stinks for a little bit. Then moving forward… but yes, I’m satisfied with the day. It was a beautiful course. The turnaround was amazing with the falls there.
iRF: Tell us about that.
Olson: Off to your right there are just these huge, 100-foot falls that are so loud that you can hear them thundering from a long ways away.
iRF: Like Brown’s Bar.
Olson: Ha ha, yeah, just like it. Seeing that was just awesome. I definitely gave a couple of good shouts there. That pumped me up. That’s why you run these is to just see New Zealand and run in beautiful track. It was pretty technical. I didn’t know exactly what to expect. People tell you something is “technical,” but you never know until you run it. Jumping all over roots and everything was fun. I like technical because it gives something for your mind to do while you’re spending hours running around.
iRF: Yes, does it get you psyched up to get back and get training again?
Olson: Yes. Moments like this are why we do it. It’s a good feeling to accomplish it and get to the finish line not too beat up. Sage was pulling me along and I was trying to go after him. That kind of lights the fire to keep pushing. I’m looking forward to getting back home, throw in some more training, and see what happens the rest of the year.
iRF: Are you looking forward to racing Sage again sometime?
Olson: Yes, well, I don’t know… I don’t want him to spank me too much. It’s inspiring to watch athletes like that just giving their all. He’s a talented dude. It’s fun to watch ultrarunning growing and watch the younger guys (I’m young, too, but younger…) get into it. And these fast guys—I don’t have that road background that some of them do like Max King and Sage who are dominating races up to 100k. I’d love to see them try 100 miles. Things change as the miles click off. If I had a few more today, it would have been interesting. It was a good day.
iRF: Congratulations on your second place finish here and on your strong run.