Emelie Forsberg added another win to her list of 2013 victories at the Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) 100k. In the following interview, Emelie talks about her race at UROC, her upcoming races including her 100-mile debut at Diagonale des Fous, and her plans for a vacation and cinnamon buns.
[Editor’s Note: We also interviewed Emelie before the race.]
Emelie Forsberg, 2013 UROC 100k Champion, Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Emelie Forsberg after her win at the 2013 Ultra Race of Champions. Great race yesterday, Emelie.
Emelie Forsberg: Yeah. It was… I felt bad with the altitude but somehow it worked. All the race with the heart rate at maximum, I think. It was super hard for the heart.
iRF: So you had a really high intensity for the whole race.
Forsberg: Yeah, the muscles it didn’t affect, so it was just the heart that worked not really the muscles.
iRF: Do you think it was just from coming over so soon before the race?
Forsberg: Yeah, I think so. I stayed in Chamonix this summer, but it’s at 1,000 meters and this is 3,000 meters, so it is a bit different. And before, I was home in Norway.
iRF: So you weren’t prepared for the elevation?
iRF: Aside from a very high heart rate, did you have any other problems? Any stomach or headaches?
Forsberg: No, just a little stomach, but I get it in almost every longer race; when you eat so much sugar it doesn’t feel really good for the stomach.
iRF: Did you have any points yesterday when you felt really good?
Forsberg: Not really. Yeah, the first big downhill from the highest point in the snow—that was great.
iRF: Was that from down into Frisco?
Forsberg: No, down into Copper.
iRF: How was running through the snow? Was there a lot up there?
Forsberg: Yeah, it was quite a lot, but people had been running before me so it was pretty good.
iRF: Was it packed?
iRF: Nice. For the first half of the race at least, you and Stephanie [Howe] were pretty close.
Forsberg: Yes, she was way in front of me in the first long climb up to the highest summit where I couldn’t really breathe. I realized it was going to be better with altitude the more I ran in it, so I took it easy there.
iRF: You were patient.
Forsberg: Yeah, I didn’t want to push hard there in the beginning.
iRF: It’s 100 kilometers and it’s a long way.
iRF: It was your first 100k race and definitely your longest race, time-wise. How many hours longer?
Forsberg: Yeah. Ooof. I think only one-1.5 or almost two hours longer.
iRF: Did you run Cavalls del Vent last year?
Forsberg: Yeah, around 10 hours, but it felt longer.
iRF: Why is that?
Forsberg: I think both because of the road and the altitude because if I was acclimatized, I think I could have run faster. I think a lot of the guys said that, as well. If you’re used to altitude, it’s a very runnable course. You can run the whole time if you can breathe up there.
iRF: Did you run alright on the bike-path section?
Forsberg: Yeah, I actually caught Stephanie there and then I passed her there.
iRF: On the descent?
Forsberg: No, on the uphill.
iRF: So you felt strong and powerful on the road.
Forsberg: It was okay. It was my first 20k on the road. I had music on.
iRF: What were you listening to?
Forsberg: I was listening to a good playlist that Cameron Clayton made—Lorde, and some other American music.
iRF: Alright, we’ll have to see what Cameron was listening to during the race—definitely headphones on that bike-path section. You passed Stephanie for good?
Forsberg: Yeah, I did.
iRF: How did it feel on the climbs after that? There were some big climbs left.
Forsberg: I felt better than the first one for sure, maybe because when you start running at altitude and you just keep going. I didn’t feel really good the whole race—just the first downhill. I just kept going.
iRF: Did you have a favorite view or moment on the course?
Forsberg: Yeah, the highest point before Copper Mountain.
iRF: Just the snow or the snowy ridge?
Forsberg: Yeah, I wish the race was five times like that. It would have been wonderful.
iRF: You have two races coming up next month. You have Limone, right? [Forsberg: Yes.] It’s very mountainous, yes? [Forsberg: Yes.] I don’t think many American viewers or maybe many people around the world know about what that race is like.
Forsberg: So different from American races. Every time I come to America I don’t have an expectation because it’s not my kind of race—it’s faster and very runnable. It’s just very technical and pretty steep up and down.
iRF: Are there any required equipment in terms of… is this a race that requires… is there any via ferrata?
Forsberg: No, not in this race. Kima which is next summer is going to be in the long Skyrace series, I think.
iRF: So you have Limone—what’s the total distance?
Forsberg: It’s just 23k. I need to do speed before that.
iRF: You have this long, then you have speed, and then a month from now, Diagonale des Fous?
Forsberg: No, seventeen days from now.
iRF: Seventeen days until Diagonale des Fous?
Forsberg: Or eighteen days. It’s the 17th of October.
iRF: So that’s 100 miles and… that’s at least twice as long, time-wise, than this.
Forsberg: Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. The women’s record is 31 hours.
iRF: So three times or about that… can you wrap your head around that?
Forsberg: Actually I woke up this night and I was thinking, Wow, I really want to do it. Yesterday after the race when Greg [Vollet] asked me if I was looking forward to it I said, “No, we don’t talk about this now.” But this night I thought, Oh it’s going to be nice.
iRF: So right now if you’d started yesterday you’d still have a couple hours to go.
Forsberg: Yes, okay.
iRF: What do you think your biggest challenge will be there?
Forsberg: I just think to stay awake and to work with the mind because I’m going to be tired and want to quit. It’s going to be very interesting.
iRF: You’ve finished all your races, yes? Have you ever dropped from a race?
Forsberg: A ski-mountaineer race when I had a fever, but not a running race.
iRF: So you’re going to get this—you’re going to finish?
Forsberg: I don’t know. I really don’t know. I’m not going to injure myself because no race is worth getting injured. I just want to stay so I can run and ski.
iRF: So you have Diagonale des Fous in three weeks and then you’ll move onto skis, yes?
Forsberg: Then I have vacation! And then I’m going to ski.
iRF: If you don’t mind me asking, do you have fun vacation plans?
Forsberg: Yes, I do. For two weeks I’m going to shut down Facebook and I’m going to climb a little and recover from Diagonale des Fous. Yes, just have a good time.
iRF: Some Emelie time?
iRF: Will you be on skis before The North Face 50?
Forsberg: Yeah, I don’t think I will run that much before TNF. I will try to run maybe two days a week as I did last year. I hope it will work this year as well.
iRF: Congratulations on your run and best of luck in the coming races.
Forsberg: Thank you.
iRF: Quick bonus question for you? Have you had any good cinnamon buns while you were in…?
iRF: From here?
Forsberg: No, I didn’t. I haven’t found any cinnamon buns here.
iRF: When you drive through Breckenridge they have good ones.
Forsberg: In a bakery there? In every bakery?
iRF: No, just one bakery.
Forsberg: Yeah, maybe we need to go there on the way to the airport.
iRF: You need to refuel before your races.
Forsberg: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Thank you for the tip.