Since Emelie Forsberg’s last time on American soil at the UROC 100k in late September (post-race interview, her report), she raced her first 100 miler at Diagonale des Fous on Réunion Island, took a break from running, and started her ski season. Somewhere in there, she’s hopefully managed to stay sharp for Saturday’s outing. In the following interview, Emelie talks about how she made it through her first 100-mile race and who she thinks will be her main competition at The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-Mile Championships this weekend.
[Editor’s Note: For more information, we’ve published a full women’s race preview with links to other pre-race interviews.]
Emelie Forsberg Pre-2013 TNF EC 50 Mile Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Emelie Forsberg before the 2013 TNF 50 Championships. How are you, Emelie?
Emelie Forsberg: Good, thank you.
iRunFar: You’re back again.
Forsberg: Yes. It’s time for the proper course. Last year it wasn’t the whole course; it was two loops.
iRunFar: Yeah, and it wasn’t the full 50 miles either.
Forsberg: I don’t know how long it was—46?
iRunFar: 46—okay. So you’re back for the real course, back for some better weather, back for some good competition.
Forsberg: Yes. Yes. Super good—wow.
iRunFar: Unfortunately Stephanie [Howe] won’t be there chasing you this time.
Forsberg: Yes, I feel bad.
iRunFar: But Anna [Frost] will be.
Forsberg: Yes, and I think Cassie Scallon, she will be in front of me, I think. She’s very, very fast.
iRunFar: Last year you did win but on a course that isn’t your style perhaps. It’s more running. It’s more dirt roads. It’s hilly.
Forsberg: Yes, I can’t understand how I could run last year really. I was out there today and I was, “Gasp—what is this?”
iRunFar: But you did it and you ran great. How did that happen? You came off skis last year. You only had run a couple times.
Forsberg: I don’t know. Maybe it was because I did Les Templiers in the end of October. Last year it was the second of December so it was just one month of no running. This year it’s seven weeks with no running, so it’s a little more.
iRunFar: Congratulations on your first 100-mile run. It must have felt good… and bad.
iRunFar: What was that like?
Forsberg: It was the best thing and the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was amazing and so beautiful anisland and amazing people there. They love trail running there. It’s crazy. Along the whole course there are people standing and cheering at you. I was running with two small kids and they wouldn’t have stopped running with me. I was, “You need to go home! It’s the middle of the night! How are you going to get home?”
iRunFar: It’s like a dog following you on a run; you have to send him home.
Forsberg: Yeah, but they just love the trail running.
iRunFar: Even more than Europe?
Forsberg: Even more than Spain on La Palma. It was crazy.
iRunFar: That must have been uplifting. What was the hardest part?
Forsberg: It was when I was in the lead actually because then my race instinct started to hit me. Before the race I said to myself that I don’t want to race because it’s too long. I’m not a 100 miler. I just want to see what I can do and have it as a picnic. So when I started to race, it was really hard, so I just decided, No, I’m not. I was laying down on a rock and I slept for 15 minutes and then I was in my picnic mode again.
iRunFar: Nice. So you carried on and…
Forsberg: Yeah, and I had a relaxing time.
iRunFar: That’s great. So I guess you’ve had time to recover during that seven weeks since Diagonale des Fous.
Forsberg: Yes. I was better than after UROC. UROC killed me because of the road. After Diagonale, the physio I met, she says, “Have you been running or not?” I was fine.
iRunFar: Could that partly be that it was a different attitude than racing at UROC?
Forsberg: Yes, but still with 30 hours, I thought I was going to be a bit tired. Well I was a bit tired, but I was okay.
iRunFar: You enjoyed the beaches on La Réunion and the chocolate?
Forsberg: Yes, I did. But I had planned a vacation for 2.5 weeks, but two days after the race I was just, “Kilian [Jornet], I need to change the ticket home. I can’t be here for a long time. I’m okay. I want to go skiing.”
iRunFar: Oh! You wanted to go home and go skiing, training again, and enjoy the snow?
iRunFar: So have you had good training on the skis so far this year?
Forsberg: I have been a little sick. I was sick for 2.5 weeks with no training. After that I’ve been taking it easy to be back healthy again. The last 10 days I had good training.
iRunFar: But not running.
Forsberg: No, no no. Skiing. Good skiing.
iRunFar: How does that work? I know I’ve talked to Kilian in the past and he comes off the skis and goes and races at Transvulcania. Here’s the opposite. You’ve been running, but you do go into ski mode for five or six weeks. How many runs have you done? Any before you showed up here?
Forsberg: I’ve done three good runs for me and that means longer than 30 minutes and on trails. It’s nothing, but I don’t want to think about it because I do this race because it’s fun. We all get together and it’s really a relaxed last race.
iRunFar: It’s a celebration of running. It’s not like you’ve been training and working; it’s just, “Oh, I’m going to go run.”
Forsberg: Exactly. It’s so nice because it would be great to prepare for this, but I had a long summer and this is the last race.
iRunFar: A celebration.
iRunFar: Well, enjoy and have fun out there. Best of luck.
Forsberg: Thank you.
iRunFar: Anna [Frost] was your pacer last year, and now she’s racing you. What’s that going to be like? And she’s won before, too.
Forsberg: If there’s someone I wish to win, it’s Anna because she had a rough year. I really hope she’s going to have a good race.
iRunFar: And Cassie [Scallon]? Do you think she’s strong?
Forsberg: I think she’s super strong. That’s going to be super interesting.
iRunFar: There’s a lot of really fast women aside from the ultra folks in the race.
Forsberg: Yeah? Who?
iRunFar: Like Magdalena Boulet who is a U.S. Olympic Marathoner.
Forsberg: Hey, it’s going to be interesting.
iRunFar: Well, have fun out there and enjoy a beautiful day along the ocean.
Forsberg: Thank you.