After two years of trying, Max King finally won and set a new course record at Washington state’s 2014 Chuckanut 50k. In the following interview, Max tells us about gunning for the course record from the get go, where he made his move over second place David Laney, and what race he really wants to qualify for in 2014.
For more information about the race, check out our results article.
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Max King, 2014 Chuckanut 50k Champion, Interview Transcript
iRunFar: This is Kim Wrinkle with iRunFar with today’s winner and new course-record holder, Max King. Max, let’s talk about the race. How did the race break down today?
Max King: I knew going in that it was going to be pretty strong with David Laney. I figured Adam Campbell was going to be here and pushing up to the front, but he didn’t end up showing up. There were… we had four guys at the end of six miles—Max Ferguson and a guy named Ben. I knew it was going to be tough with Laney. I was just going to let him set the pace for a little bit today. I knew I had to get a little bit of a lead before I got back onto the bike path coming back in because I didn’t want what happened last year to happen this year. I got a little bit of a lead on the ridge trail—it’s pretty technical. I got about two minutes off of that, and then we kind of stayed two to three minutes the whole rest of the way in.
iRunFar: You mentioned earlier you took an eight-week break. Talk about the recovery nature of that.
King: It seems like it’s helped quite a bit this year. Just taking that little bit of a break, my legs feel fresher right now. Not doing a 50k last weekend helps, too but my legs just feel fresher. I just feel a little bit better waking up in the morning—a little less stiff and stuff. The break definitely was a smart move this year and hopefully sets me up well going into the rest of the year.
iRunFar: Talk about your plans for the rest of the year.
King: I’ve got some big stuff and a little bit of new stuff. Lake Sonoma is in a couple of weeks where I’ll hopefully qualify for Western States. That’s kind of the plan right now along with some obstacle racing thrown in there, too, just for something a little bit different and fun. After Western States, the year is kind of open after that; so we’ll see what happens after that.
iRunFar: No obstacles on the track like steeplechase this year?
King: Not this year just because of Western. The focus will just on those next two key races—Sonoma and Western.
iRunFar: Now is your training sort of gearing towards, ‘Yes, I’m going to be at Western,’ with obviously the hope that the top three happens at Lake Sonoma?
King: Yeah. That’s definitely the way I’m training right now and trying to get ready for Lake Sonoma. After that, I think everything will kind of keep building from my break and building to Western.
iRunFar: How has training changed for the 100?
King: Right now it hasn’t. Right now it really hasn’t. I’ve just been doing nothing particularly long but doing a lot of trying to get some more miles in, trying to get my miles up, still doing some performance speed workouts like tempo runs and some other speed workouts. Then I’m also doing a lot of functional fitness-type stuff to build a little bit of strength. I think that definitely came into play today on the technical trails. It definitely helped.
iRunFar: [You got the] course record and David [Laney] was also under the course record. Was that sort of a goal going in—the win and the course record?
King: Yeah, absolutely. I wanted this off the books. It was the third time and it was time to take that down. That was the goal going in.
iRunFar: It was a really good day for your sponsors. I mentioned to Ellie [Greenwood] that Montrail, Mountain Hardwear, and Flora. It was a nice day.
King: Yeah, it was awesome. Ellie came through with the win, and coming back from some injuries, it was nice to see her up in front. It was awesome.
iRunFar: Thanks. I certainly hope everything works out well at Lake Sonoma. It would be fun to see you at Western States. Instead of doing the race the day before, the uphill race that you’ve won before…
King: Yeah, there are some guys talking about it.
iRunFar: You’re still going to do it?
King: Well, there are some guys talking that the steeple trials are the Thursday before, so I could do the steeplechase a couple days before, the Uphill Challenge, and then do the 100 miler.
iRunFar: Nice triple.
King: That’s what I thought.
iRunFar: It might not be the best approach. Nice talking with you. Are you going to take a few days off or get right back into training?
King: I feel like I’ve got to get right back into training. We’ll see how the legs feel tomorrow. Lake Sonoma is coming up in, I think it’s four weeks out now or something like that. I kind of feel like I’ve got to get back into training for a couple of good weeks and then taper off.
iRunFar: Fantastic run. Nice talking with you.