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Chris Vargo and Joe Uhan Pre-2014 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Joe Uhan (Pearl Izumi) and Chris Vargo (Nike) before the 2014 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile. Dudes, what’s up?
Chris Vargo: He was a little ticked when I beat him last year.
Joe Uhan: I don’t think so. Before he goes off and hijacks this entire interview, I just need to say that it’s been one of my career goals to be interviewed by iRunFar—me, the lowly columnist—and now I have to share the spotlight with Chris Vargo.
iRunFar: The Chris Vargo.
Uhan: The Vargo.
Vargo: The Vargo.
Uhan: So I’m really not sure how I feel about that right now.
iRunFar: Well you can take it or leave it. You wanna go? Be my guest. Or be my guest.
Uhan: I’ll be your guest just because you’re giving me my beer money once a month. I’ll do this favor for you.
iRunFar: There you go. Alright. Vargo, what do you have to say to that?
Vargo: I don’t know… it’s… [everyone laughs]… I can’t be serious. It’s hard. Because I like Joe.
Vargo: He’s a good guy. He just runs his mouth a lot especially on twitter. He’s just ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch.
iRunFar: It has been observed that you did beat him by a minute at Lake Sonoma last year, but…
Uhan: Wait a second. Hold on. A minute?
iRunFar: But, Joe is a heckuva lot better smack talker than you are. Why are you being such a lightweight in smack talk?
Vargo: He is pretty good. I’d think I’d really need to hate someone to really smack talk so well.
iRunFar: What’s not to hate about Joe Uhan?
Vargo: Well, his long articles are hard to read. I don’t think I’ve made it through one of your articles.
iRunFar: I haven’t.
Vargo: Like I was saying, they’re like a homework assignment. I don’t have time for that.
Uhan: Well, I have to go on a 30-mile long run to get through one of his weekly podcasts at 100 minutes plus. So we’re probably even in that regard.
iRunFar: Yeah, about 1.5 to two hours on one of your articles. That’s about right.
Uhan: But it’s chock full of information.
iRunFar: And great pictures of you.
Vargo: And ass tights. He always has ass tights on.
iRunFar: You don’t rock the manpris, do you?
Vargo: I don’t. No. I think that’s more his style.
iRunFar: You’re more the shorty shorts.
Vargo: Short shorts, yeah.
iRunFar: I mean, two-inch inseam?
Vargo: Yeah, I think the Nike ones–two-and-a-half, two inch. Yeah.
iRunFar: Are you going to rock a leotard out on the course?
Vargo: I’m pretty confident with myself.
iRunFar: Speed suits?
Uhan and Vargo: [laughs]
iRunFar: I’m sure Nike has some great…
Vargo: Yeah, maybe I can get a Nike speed suit made one of these days.
iRunFar: And you, are you wearing anything special this weekend?
Uhan: I have a special limited-edition jersey for tomorrow. Would you like to see it?
iRunFar: I’d love to.
Uhan: This was a limited edition, custom-made jersey.
iRunFar: Make sure you’re not out of the shot there.
Vargo: That’s beautiful. Did your mom have one, too? Did she make it for you?
Uhan: Actually, Sue Vargo gave it to me.
iRunFar: Wow, traitor. I don’t know if we have room in the shot, but there are posses here, legitimately. Who’s in your corner, Chris Vargo?
Vargo: Alicia [Shay]. She’s tough. She’s probably tougher than all of us.
iRunFar: And you?
Uhan: She looks pretty tough, but I’ve got the BGD [Jacob Rydman] standing over there who can mess with this guy from even 10 feet away.
iRunFar: We have seen that in action. I don’t know.
Uhan: BGD is going to be throwing down with me out there tomorrow, so given the opportunity we will double up on Vargo.
iRunFar: Who’s the faster 5k PR over there? She does.
Vargo: I’ll take Alicia.
Uhan: The ‘she’ over there is Alicia Shay who probably has a faster 5k PR than I do as well.
iRunFar: And anybody besides the Vargo.
Vargo: Actually, I don’t think I’ve run a proper 5k before.
Vargo: Yeah, but she could probably whoop my butt.
Uhan: In terms of smack talking on social media, she clearly has a long way to go.
iRunFar: What you’re saying is she’s too darn nice.
Uhan: She seems like it. She’s barely said anything over there.
Vargo: They’re both very sweet though. Jacob’s very sweet.
Vargo: He’s pretty nice. He asked me to run with him before Way Too Cool.
iRunFar: Were you guys holding hands?
Vargo: We went on a nice little run together.
iRunFar: What do you think about your guy in the corner running with the enemy? What was that all about?
Uhan: Yeah, it’s information gathering and getting inside his head for tomorrow. I just need to make this clear—it was 19 seconds, 19 seconds last year. I saw his little Nike short shorts.
Vargo: I notice you have Nikes on right now but you’re sponsored by Pearl Izumi.
Uhan: That was just a special treat just for you.
iRunFar: Those shoes do look older than you, though.
Uhan: These are my lawn-mowing shoes because that’s pretty much what they’re good for. I saved the Pearls, the brand new Pearls, for the course tomorrow.
Vargo: Okay. Fair enough.
Uhan: I’ll leave them by the finish so when you finish you can check them out.
Vargo: Alright. Okay.
Uhan: I’ll probably be taking a nap.
Uhan: It’s going to be a good day tomorrow.
Vargo: We’ll see. We’re going to make it 19 minutes probably. It will be a little more than 19 seconds. Maybe more than that.
Uhan: It could happen.
iRunFar: He could have 19 minutes on you at the turnaround.
Vargo: I don’t think I’ll blow up like I did last year.
Uhan: He has gotten smarter.
iRunFar: Low standard, right?
Uhan: It’s all relative.
iRunFar: Relative. Yeah.
Uhan: In all seriousness, Chris has had a heck of a year. Smart guy. Honestly, the reason I love talking crap with this guy is he’s one of the most honest guys out there. He’s kind of like this little brother to me which is kind of why we talk crap and I give him…
Vargo: It is fun. I think a lot of people enjoy it, too.
iRunFar: On the serious side, we know you love Western States, dude. You don’t have a ticket. You’re here to do business tomorrow.
Uhan: I’m here to do business. I think it’s going to be a long shot. I think I’m going in a little bit undertrained, but I’ve run this race twice and I’ve done well on it twice. I know this course. So really all I can do is go into it tomorrow and run my race, finish hard like I did a year ago and like I did two years ago, and hopefully that will give me top four.
iRunFar: That’s the goal. It’s not being out there and winning it; you’ve got to be fourth place.
Uhan: If I take 30th place but he takes 31st, then I’m going to be like, “It’s going to be an awesome day.” You know what? Fourth and fifth.
iRunFar: That’s the call? Fourth and Fifth?
Uhan: First and second.
iRunFar: So your goal out there? You were up there at the front for awhile last year…
Vargo: Yeah, yeah. I think it will be better this year. Top three is my goal, and of course everyone wants to win, too, but I mean it’s stacked.
iRunFar: You’ve got to admit, there are a whole lot of wild cards in this race. Most of them are on your team.
Vargo: Yes. I’ve been talking about how there are going to be a handful of guys, not even on the Nike team, that none of us have really heard of that are going to run fast. There are so many people getting involved in the sport which is great. So it should be interesting to see what happens. I think there will be a lot of carnage like last year because it’s going to go out fast. It’s going to go out really fast. It might be a little warm, although it’s not too bad today. Sage [Canaday] said it was a little bit warm out there today. We’ll see. Hopefully I’ll share some trail with Joe.
iRunFar: You guys did let on a little bit before the interview, part of all this is that ultrarunners are just too darn nice. It’s taboo to actually talk about competing and beating other people.
Vargo: Yeah, I think people probably talk trash behind your back like with anything, but there’s no, not even friendly competition. Everyone wants everyone to do well which is great, but I think it’s starting to change though. It’s starting to get more competitive. I know the women are pretty catty. [Everyone laughs.] I’ve heard a lot of stuff. I’ve heard a lot of trash talking behind people’s backs, but that’s good. I think it’s good for the sport as long as it doesn’t get out of hand. Friendly good competition.
Uhan: I agree with that 100%. I think the community is phenomenal with how much it supports each other. But at the same time, I think it’s healthy to have that competitiveness because I think the more openly competitive you are, the most excitement it builds within competitors and within the community. I knew with him, because he’s one of the few guys who is publicly honest. If he’s having an awesome day he’s going to tell you; if he’s having a crappy day he’s going to tell you. So I knew I could give him some crap and he’s going to take it and give it back.
Uhan: Yeah, it’s definitely in good fun, but come tomorrow I’m out there to really crush some skulls.
iRunFar: So you think this sport would be better if Rob Krar was just a little meaner.
Vargo: Rob Krar is way too nice.
iRunFar: Alright, guys, well best of luck out there.
Vargo: Thanks, man.
Uhan: Good seeing you.
iRunFar: Quick bonus question. What’s with the hair and whose is better?
Uhan: You know what? I’m going to have to defer to this guys over here. This is pretty good. I don’t know what I was thinking.
Vargo: High and tight. Maybe it will be good for you tomorrow. I might get hot.
Uhan: [Rubs his facial scruff.]
Vargo: I can’t grow anything down here.
Uhan: I think I’ve got him beat here though.
Vargo: Late bloomer.
iRunFar: Eleven minutes of pure gold.