France’s Nathalie Mauclair is a last-minute switch from the TDS, which Nathalie won last year, to this year’s TNF Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. In the following interview, Nathalie talks about how she recovered after her third-place finish at Western States, why she decided to run UTMB just two weeks ago, and whether she prefers to ascend or descend in mountain races.
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Nathalie Mauclair Pre-2014 TNF UTMB Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Nathalie Mauclair before the 2014 The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. Hello, Nathalie.
Nathalie Mauclair: Hello.
iRunFar: It’s great to see you. We’ve spoken twice this year. We talked at Mount Fuji where you had some injury and at Western States where you ran very well. You were third.
Mauclair: Yes. It was a good race. Good memory.
iRunFar: Good memory and probably a good lesson. You ran very conservatively and very relaxed and had a great result.
Mauclair: Yes. Yes, I did. Yes.
iRunFar: Now you will have your biggest test ever at UTMB.
Mauclair: Yes, another one.
iRunFar: Are you a little scared or…?
Mauclair: Oh, I’m fine. Physically, it’s good. I have no difficulty. In my mind, it’s okay. It’s a good trip. I will see a part of my country. It will be good.
iRunFar: And two more countries.
iRunFar: How was your recovery from Western States? How has your body been after the race?
Mauclair: I feel I have difficulty with my left leg at the finish of the race. After I make rest, in the middle of July I ran another time and it’s good. I think my body is well.
iRunFar: And your training after Western States—it went well?
Mauclair: A little, yes, and bicycle.
iRunFar: For running, this race has many more mountains, more elevation. Did you spend more time in the mountains?
Mauclair: No, I can’t. Every time I do a race it’s my holiday. I work all the winter, so now it’s another week of holiday, but I don’t have time to make a stage in the mountains. So, I will see.
iRunFar: But it’s okay. You have run mountain races before. Last year you ran the TDS and won.
Mauclair: Yes. It’s a good memory.
iRunFar: Was it difficult to run a race with so many mountains?
Mauclair: Yes, every time we go down and when we are down we go up. Every time it’s like that. So after 20 hours, it started to be a little difficult. We have to be hard in the mind… in my head.
iRunFar: What do you enjoy more—going up or going down?
Mauclair: Probably it’s more easy going up. I go slowly when I have to go down.
iRunFar: You were entered, you had a number for TDS this year. Two weeks ago you decided to go UTMB. Why?
Mauclair: I needed a new challenge for the last part of the year. With this race, I hope to make the challenge of UTWT.
iRunFar: So you want to take part and complete the Ultra-Trail World Tour?
iRunFar: You have run Western States, you have UTMB, and do you have another race?
Mauclair: The Grand Raid de la Réunion.
iRunFar: So it gets more difficult after UTMB.
Mauclair: Yes. And the last years it was a good race for me, so I hope.
iRunFar: Well, best of luck at UTMB. Enjoy.
Mauclair: Thank you. Thank you very much.