Núria Picas’s win of the 2014 Grand Trail des Templiers marks her third-straight victory at this race as well as the end of her 2014 season. In the following interview, Núria talks about how the race went for her, and she reflects on the highs of her season. She also looks toward 2015 races.
Be sure to read our results article for the whole story on this year’s Grand Trail des Templiers.
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Núria Picas 2014 Les Templiers Champion Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Núria Picas after her third-straight win at the Grand Trail des Templiers. Congratulations, Núria.
Núria Picas: Thank you very much.
iRunFar: How does it feel?
Picas: Wow, very tired. Very, very tired. After this long season—whoo.
iRunFar: You’ve run this race three times now. Was this the hardest?
Picas: The hardest is the last uphill, for sure, because the sun is shining a lot and you are very tired. It’s eight hours of running very, very fast. The last uphill is, whoo, really hard.
iRunFar: The race starts fast.
Picas: Yes, always, always. The race starts really, really fast. You have to know this and be calm.
iRunFar: You had some early company during the race. You had somebody with you that you didn’t know, another woman runner.
Picas: I didn’t know nothing about Juliette [Benedicto]. It was a surprise for me. It was combat. We were fighting hand to hand. It was funny because the great runners, no? It was really funny to fight together until 50k or something like this.
iRunFar: You said she reminded you a little bit of Emelie Forsberg?
Picas: Yes. She really looks like Emelie, and I was running with her and it was the first time I saw her. It was like, Oh, I’m running with Emelie again. It’s not possible because Emelie is in Kathmandu, because she’s a very good runner, very young.
iRunFar: Maybe you’ll see her again?
Picas: For sure.
iRunFar: One thing, you’ve now been running these ultras for a few years, it seems like the competition among the women keeps getting better and better. Do you see that?
Picas: Yes, yes, for sure. There are a lot of ultra trails, but the racers are better and better. People are improving their level.
iRunFar: How do you think we can get more women into the sport?
Picas: Yes, for me it’s important…
iRunFar: How can we do that?
Picas: How? I don’t know because it’s a nice sport. It’s running, but not on the road. It’s in the environment, the mountains. This sport is really growing up very, very fast. Women are happy to be here. This is amazing. I love it.
iRunFar: You enjoy the increase in competition?
Picas: Yes, I really enjoy.
iRunFar: You also enjoy some rest.
Picas: Yes, I need take a rest for sure.
iRunFar: I think I asked you that after UTMB and you were like, “Yes, I need a rest,” but you had Ultra Pirineu and this.
Picas: This is for sure the end of my season, yeah. I need one month off and nothing else.
iRunFar: Some family, some climbing, some beer?
Picas: Lots of beers. No, but I love climbing, I love doing another kinds of sports like mountain bike and skiing when the snow comes. But climbing, I really love climbing.
iRunFar: You’ve had a great year this year. Is there any highlight for you? What was the best part of running in 2014?
Picas: Yes. All the season. Maybe running UTMB again, I was second there, but I felt really happy to finish with all my friends. It was a very good experience. Ultra Pirineu, as well. And [Ultra-Trail] Mount Fuji in Japan—so yeah, all the season.
iRunFar: It’s interesting because you start with two places—Ultra Pirineu was in Catalunya where you’re from, and UTMB where you had all your friends, and then the opposite across the world.
Picas: Yeah, Mount Fuji and [The North Face 100k] Australia, yeah, I really did a very good race in Australia. It was 100k and very fast.
iRunFar: I know you wouldn’t really commit to a season for next year yet, but are there any races you know you’re going to do next year?
Picas: I would like to repeat in UTMB, yes, because this is my big goal for next year. I don’t know. I’m waiting for the schedule—Ultra-Trail World Tour—I really love being in this competition. Transgrancanaria as well. Maybe I would like to go to New Zealand for the first time.
Picas: Tarawera, yeah. It depends. I will see.
iRunFar: That’s a fast one, and it’s in February.
Picas: Really? Oh, 100k fast… I will see.
iRunFar: You’ll have to do some winter training.
Picas: Yes, skiing, climbing, just fun.
iRunFar: Congratulations on a great race and a great 2014. See you next year.
Picas: Thank you very much. Nice to meet you. See you next year.