Norway’s Sondre Amdahl gave the 2015 Vibram Hong Kong 100k his best shot, and ended up with a very strong second-place finish. In this interview, Sondre talks about running with winner Yan Long-Fei, how he knew how the race would play out before it ended, and how he’s going to rest and recover before his next race in March.
For more on what happened at this year’s race, read our article on the 2015 Hong Kong 100k.
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Sondre Amdahl Post-2015 Vibram Hong Kong 100k Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Sondre Amdahl after his second place at the 2015 Vibram Hong Kong 100k. Congratulations.
Sondre Amdahl: Thank you. Thanks a lot.
iRunFar: That was a very strong result yesterday.
Amdahl: Yeah, it was good. I’m very, very happy. It was a good day racing.
iRunFar: For most of the day, you were running very close with Yan Long-Fei of China and battling. Were you fighting and pushing each other the whole time or were you working together?
Amdahl: We were working together. I think we got the gap about one third of the way in, about 30k. We were working together, but he was on my tail and on my back the whole day. He didn’t want to lead. Then with about 15k to go he made the move and I couldn’t follow.
iRunFar: Talking with you awhile ago, you said even if it came down to the end, you knew that that would have been a bad scenario.
Amdahl: The guy is a 2:15 marathoner, and I think he knew that if we were together on the top, he would just fly away from me on the downhill.
iRunFar: Still one of your top results on an international stage. How did you personally feel about your effort out there?
Amdahl: It’s funny because the build up to the race was not the best. I didn’t sleep that much the night before. Jet lag has been hard on me this time. I was cold. Then when the gun went off, I just started rolling and felt good and felt strong. I think I ran faster between 30k and 80k than in the beginning actually.
iRunFar: Yeah? Even though in the beginning there’s a lot more runnable terrain?
Amdahl: Yes. There were some nice trails in the mid-section there. I liked it a lot. It was a nice course.
iRunFar: Is it different racing—we were in a countryside, but—in a big city?
Amdahl: Yeah, no, it was a nice view of the city at some points. The difference with other trail races is there was a lot of tarmac and road. That’s the way it is here. It was a good mix of trails and stairs and tarmac and concrete and everything.
iRunFar: How did you get along with all the stairs?
Amdahl: I was okay. I’ve been training on stairs and steep trails in Gran Canaria, so it was okay.
iRunFar: Do you think this is a good sign leading toward TransGranCanaria? Do you think you’re in pretty good fitness for this time of year?
Amdahl: It looks like it. I don’t know. I hope. Yeah, I think so. I want to go back to training pretty soon. Ian Sharman, my coach, is saying I should wait. I agree with him, so I’ll listen to his advice and take a little break. I’m guiding a group of runners from Denmark and Norway on Gran Canaria starting on Thursday, so…
iRunFar: So 125k in three days is your idea of taking it easy?
Amdahl: It’s split into three days, so it’s 40k per day and it’s going to be slow pace and lots of food in between and some wine. So I think it’s going to be okay.
iRunFar: Okay. Long-Fei bested you yesterday, but your time was really strong. It was the third-fastest time here so far, not very far behind Long-Fei, and very close to Ryan Sandes previous time, and we all know what happened to Ryan at TransGranCanaria last year. That’s got to have you feeling good.
Amdahl: Yeah, I feel good. It’s absolutely a confidence boost that the training I’m doing on Gran Canaria is good for me and that it works. I’ll just keep on doing that until TransGranCanaria in March.
iRunFar: Best of luck in your training and congratulations on your race yesterday.
Amdahl: Thank you. Thanks a lot.