Dylan Bowman started to 2015 off with a bang with his commanding win of this weekend’s Tarawera Ultramarathon in New Zealand. In the following interview, Dylan talks about how his race played out including where he went too hard, what sort of break he’ll take after Tarawera, and what his racing plans are for 2015.
For more on what happened at this year’s race, read our in-depth results article on the 2015 Tarawera Ultramarathon.
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Dylan Bowman, 2015 Tarawera Ultramarathon Champion, Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Dylan Bowman after his win at the 2015 Tarawera Ultramarathon. Nice running out there, DBo.
Dylan Bowman: Thanks, man. I was really happy with it.
iRunFar: Some guys went off the front early today—Yun [Yan-Qiao] and Robbie Britton. What were you thinking that they were pulling away pretty early on?
Bowman: I actually didn’t know that they were ahead of us until we came into mile 23 aid station there and you let us know. I thought Jorge [Maravilla] was in first at that point. I was just behind him. So, yeah, but then I caught both of them very shortly after I left that aid station. I could sort of tell that both were laboring a little bit because they’d gone out really hard. So I moved into the lead at maybe mile 25 which is definitely earlier than I really wanted to, but at that point I figured I might as well try and commit now so they don’t catch up and then we have a race later. That’s kind of how it played out.
iRunFar: So at the Okataina Lodge which I’m guessing is mile 23, that’s where you caught Jorge right in the aid station. I kind of in my own mind was kind of expecting you guys to cover some ground together because it’s a long race. Did you just have different speeds at that point and you just kept on rolling?
Bowman: Yeah, I think he may have stopped to use the restroom or something like that, but yeah we switched basically right there and I didn’t see him again. We ran a good amount of the early race together and I was so happy to hear he was behind me during the race. And to see him finish was one of the highlights of the day.
iRunFar: Maybe 10 or 12 miles later you had a 10-minute lead. You build it up pretty quick on the entire field. Did you put in a surge? You kept about that lead for awhile. What happened there?
Bowman: Yeah, like I said, when you take the lead, you have to make a decision. You either commit to taking the lead or you sort of move into the front and keep it conservative and there’s the possibility of people catching back up. I chose to put in a little bit of a surge. Like I said, it was way earlier than I would have liked to take the lead. I think I may have gone a little bit too hard there because I suffered the last 10k or so. But you know, it’s only my second 100k, so I didn’t really have a lot of experience to draw on for those last 12. I was looking over my shoulder, but I got updates that my lead was comfortable. I know Jorge always finishes hard. He runs downhills and flats a lot better than me. So, I didn’t think I had it wrapped up until the finishing chute.
iRunFar: It’s interesting. You guys are neighbors, but you’re also sort of are both really strong early season, a good mix of fast and dealing with the hills and mountains. It makes for some really interesting early-season competition.
Bowman: Yeah, and we have different strengths. Early in the race we ran a lot together but it was kind of back and forth. Mostly he was in front, but he is just so good at running downhill. I’ll reel him back in on any climbs, but he’s so strong. I knew he was going to be a factor today particularly the way the race ends with a lot of flat and downhill. Like I said, I’m super, super happy for him. He had a great race at TNF [EC 50 Mile] and now a great race here. Stoked that we get to bring it back to Mill Valley.
iRunFar: It’s only a week into February and you just ran a pretty darn good and fast, hard 100k. Is there any time to take a break?
Bowman: Yeah, I think I do better taking a lot of short breaks throughout the year rather than one or two longer ones. So, I think what I’ll do is I’ll talk to Coach Koop and see what he thinks. I’ll be racing Lake Sonoma, so I can’t take too much of a rest, but I don’t anticipate running that much in the next week or so. I recognize that the races I really want to do well at are later in the year.
iRunFar: What are those?
Bowman: I’ll be racing Western States again for the fourth year in a row. That race deserves every ounce of focus you can put into it. That’s what I’ll do. Obviously, it was a good race for me there last year. So we’ll go back and see if we can do a little bit better. I think I’ll be doing CCC in Chamonix. I don’t really feel I do well at more than one 100 miler per year at this point in my career, so I’ll do the short distance. I’m thinking about also doing the TNF 100k – Australia. So that’s kind of how it’s shaping up now. Of course, that can change a little bit.
iRunFar: Kind of a nice lead-up—50 mile to 100k to 100 mile.
Bowman: Yeah, and they’re competitive races. I think for me, the biggest thing I need at this point in my career is to get more experience with racing really competitive races in order to do well in the races I really want to. So that’s kind of the decision-making process for me. I’m really excited about this year.
iRunFar: Congratulations on a great run today, and good luck with the rest of your year.
Bowman: Thanks, Bryon.