Dylan Bowman is visiting New Zealand for the first time to run the 2015 Tarawera Ultramarathon. In the following interview, he talks about his 2014 season, his off-season, his enthusiasm for running, and what he’s excited about in New Zealand.
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Dylan Bowman Pre-2015 Tarawera Ultramarathon Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Dylan Bowman before the 2015 Tarawera Ultramarathon. How are you, Dylan?
Dylan Bowman: Great. Yeah, good to be here.
iRunFar: Long way from home to be racing.
Bowman: Yeah, it is, but easy trip and short time difference. Basically no jet lag at all, so it doesn’t feel too much like an international trip. I’m feeling good.
iRunFar: Some of the folks from the Northern Hemisphere are dealing with coming from winter to this race, but I take it that it’s probably not that big of an adjustment coming from the Bay Area?
Bowman: No, it’s been not too much like winter the past at least several weeks in the Bay Area. It’s been great for training with lots of sunshine, warm weather. Definitely from that perspective, I’m acclimatized to the weather conditions well. It’s a bit more humid than we really experience in the Bay Area, but I don’t really think it will be an issue for me at least.
iRunFar: You somewhat quietly had a really solid 2014. How do you feel after wrapping up the season with a strong run at The North Face 50?
Bowman: Yeah, I was definitely really happy with the season as a whole. The North Face—I was definitely happy with that race. It could have gone a little bit better. Obviously, no excuses. The guys that beat me there were better on the day. I made a couple mistakes, and in that race, you sort of get exposed. But fifth place, I’ll certainly take it any day there. Yeah, like you said, I’m super happy with how the year went last year, and hopefully I can carry that momentum through to 2015.
iRunFar: Did you take any pause in there between… you were racing already Transgrancanaria in early March, Western States, The North Face. So did you take a break?
Bowman: You mean after?
iRunFar: After The North Face, yeah.
Bowman: Yeah, I took two or three weeks really mellow where I ran with my girlfriend maybe a couple times per week. Yeah, I bounced back and I feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Training is really fun again which is the most important part, I think. I’ve definitely been able to get that enthusiasm back. I think training became a little bit of a grind leading into The North Face in the fall. I think that was kind of because it was just too long of a block. It just sort of ground me down. Taking a little bit of a break and getting the enthusiasm back has helped, so I feel really good now. I’m feeling fit.
iRunFar: In terms of getting enthusiasm back, you live in Mill Valley, your 100 Mount Tam’s—do you still find inspiration in going out and doing those same routes and peaks and whatnot the same day and it was just a matter of you racing and training for a long time?
Bowman: Yeah, definitely I feel like leaving Northern California has invigorated me a little bit and the prospect of coming to New Zealand had given me a little bit more enthusiasm in my training before I left. The Tam summit thing definitely did become a bit repetitive at the end, but it was certainly something that was kind of important to me and fun. That being said, I haven’t been going up very much recently. I feel I may have overstayed my welcome a little bit on the mountain. Yeah, it’s good to get away from home and get away from the trails you run a lot just to switch things up and, again, keeping it fresh and keeping it fun. For me, when I don’t have fun in training, my performances always drop. It’s sort of a pattern that I see. I always seem to feel really good this time of year for whatever reason. I’ve had good races at Ray Miller and Sean O’Brien, and I feel really good now. I don’t know why that is, but it’s just the rhythm of how my seasons have gone recently in the last few years. Yeah, I’m ready and happy to be here and feel like I could have a good day.
iRunFar: You also train with some really strong runners on a pretty regular basis. Do you ever find that… does it just provide you energy or does it also wear you down at times because there’s so much strength there?
Bowman: Yeah, sometimes, but definitely it’s more of an invigorating stimulus on my training than it is something that wears me down. Having guys who I admire and who are better than me at a lot of different things and who can make me a better athlete and who I can help make a better athlete at the same time, and who are just like my buds, you know, and you can go have beers and talk about things that are not running related is really important. The community that we have is just awesome, and I’m super, super happy to be there. I think it’s worth checking out for anyone who comes through our neck of the woods.
iRunFar: Is this your first time in New Zealand?
Bowman: Yeah, first time in New Zealand.
iRunFar: What are you most excited about being here in New Zealand?
Bowman: I’m excited to run the race. It’s a good way to explore and the trails are amazing from what I’ve seen. I’ve done a little bit of running on parts of the course. It looks like it will be a fast course from what I can tell which I’m pretty happy about given that it’s early in the season. It’s not like a Transgrancanaria type of race where you have to go really deep in order to just finish the darn thing. Of course, I’m going to have to go deep no matter what, but…
iRunFar: To do well, but it’s less than a nine-hour race.
Bowman: On a good day. So, I’m excited about that. I’m excited it’s not a total soul-crushing-style race because I don’t feel like I have that in me right now. I think it’s really appropriate for the time of year for the place that I’m at physically and mentally. Like I said I’m just out of the barn for my training and I’m so happy and fortunate to be here.
iRunFar: Good luck this weekend, Dylan, and enjoy it out there.
Bowman: Appreciate it.