With his second place at the 2015 Tarawera Ultramarathon, Jorge Maravilla made his first mark of the year on the international trail running community. In the following interview, Jorge talks about how his race played out, how goals and motivations change during a race, and how his early-season schedule is shaping up.
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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Jorge Maravilla Post-2015 Tarawera Ultramarathon Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Jorge Maravilla after his second-place finish at the 2015 Tarawera Ultramarathon. Congratulations, Jorge.
Jorge Maravilla: Muchas gracias, mi amigo.
iRunFar: Another early-season strong performance from you. It’s becoming a norm.
Maravilla: I hope so. I’ll take it.
iRunFar: Yesterday, a couple guys went off the front early, just blazing. Yun [Yan-Qiao] and Robbie Britton just went off. What did you think letting those guys go so early?
Maravilla: I thought it was fine. It did feel initially like a track meet. I was like, “Man, this is a fast course! These guys are moving!” I also know that this is 100k and it’s not a race to the first aid station. They did go out impressively hard. I didn’t see them until probably at least halfway through the race or something.
iRunFar: Yeah, and at Okataina Lake about 23 miles in, Dylan Bowman caught you. I’m sitting there thinking DBo and Jorge are just going to go run together for awhile. That didn’t happen, did it?
Maravilla: No. Impressive. Big congratulations to Dylan on that. Impressive performance. When he caught me… I mean, we were running together most of the time, not far apart. When he caught me, he made a very impressive, aggressive move not long after that aid station. It was just something that, for me at that moment, wasn’t something that I could jump on board with. I was like, “AH!” I just kind of held back a little bit. I saw him take off, and in my mind I’m like, I gotta keep him within reach. I just kind of had a few situations there, two that held me back. I kind of felt my calves cramping up which was surprising being it was so early on. I was trying to run through it, but I realized, Let’s stop and assess the situation. I stopped and stretched my calves out on a tree trunk, took down some fuel and some salt, and the kept rolling and all was good. I just tried to maintain being patient and efficient out there.
iRunFar: When did you go by Yun and Robbie?
Maravilla: The aid station just before Tarawera Falls.
iRunFar: Tarawera Outlet at 60k.
Maravilla: Yeah, right around there. They were pretty much together, literally separated by maybe 50 yards. So once I caught Robbie, I caught Yun, and it’s like, Okay, it’s okay. There’s still a lot of race to go. I was feeling pretty good then. At that point there was still just a lot of good running. I felt strong there, just really biomechanically efficient which was my whole point of maintaining throughout the rest of the race. I felt good to be, Wow, I’m in podium position now. This is great, but it’s not over until you cross the finish.
iRunFar: In multiple regards, there are people running fast behind you, and you’ve got your buddy DBo running ahead of you. Are you thinking in that last 40k at any time, I’m going to go get DBo.
Maravilla: Yeah, definitely. I was super stoked he was up there, but I was also like, This is runnable. I want to go get him. I want to go catch him. There was that mental drive to get after it, but it seemed also that he was like, My boy, Jorge, is chasing me down. We train together, and we know each other so well. I think he’s also pretty well aware that, Darn, this is pretty runnable these next few sections. I could possibly have run hard and tried to catch him. It wasn’t the case, but it was still a fantastic result for us both.
iRunFar: When you kind of realized you couldn’t catch him, did your mind switch to any other goals?
Maravilla: Yeah, it’s funny, yeah, once I realized that our distance was consistent in terms of the time separation, it’s funny during these events how your goals change throughout. It essentially got to the point where I said, You know what, no matter whether I was dropping sub-six-minute pace, there’s no way I’m going to catch Dylan. It’s just not possible. So at that point, I just focused on, You know what? Stay biomechanically efficient. Don’t do any damage. Just stay focused and enjoy this. Enjoy this moment and don’t get caught. So I just stayed efficient. I stayed really smooth in that last part. I was pretty surprised how well I was able to be upright and just have really good form essentially.
iRunFar: Do you think… it’s hilly in Mill Valley, but there’s also a lot of runnable trails. Do you think the terrain around there really helped you have such a strong performance this time of year?
Maravilla: I would say so. Honestly, I was looking at some of the course while I was there. It very much strongly reminded me of an incredible trail we have back home—Kent Trail, which is like this singletrack trail which runs right along these lakes. There were sections of this course where I felt like I’m in Kent Trail, or even some sections that reminded me of Muir Woods where there’s just fern and a lot of roots and whatnot. I think certainly having our epicenter trail grounds as our training ground for us to then come and race in a place like this which is just remarkable and beautiful in its own way but that can play to our strengths is very beneficial.
iRunFar: So where else will we see you racing in the near future?
Maravilla: We’ll assess how I’m recovering. This is the day after and my legs are feeling pretty good honestly. I’m not waddling. I’m walking fairly normal. Scheduled for Way Too Cool—a fast 50k. I’ve not done that race in about five years—quite awhile ago. Also quite possibly in April going down to Ultra-Trail Fjord 100 Mile. We’ll see what May, June, July plays out in terms of some kind of race that can hopefully emulate the possibility of replicating what it’s like for UTMB. I’d like to go to UTMB and hopefully do well there.
iRunFar: So maybe something a little more mountainous, long, the Lavaredo perhaps?
Maravilla: Lavaredo, maybe? Buff Epic Trail? Something really difficult with big mountains. For me, part of being an athlete is I don’t just want to embrace some of that leg turnover speed that I have in races like this, but I also want to have versatility to compete in big mountain races against some of the big mountain runners as well. And also just the joy of getting to know a new community and new terrain and enjoying it.
iRunFar: Nice, Jorge. Great run yesterday, and good luck with the rest of your season.
Maravilla: Thank you. Thank you for your incredible coverage, as always, supporting this sport and all the great things you do.
iRunFar: My pleasure.