Cassie Scallon competes for Team USA at the 2015 IAU Trail World Championships. In this interview, Cassie debriefs us on her stomach woes at The North Face 100k-Australia two weeks ago, how her body has recovered from that effort, and what tactics Team USA’s women are taking into this race.
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Cassie Scallon Pre-2015 IAU Trail World Championships Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Meghan Hicks of iRunFar, and I’m here in Annecy, France, with Cassie Scallon a couple days before the 2015 IAU Trail World Championships. That’s a mouthful.
Cassie Scallon: It is.
iRunFar: How’s it going, Cassie?
Scallon: It’s going really well.
iRunFar: You are an international traveler. Just a couple weeks ago you were in Australia competing in TNF 100k-Australia. How are you feeling?
Scallon: I’m feeling really well. I think that race ended up unintentionally going a lot slower than what I was planning, so I’m feeling pretty good right now.
iRunFar: Talk about your day for a minute. You had some stomach troubles that came on. Was it around half way?
Scallon: Yeah, well, I went through half way and I realized I was on a really good pace and feeling really good, so I decided to pick it up at the wrong time. Unfortunately, I was going up a really big climb and got to the top and was surrounded by tourists and I felt like I needed to puke. That feeling didn’t go away for awhile.
iRunFar: You got past the tourists, did your puking…
Scallon: Did my puking, and that probably only lasted for about an hour, and then I walked for probably two hours after that thinking my race was totally over. Then I got into an aid station and some people kind of laughed at me. “Why would you stop now?” I said, “Why not?”
iRunFar: You experienced stomach issues for the first time, and you also experienced surmounting stomach issues for the first time. You went on to finish eighth.
iRunFar: Perhaps an unintentional benefit to having a slower day there is that maybe you recovered a little bit faster?
Scallon: It’s probably true. I feel like I was going to give it my all there and going to give it my all here, the same. Yeah, instead I’m coming in here a little bit fresher.
iRunFar: You’re coming in a little bit fresher. So how did your legs feel in the recovery afterwards? Maybe you had a little bit of time for good running and then a taper. How are things feeling?
Scallon: Everything is feeling good. I went on a few runs with friends and it felt, I don’t know, not normally like I would feel after a 100k or even after a 50 miler or something. I felt a lot fresher. I saw my massage therapist, and we were both surprised that I didn’t have any knots anywhere or anything strange like that. So I’m confident.
iRunFar: Now we’re here in France and we’re in an area of France that’s known for extreme ups and extreme downs, extreme ups and extreme downs. You have some experience running on terrain pretty similar to this. You ran Les Templiers last fall and came in 10th there. Knowing what you know about the trails and based on your experience at Les Templiers and how your body reacted to it, what knowledge are you taking into Saturday’s race?
Scallon: I think Les Templiers was a lot different for me because I was dealing with my ankle back then, so I wasn’t well-trained for that race. I’m feeling a lot fitter right now. Knowing what I do about this course, I think I’m going to attack it a little bit more like I did Lake Sonoma where I’m going to go out a little bit slower and see if I can pick people off and really just race within myself and concentrate on how I’m feeling instead of how the people around me are racing.
iRunFar: This course and European trails in general, there’s a lot of rocks and roots and technicality to that. Knowing that your ankle is back at 100% again, is there a confidence element that is back in your body?
Scallon: Absolutely. Mostly, and not just with the racing, but with the training and just coming in feeling a lot fitter.
iRunFar: Last question for you. You’re here with Team USA and you’re competing for an individual placing and an individual medal, but you’re also competing with Amy Rusieki and Krissy Moehl for a team medal. Talk about the team dynamic for a minute. Have you talked about what it’s going to take to work individually and perhaps work together to get where you want to be?
Scallon: One thing we talked about is that there’s a lot of pressure on each of us even to just finish this because it takes three to score and there are only three of us here unfortunately. There’s that. We’ll be there to support each other, but we’ll be running our own races to finish in the highest or the lowest number place possible to get that score.
iRunFar: Best of luck to you out there, and we’ll see you on Saturday.
Scallon: Alright, thanks, Meghan.
iRunFar: Bonus question for you, Cassie: shoe choice. Shoe choice is always kind of interesting on the technical trails of Europe. You’re a Salomon athlete. What’s your shoe of choice?
Scallon: The Salomon Sense Soft Ground is what I’ll be wearing.
iRunFar: Good stable platform plus also traction.