A supernova of mountain running, Manuel Merillas represents Team Spain at the 2015 IAU Trail World Championships. In the following interview, Manu describes his blow-up at the Transvulcania Ultramarathon three weeks ago, his second place at the Zegama Marathon two weeks ago, and his preparations ahead of this weekend’s race.
[Click here if you can’t see the video above.]
Manuel Merillas Pre-2015 IAU Trail World Championships Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Manuel Merillas before the 2015 IAU Trail World Championships. How are you?
Manuel Merillas: I’m really happy to be here and fine.
iRunFar: This is your third race in May. You ran Transvulcania, Zegama, and now this. Are you tired?
Merillas: I actually feel fine. I really find myself well when I do races, so every day I try to get a bit better and now I feel really good.
iRunFar: At Transvulcania, you went out hard and were close to the leaders and then you had troubles. What happened?
Merillas: I started pretty fast going from less to more and I got to the top of Transvulcania with four guys. Then we went down to Tazacorte, and I had heat stroke and I couldn’t feel pretty good. I ended up watching the finish line which was all curved…
iRunFar: The straight road was curved…
Merillas: With vomits and…
iRunFar: With vomiting, ohhhhh… Then I would have thought you would have been destroyed, but just one week later, you were second at Zegama. How did you recover so quickly?
Merillas: My recovery is, like, in every town in Spain there are sausages and all the products of Spain. Not even me or my trainer would have believed I could have done a great race. So I could take the spine out with this huge time with this great race, so I’m really happy about it.
iRunFar: What have you done between Zegama and now? Have you just rested or did you actually train?
Merillas: No, I really like to train. I’ve been doing a lot of hours training since Zegama. I find myself loving training. So now I wait for the race and try to do my best on Saturday.
iRunFar: Do you feel confident after such a great race at Zegama?
Merillas: I trust in myself, but I don’t know what’s going to happen on Saturday until the point I go fast, so I’ll try to do my best and enjoy it.
iRunFar: With this race, what does it feel like to compete for a team? You have such a great team here with Luis Alberto Hernando, Dani García, and all the other teammates.
Merillas: If someone told me when I started running that I was going to be on a team with these ‘beasts,’ I wouldn’t believe it. Everywhere you look around there are these beasts. I’ve struggled a lot to be here, so I feel very thankful for it.
iRunFar: Best of luck, and enjoy.
iRunFar: One bonus question: two weeks ago you finished a great second at Zegama, but your girlfriend [Azara García] won the women’s race. Were you doing all the cooking this past two weeks?
Merillas: No, we compensated pretty well after Zegama… Delivered the homeworks… but I had to pass the mop and clean the dishes because she was tired. Every day we help each other.
iRunFar: You had a good party, yes?
Merillas: Yes, we did serve it.
iRunFar: Good job.