Spain’s Uxue Fraile just finished seventh at the Zegama Marathon two weeks ago in her first race of 2015, and now she’s competing at the IAU Trail World Championships for Team Spain. In this interview, Uxue talks about her Zegama experience, how she took a long break from running over the winter, and on what parts of this weekend’s course she expects to feel the strongest.
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Uxue Fraile Pre-2015 IAU Trail World Championships Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Meghan Hicks of iRunFar, and I’m here in Annecy, France ahead of the 2015 IAU Trail World Championships with Team Spain’s Uxue Fraile. How are you?
Uxue Fraile: Well, I am fine. I think that this place is magnificent, it’s marvelous, and we’ll see on Saturday if I have recovered from Zegama, but I feel well enough.
iRunFar: Yeah, we last saw you just two weeks ago in Spain where you raced to a really strong finish at Zegama. Zegama is a super-technical race with tons of up and tons of down. How are your legs feeling?
Fraile: I hope they are well enough, but while I was really tired last week from running Zegama under five hours. It was the first time I have run so fast. It was the first race this year, too, so you train, but it’s not the same feeling as when you race. Last week I was really, really tired.
iRunFar: Last week you were really, really tired. This week, you won’t know until Saturday?
Fraile: No, I haven’t trained a lot. I hope my recovery has been well. Maybe on Saturday I’m not so tired as last week. I hope so. I think my trainer and I have done good work, but we’ll see. I want to enjoy here. It’s the first ultra this year. This winter hasn’t been a good months for me, so Zegama was a surprise. It was a surprise.
iRunFar: What was it about your winter that didn’t go well?
Fraile: I think that last year was very hard. I finished Diagonale des Fous, a really, really hard race, and I was so tired after. I spent a lot of time running not only last year, but I have been running for a lot of years. I was really tired. I had some problems with my feet. With having skiing, I enjoy a lot of skiing, and it was a challenge to train. I didn’t know if I was able to be in Zegama. I did Zegama and I did my best race in four years, so I had good feelings to run.
iRunFar: Maybe there’s something to having periods of rest and periods of recovery to being strong after.
Fraile: Yeah, I didn’t believe that, but now I see sometimes if you have a break, it could be great. Great experience, great not only for the body but for the mind. I hope that for Saturday it will be great, too.
iRunFar: I want to talk for a minute about this course. We can see a lot of it as we’re standing here. We’re in France, but a lot of the features of the course are similar to where you’re from in Spain—steep ups, steep downs, then some flat running through rural areas in the valley where you have to then run pretty fast, and then steep ups and steep downs. What are you best at? There’s a lot going on there. What are you good at?
Fraile: I think that I prefer going up.
iRunFar: Going up is your forte.
Fraile: Yeah, I feel so nervous when I’m going down. I run, but I want to run faster. That could be worse for me because I want to run faster because it could be the meaning of my nervous feelings, but I think that I prefer going up. On Saturday, I don’t know. I have heard that the tracks are similar to UTMB and it could be a hard race because there are tough up and downs. It could be very hard for the legs.
iRunFar: It’s just 85k but there are thousands of meters of climbing in a pretty short race. There’s part of that that will be efficient climbing—climbing well, descending well—but part of it is just going to be rocks for such a short race.
Fraile: We’ll see. I don’t know what will happen on Saturday. I think this race will be good for people who can run fast but they are good at ups and good at downhills. We’ll see. I have my prognostic, but I think there are good girls and good boys, too. We’ll see what will happen. We will have to enjoy. I think that the weather is good. The place is marvelous, so we’ll see what is happening.
iRunFar: One more question for you about Team Spain. You’re competing as a team also at this World Championships event. You had a really strong team up until a couple weeks ago with you and Maite [Maiora] and Teresa [Nimes Perez] and Silvia [Trigueros]. Now we’ve lost Maite to a leg injury, right?
Fraile: But she’s going to run.
iRunFar: No, she’s going to run?
Fraile: Yeah, she’s going to run. For me, it’s one of the favorites of this race. I think she’s a good girl and she may be the winner.
Fraile: I know that she’s with an injury, but I know she’s a very strong girl. She feels good enough to run on Saturday. We’ll see with what happens, but for me it’s one of the favorites.
iRunFar: That brings an element of strength back into the team. Team Spain is formidable.
Fraile: We hope to be on the podium. It could be on the top, and we hope to be on the top. France’s team is a good team, too. They know this part. I suppose that they know the race and it could be an advantage for them, but we came here to fight with them.
iRunFar: You’re here for the dual. Okay, best of luck to you on Saturday.
Fraile: Thank you.
iRunFar: We look forward to seeing you out there.
Fraile: Thank you very much.