Emelie Forsberg is in Alaska, a place that reminds her of a bigger, wilder version of her Swedish homeland, to run the Mount Marathon Race this weekend. In the following interview, Emelie talks about why she’s excited to travel to and explore Alaska, why she’ll make Mount Marathon a focus race in 2016, what the highlights of her trip have been so far, and what her expectations are for the race.
Check out our in-depth preview to see who else is racing.
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Emelie Forsberg Pre-2015 Mount Marathon Race Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Mauri Pagliacci of iRunFar here with Emelie Forsberg in the previews of the Mount Marathon Race. How are you, Emelie?
Emelie Forsberg: Good, thank you.
iRunFar: Are you enjoying the mountains of Alaska?
Forsberg: Yes. It’s so amazing here.
iRunFar: Is it your first time here to Alaska?
iRunFar: How excited are you about doing the Mount Marathon Race?
Forsberg: I’m actually really excited to be here. It’s the first time in a long time I feel excited to travel and explore. This country is actually… I really like it here. It feels like at home but just much bigger and wilder. I’m just thrilled to be here. The race is even more crazy. You’ve seen it? It’s crazy.
iRunFar: Yes, it is. It’s an amazing place. What can you tell us about the actual course?
Forsberg: It’s just one mountain, up and down. I’ve never seen anything like this technical-wise. When I was going up, There’s seven year olds doing this! Whoo! I just want to for sure… I have already booked it in my calendar for next year. Next year I will focus on this because it needs special training, at least for me. I will not run Transvulcania, I think. I will just focus on this.
iRunFar: It’s fun for me to hear you say that it’s so difficult and so technical. You’ve run hard races like Kima, for example. What can you find different in those trails than here?
Forsberg: I think here you should do this race under one hour, so you don’t have time for mistakes. You just need to go and you need to do it fast. Yeah, it’s steep and rocky and muddy.
iRunFar: All the perfect conditions and ingredients. Aside of the race itself and the mountains that are beautiful, what do you feel with the trail or running community here? You said there are seven-year-old children running and everything. What does it make you feel?
Forsberg: When I came here, I didn’t know much about the culture of mountain running here, but as soon as we arrived in Anchorage, we met a lot of people. First of all, there were just so many young people there, like kids from seven to 10 that came. “Wow, we are going to do this race.” They told me about their runs. Their playground is outside. It looks like the mountain-running community is really big here.
iRunFar: It is. It looks like it. You’ve been out exploring and filming and everything. What’s the highlight so far of the trip?
Forsberg: It’s many things. We’ve seen so much wildlife, so many flowers, so many beautiful mountains, and also the people are very friendly and heartily welcome us here and want to show us around. Yeah, I’m just so happy to be here.
iRunFar: You couldn’t see a bear?
Forsberg: Yeah, I’ve seen one—actually one brown one and one black. The black one I came a bit closer because they are not ‘dangerous.’ The brown one we didn’t get close to. I’ve seen two of them and a lot of eagles and a lot of small birds and a lot of salmon.
iRunFar: Fantastic. One last question for the race, what are your expectations for this race?
Forsberg: I have been trying to do more shorter training and not too many ultras. I’ve only done Transvulcania, but I skipped the 80k in Chamonix [Mont Blanc 80k] just because I wanted to be as fresh as possible here. But now when I come here, I just realize that if I finish in a good position, I will be happy. I know that for next year, this is going to be one of my goals because I have really high expectations here. I don’t think it will be possible to beat Allie [Ostrander], the young girl. I think she’s unbeatable right now. She’s been running here for many, many years.
iRunFar: She grew up here.
Forsberg: Really? If I do well this year, I will be super happy and for sure for next year, this will be one goal.
iRunFar: It’s fun to hear, too, that you will make it all the way from Europe for a ‘short’ race here.
Forsberg: Yes, when I started to realize, I actually made plans for April of next year at the end of my ski season. I think I will make a trip here if it’s possible for two months—for skiing and for running.
iRunFar: That will be great! Awesome!
Forsberg: Yeah, super excited!
iRunFar: Thank you very much for your time and have an exciting weekend here!
Forsberg: Thank you!