Nathalie Mauclair continues her fantastic 2015, with her win at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. In the following interview, Nathalie talks about her win, why she spent a long time at the finish, and where she’s racing next.
For more on how the race went down, read our 2015 UTMB results article.
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Nathalie Mauclair, 2015 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc Champion, Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Nathalie Mauclair after her win at the 2015 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB). Congratulations, Nathalie!
Nathalie Mauclair: Thank you!
iRunFar: Let’s go back to the beginning of the year. It is New Year’s Day. Did you dream you could have such a strong year?
Mauclair: No, I don’t dream it. I dream all the race. It was fabulous with the public and the weather and the mountains. My body was well. During the race, I was not afraid. I get a lot of pleasure.
iRunFar: Everything just went well?
Mauclair: Yes, everything.
iRunFar: As usual, you went out in the lead. At the start you were the top women?
Mauclair: Yes, but it’s flat and I’m better on the flat, so for me it was normal to be in the front. I said in my head, The other runners will come back. But there was only Caroline Chaverot. After, she was hurt and she stopped.
iRunFar: So on the flat, you weren’t pushing. You were just feeling comfortable.
iRunFar: You did have a good battle with Caroline out there. When did she catch you?
Mauclair: I say in my head, Relax. The race is long. There is a long time. I do UTMB last year, and for her it was the first time. So I have experience, so wait, wait. I was relaxed.
iRunFar: At what point on the course did she pass you?
Mauclair: Before Courmayeur. There is a big downhill.
iRunFar: So after Lac Combal?
Mauclair: Yes. She’s better than me in the down. I say, “Go, go go. I see after.”
iRunFar: But you kept running strong, strong, strong. When did you catch her again?
Mauclair: Before Arnuva.
iRunFar: So on the long traverse, the long flat parts.
Mauclair: Yes, I can run and she was in difficulty. It was when the sun shined. I was…
iRunFar: What a view. Those mountains on your left must be amazing at sunrise. Then you just kept pulling away from her. Did you feel strong after Col Ferret and La Fouly?
Mauclair: Yes. I was happy. I hope arrive at Grand Col Ferret less tired as possible. I arrived to do that, but after I think in my head, Yes! But the race was not finished. After, it was a little more difficult. I started again and it was okay.
iRunFar: Was there any point in the race where you just felt horrible?
Mauclair: The last when we had to descent La Flégère. It’s interminable. When do we arrive at Chamonix?!
iRunFar: You just wanted to be done.
iRunFar: When you finish…
Mauclair: There were a lot of people, everyone shaking my hand. It was fabulous.
iRunFar: Of all the finishers I saw, you were the person, I think, who absorbed it the most. You stayed there.
Mauclair: Yes, all these people come to the race and come near the trail to say to the runner, “Go! Go! Go!” So it’s to give thanks.
iRunFar: It’s your time with them.
iRunFar: You’re just incredible at 100 miles on these courses. You say you’re better at the running, but you win races like Diagonale des Fous and UTMB. Are you sure you’re not stronger in the mountains than you think you are?
Mauclair: It’s coming. It’s coming.
iRunFar: You know what else is coming? Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji.
Mauclair: Yes, it’s a black point in my parcours.
iRunFar: You think you will go back?
Mauclair: Maybe. My new partner is Mizuno, so Fuji? Why not?
iRunFar: You will give yourself a few more days to see how your recover goes?
iRunFar: Are you racing Diagonale des Fous?
Mauclair: Yes. I go to it for three years, three times.
iRunFar: Are you going to win that again?
Mauclair: There is Emelie LeComte who will be there. She won it two times, too.
iRunFar: That will be a great challenge.
Mauclair: Yes, it will be good.
iRunFar: Do you look forward to a big battle?
iRunFar: You did so well here this past weekend. What advice would you give people running UTMB? What tips would you give someone running UTMB?
Mauclair: We have to do good preparation because it’s difficult. It’s better to start with a little race before UTMB. It’s very week with a lot of runners and many races. If we love trail, we have to come one time to Chamonix for this week of UTMB.
iRunFar: For the experience?
iRunFar: Do you think you’ll come back next year to defend your title?
Mauclair: I don’t write my races for next year. I’ll see.
iRunFar: Congratulations on this win.
Mauclair: Thank you, Bryon.
iRunFar: Thank you so much.