When Emelie Forsberg ran Cavalls del Vent (Ultra Pirineu’s predecessor), the 85-kilometer race was her longest to date. In the following interview, Emelie talks about her previous run here, her top competition at Ultra Pirineu: Núria Picas and Mira Rai, and her current strength in races from six-to-nine hours.
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Emelie Forsberg Pre-2015 Ultra Pirineu Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Emelie Forsberg before the 2015 Ultra Pirineu. How are you, Emelie?
Emelie Forsberg: Good, thank you.
iRunFar: You’ve raced a lot this year.
Forsberg: Not more than normal.
iRunFar: Not more than in the past. But you are trying to win the Skyrunner Vertical Kilometer, Sky, and Ultra Series? Is that still possible?
Forsberg: It was never a goal to win them. It was a goal to do them and to do as good as possible. I always think it’s nice to do as good as possible in all of them because I like all of the distances, but it’s always hard because it’s hard to be good or fresh in every moment.
iRunFar: Especially when you’re running multiple races on the same weekend a lot of the time.
iRunFar: How many races did you do at The Rut?
Forsberg: It was three.
iRunFar: That was not very long ago. How are your legs now?
Forsberg: I was a bit tired the week after because I did a lot of work and interviews and photo shooting the week after. I had planned to get everything done, but it also makes you tired in the head. Yeah, I felt exhausted, but I feel good now.
iRunFar: You had a nice road trip from Chamonix to Cataluña?
iRunFar: This was your first long ultramarathon—Cavalls del Vent a few years ago. Does it hold a special place because of that?
Forsberg: Yes, it was a big thing to do your first ultra or long-distance race. When I think back a bit, I feel just a bit disappointed because I felt so good during the whole race. I don’t think I will feel that good now. That’s a pity. I have more respect for it now than I did then. Then I didn’t know what I was doing. I was just running. It was fun.
iRunFar: It was 85k then, and you were leading at 75k?
iRunFar: And then, Núria [Picas]…
Forsberg: And then I looked at the watch—12 hours?! I have never been running this long before. What’s going to happen now? And then I was just boom—I think it was mental. I was not super tired in my legs, but I just couldn’t run faster. Then Frosty [Anna Frost] and Núria passed me. It was good, but it was interesting.
iRunFar: Núria has won this race four years in a row. She’ll be here this weekend. Are you excited to race her again?
Forsberg: Yes, she hasn’t been doing many races this year, international at least, and I haven’t raced her since I think two years ago. Two years ago I felt really good racing her. I don’t know now because I had a long season and she had not quite a long season and she didn’t finish UTMB and also it’s her race and it’s her home. I think she’s very… she’s always strong, but I think this means something special for her. I know it’s going to be a hard day out there with her.
iRunFar: Not only do you have a good race lined up with her, Mira Rai is having a great season.
Forsberg: Yes, she’s very strong in the longer races. Both she and Núria are stronger in long, and I know I’m going to feel easier in the beginning, I think, because I have a bit more speed than them, but then I don’t know what’s going to happen after eight hours.
iRunFar: Nuria is not part of the ultra series this year for Skyrunner, but Mira is. Either of you two ladies could win the series on Saturday.
Forsberg: Yeah, yeah.
iRunFar: I’m sure you’ve done the math.
Forsberg: Yeah, yeah, sure, I’ve done it.
iRunFar: If she beats you…
Forsberg: No, not if she beats me. Only if she wins the race she can win. If I come third and she comes second, I win. It’s only if she wins the race. It’s going to be interesting. I’m going to give my best for sure.
iRunFar: It’s also a long season. How do you keep your motivation to keep racing at this point?
Forsberg: I think it’s because I do everything. If I would only focus on short, I would be better in short and maybe I would enjoy it, but it keeps me motivated to do my best in all the distances because I really love all the distances. I know I cannot win everything, but that keeps me motivated.
iRunFar: That said, it seems from 50k to 100k, you’re pretty unbeatable right now. Do you feel at this point you have that really dialed in?
Forsberg: I feel comfortable. From six to nine hours I feel really, really comfortable. Under and after, it’s a bit harder. After 10 hours, it’s mostly because I haven’t done it for many years. Under that, it’s often because I am a bit tired from the ultras I do or the long-distance races. I think it’s nice to challenge myself in both directions.
iRunFar: Is this your longest race since Diagonale des Fous?
Forsberg: Yeah. Whoo, I don’t want to think about it.
iRunFar: No, no, but it is familiar to you, most of the course. The course has changed a little bit. How does that play into your race when you know what’s ahead?
Forsberg: It was really bad weather the year I was running, so I’m looking forward to seeing more of the landscape. It’s good that I kind of know how the race is. I have a plan in my mind how I will go for it during the race, but it’s going to be really hard, these 30 extra kilometers. The longest race I did this year is 60k. It’s 50 more kilometers, and it’s not only 50k…
iRunFar: The course isn’t pure mountain, just up and down, so you’ll have some good running in there.
Forsberg: Yes, it’s a lot of flat I heard. It’s “only” 6,000 meters in 110k, so not super steep.
iRunFar: You’ll have to…
Forsberg: I’ll have to get the legs going.
iRunFar: Best of luck out there, and enjoy, Emelie.
Forsberg: Thank you. Thanks.