Caroline Chaverot absolutely dominated the women’s field on her way to winning Transgrancanaria by two hours after taking second last year. In the following interview, Caroline talks about what difficulties she faced in the race, what she thought of the race’s new finish, and where else you can expect to see her racing.
For more on what happened at the race, check out our 2016 Transgrancanaria results article.
Caroline Chaverot, 2016 Transgrancanaria Champ, Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Caroline Chaverot after her win at the 2016 Transgrancanaria. Congratulations!
Caroline Chaverot: Thank you, Bryon.
iRunFar: That was an amazing race you had yesterday.
Chaverot: Yes, I felt very good. In fact, I did not suffer before Pico de las Nieves, 84k. It was really easy. I felt easy. The end was painful.
iRunFar: You may have felt easy, but it looked like you were really working hard. Some people who were in the race around you said you were breathing very fast and pushing?
Chaverot: No, I’m always like that. I always breathe very fast. Sometimes in some downhills I was pushing hard when there was a runner just behind me. I’d say, Okay, I don’t want to slow him down, so I’d have to go fast, but I didn’t feel that hard.
iRunFar: That’s funny because I think I know someone who was following you who said you kept going so fast in the downhill, and you just didn’t want to be in his way. You just had an amazing race from start to finish. You were putting on almost a minute per kilometer on the rest of the women. Did you expect to go out so hard, or were you just feeling great? What happened?
Chaverot: No, I was well-prepared, and I decided to start the race pretty fast, because it’s good for the self-confidence. If you are leading the race from the start, it’s good. It’s more difficult, I think, if you are behind and you have to gain time on the other women. So I started pretty quickly, but I tried to stay relaxed, because I know this race is very long. It’s important not to get tired too early. But the end was really tough.
iRunFar: What was tough at the end? Were you overall tired? Was it your muscles?
Chaverot: It was my muscles, really my muscles. General condition was okay, but I had pain in every muscle in the body—the back, the shoulder, the abdominals, the quadriceps…
iRunFar: I was going to say, you’d better say your legs because…
Chaverot: Ah, the legs were terrible. At the end, there were a lot of very hard downhills, quite steep and very rocky. When your muscles are tired, it’s difficult, the rocky downhills like that.
iRunFar: What was the previous course and this one—how much harder was the finish? Was it rockier?
Chaverot: This finish was harder, more interesting, but it was harder. Before, it was a bit boring, but it was not technical. This time it was really technical and you finish in a river bank with big stones. It’s terrible for the ankles. My feet swelled a lot.
iRunFar: If it was more technical at the end, how do you think there were such fast times. You, Didrik [Hermansen] and some of the other men were very much faster.
Chaverot: In fact, I think there were two to three kilometers less, so it makes a difference, but I think we were faster because if we compare the times to Tunte, it was the same course to Tunte and we were both very much faster than last year.
iRunFar: So maybe just the end section—aside from you all had good races—the end of the course is faster.
Chaverot: Yes, it’s a bit faster, but it was very beautiful this downhill to Ayagaures. It was so magnificent. I had a lot of pleasure until Ayagaures. After, I did not…
iRunFar: How did you like the three kilometer climb out of Ayagaures? Were you expecting…?
Chaverot: It’s hard. It’s hard, eh? I tried to run, but I don’t think I really ran. I just did the move of running, but I was very slow. It was motivating because marathon runners were passing me. Each time, it gave me a little objective. I’d say, Okay, I have to try to follow them. I never could follow them, but I tried.
iRunFar: In the end, you won the women’s race by over two hours. Was there a certain point during the race where you think, Okay, I’ve won this. I’m just going to relax and go slowly?
Chaverot: Never. Never. I lost myself three times. Each time I lost, I was very worried. Maybe I lose the race now. I never thought I’d be so fast compared to the other women. I really tried to get fast all the race. I was not as fast at the end, but…
iRunFar: How are you feeling today?
Chaverot: I’m feeling good. I’m recovering pretty quickly. At first I thought I was injured, but now I think I’m not injured. I think I’m feeling alright, but I will need some days of recovery.
iRunFar: No running today?
Chaverot: No, no running. I would like to be cycling, but I have no time. I have to catch my plane. This week will be a very quiet week, I think.
iRunFar: Whatever your coach has your training, it’s clearly working for you.
Chaverot: Yeah, I have a great coach. He’s very nice, very interesting. Yes, it’s working well with me.
iRunFar: Where do we get to see you next? What races are on your calendar?
Chaverot: I’m going to do the MUT, Madeira Ultra Trail. I was thinking about going to Lavaredo. They invited me. At first I said, Okay, I prefer to go to 80k Mont Blanc. It’s just beside my home. Yesterday, I was thinking, Ah, I should go to Lavaredo. That’s a nice race. It’s good preparation for UTMB, because it’s a similar sort of profile. Maybe it would be better for UTMB and would give me an occasion to come back to the Dolomites.
iRunFar: UTMB is your big goal for the year?
Chaverot: Yes, I really hope to do well at UTMB, but yesterday during the race I was thinking, Oh, maybe I’m not good enough to race UTMB. My muscles are too painful after only 120k. How can I do UTMB?
iRunFar: Well, there are six months between now and UTMB, so I think you can prepare in the mountains a little.
Chaverot: Yeah, I have to work hard.
iRunFar: But you’re excited for that, to try the 100 mile distance again?
Chaverot: I’m very, very excited. I’m very motivated. I will do everything I can to do a good race.
iRunFar: On yesterday’s race, what was your favorite part? What did you enjoy the most out there?
Chaverot: I think my favorite part is the uphill to Roque Nublo, and then I liked the downhill to Tunte, because it was sunny. After the night which was very cold…
iRunFar: Was it cold?
Chaverot: Yes. The start of the race is magnificent, the very technical part, very funny part. It’s really fun but it’s in the night, so you don’t see everything. I prefer to run in the day.
iRunFar: Just that part of the course in the middle part of the island, like Roque Nublo.
Chaverot: It’s magnificent. We were in the fog. It was really cold, and it was raining. Suddenly, the sun came. It was a miracle. It was really enjoyable.
iRunFar: Sounds special. Congratulations on a great race, Caroline. See you soon.
Chaverot: Thank you. See you. Bye bye.