Caroline Chaverot has crushed nearly every race she’s run in the past two years with the notable exception of last year’s UTMB, when she dropped late in the race with cramps. She’ll have a shot at redemption at this year’s UTMB. In the following interview, Caroline talks about how her season’s gone, what went wrong at least year’s UTMB, and how she’s feeling going into this weekend’s race.
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Caroline Chaverot Pre-2016 UTMB Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Caroline Chaverot before the 2016 UTMB. How are you, Caroline?
Caroline Chaverot: Fine, very good.
iRunFar: When did you arrive here in Chamonix?
Chaverot: Just today. One hour ago.
iRunFar: We were just talking. You only live 40 minutes from here.
Chaverot: Yes, I often come to Chamonix.
iRunFar: To train?
Chaverot: Yes, I love it.
iRunFar: What is your favorite part of the course to run?
Chaverot: Maybe the end from Tête aux Vents to Chamonix is really beautiful. The view is amazing.
iRunFar: And a lot of downhill.
Chaverot: Yes, the downhill.
iRunFar: Have you trained on the course many times this summer?
Chaverot: Not too much because I intend to do the whole course on the fifth of August, but I fell on my ribs, and I was a little bit injured; so I had to wait a bit. I only did the first part of the course until Courmayeur.
iRunFar: This year you’ve been racing a lot. You like to race a lot. You’ve had great wins. You won Transgrancanaria, Mont Blanc 80k.
Chaverot: Yeah, Madeira Island Ultra Trail.
iRunFar: You feel strong?
Chaverot: Yes, I feel good. I’m happy. I’m not too nervous. I am quite confident, because I had a good season. I know if I’m okay, I will try to do my best.
iRunFar: You still have energy both in the mind and in the body?
Chaverot: Yes, I rest quite a lot after BUFF Epic Trail, and then I train to compete again. Then I rest again. I feel rested and confident.
iRunFar: You knew you had good fitness from March all the way through July, so not a big need to train.
Chaverot: Yes, but anyway my coach only say, “Oh, for UTMB, maybe not enough. You have to do long, long runs. So 10 days ago I ran 65k and 4,000 elevation in a day. So I think I trained well.
iRunFar: All those other races were not enough long runs for your coach?
Chaverot: No. He said, “Oh, maybe it’s not enough. UTMB is so long.”
iRunFar: Last year you began UTMB and were running very well until late in the race. What happened?
Chaverot: I had cramps in the quadriceps. Maybe when I am thinking about, I think it’s not only the cramps. It’s an accumulation of little mistakes, and it was a nightmare for me. I didn’t eat enough. I didn’t drink enough. It was quite warm. I should have drunk more. Maybe I didn’t train enough. I did a lot of good runs in the mountains, but I didn’t train in long course with many kilometers. UTMB, you have to run a lot and not only to walk. During the whole summer, I only walked. When I started to run the race, maybe the cramps came.
iRunFar: Maybe just from the different motion. You were prepared for more walking.
Chaverot: Yeah, more walking, and I ran a lot. Maybe I was too nervous and started too fast. Some girls passed me, and I was thinking I should be in front of them. I tried to be very fast. It was a bit stupid because the race is so long. You don’t have to care if somebody is in front of you after one hour.
iRunFar: It’s not a race to Les Houches.
Chaverot: No, it’s not. I did the race to Les Houches. Then I was so… maybe too nervous.
iRunFar: You have this list of things you did wrong last year. Do you think you can correct them this year?
Chaverot: Yes, I hope. I’m a bit frightened to start too fast again. I think it’s really difficult to pace yourself and to try to be slow and confident being slow. So many people start too fast. You’re in the mix. You try to follow them. Maybe it will be difficult, but I think I will try to pace myself and to drink more, to eat more. I hope. You never know.
iRunFar: You were just saying this weekend is looking to be very hot. You’re a little scared of this?
Chaverot: Yes, I did the 80k at Mont Blanc when it was really, really hot. Suddenly, without any sign, I felt really bad. I nearly collapsed. It was really sudden. So I’m a bit frightened of having the same problem. I will try to drink a lot and maybe to get wet a lot. I hope it will be alright.
iRunFar: I guess the good news is so much of the race is through the night.
Chaverot: Yes. That’s good news. Yeah, I hope until Gran Col Ferret we’ll be alright. It will be after. I think I trained a lot in warm weather. I was in the Pyrenees where it was really warm. I was with my family. A lot of times I was walking with them in the morning, and I had no choice but running in the middle of the afternoon at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. I think I got used to the warmth.
iRunFar: Maybe you’re more prepared than you think.
Chaverot: Yes, I hope. I’m so happy to be here.
iRunFar: With all these races you’ve run so far this year, is there any that stands out as a particularly strong performance?
Chaverot: I think at the Buff Epic Trail I did pretty well and also, Madeira Ultra-Trail. Those were my two better races. No weak points. No problems. I only run and run. I did not suffer too much. I had a lot of pleasure.
iRunFar: Timewise, how long did it take for BUFF Epic Trail?
Chaverot: I don’t remember, but I think it was 14 hours 50 minutes or 13 hours?
iRunFar: So it was maybe two thirds UTMB?
Chaverot: Yes, it was 108k and 7,000 meters and very technical, much more technical than here.
iRunFar: Good preparation for here.
Chaverot: I hope, yes.
iRunFar: Best of luck out there.
Chaverot: Thanks. Sorry for my English. I should have trained before the interview.