Jonas Buud has won both editions of the Ultravasan 90k, including last year when he set the blazingly fast course record of 5:45. In the following interview, Jonas talks about what’s hampered his training of late, who’s the man to beat this weekend, and why he’s run more races outside his forté this year.
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Jonas Buud Pre-2016 Ultravasan Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Jonas Buud before the 2016 Ultravasan. How are you?
Jonas Buud: I’m okay.
iRunFar: Just a normal day for you here in Mora?
Buud: Yes, I think so.
iRunFar: We’re here at the finish line which you’ve been the first runner to the last two years. Do you think you have it in you to do it again?
Buud: No, not really.
iRunFar: No? Why is that? That’s not the normal Jonas Buud I’m used to.
Buud: I’ve been having some problems the last three weeks with my trail running especially.
iRunFar: Yeah? With your Achilles? How did that come about?
Buud: Yes. It was about two weeks ago during a training. I was running. The plan was to go 29-30k. After 20k I started to feel pain. I continued to run back to the car. I came home and started to feel it a bit more, and in the evening, a bit more even. In the morning, it was terrible. I couldn’t hardly walk. I took some days before I could walk normally again. I had to do some cycling and not so much running. After a week it felt a little bit better. I started to run again, but it came back. I’ve been cycling and trying to run a little bit.
iRunFar: Do you have any hypotheses as to what caused it?
Buud: No, not really, maybe a little bit too much running?
iRunFar: You’ve been doing some more racing this year especially racing on more mountainous terrain. Do you think that might have anything to do with it?
Buud: I think it can be many different pieces that have done this. I don’t know. It was at the end of June that I was at Lavaredo Trail and this is so many weeks after. I don’t think it’s that.
iRunFar: Last year you were injured for a good portion of the beginning of the season. You normally bike a lot anyway. How does three weeks of less training sap your confidence?
Buud: It’s not good, because I want to run. If you can’t run for three weeks, it’s difficult. It’s 90k. You must run. You can’t cycle on Saturday, so it’s going to be tough I think.
iRunFar: Who do you think is going to be your biggest competition out there?
Buud: I think Steve [Way]. He knows the course. He was also here two years ago, and he knows the course. I think he will want to compete well this year.
iRunFar: It was a close race two years ago, yes?
Buud: Yes, until half way.
iRunFar: Until half way, much like last year. This year, there was a little change on the course, a little more technical terrain.
Buud: Yes, but it’s less than two years ago when Steve was here, so it’s better for Steve this year than it was two years ago.
iRunFar: The course has been different all three years, and this is the middle?
Buud: Yes, I think so.
iRunFar: You’re, of course, familiar with that terrain. For folks who haven’t raced it, what’s it like?
Buud: The new part is a little bit more technical. It’s singletrack with a bit of stones. It’s a really nice part. It’s in the forest. It’s a really beautiful area.
iRunFar: So it’s more technical than the rest of the course, but it’s not overly technical?
Buud: No, no, it’s a really nice part. It’s beautiful.
iRunFar: About how many extra kilometers? Not extra distance, but change?
Buud: I think it’s 4-4.5k.
iRunFar: There’s almost now 13-14k of technical trail on that stretch?
iRunFar: This year—unlike last year where you were injured early and didn’t run a lot, cycled a lot, didn’t race a lot—this year you’ve been racing since February.
Buud: Yes, I made three races in Ultra-Trail World Tour. It’s been really fun.
iRunFar: What did draw you to those? Last year you had tremendous success here and World 100k. What had you going toward more technical, mountainous terrain?
Buud: It’s fun to try new things also. I really love to run in the mountains also. I don’t think that course, it’s good for me, but I want to have so many hills. I want to run flat. But I really love to run in the hills also.
iRunFar: Obviously you’ve had some great success at Comrades in the past. What went wrong there this year?
Buud: I was sick two weeks before Comrades. I just got in shape to run one or two days before Comrades, so it was bad preparation for Comrades also.
iRunFar: Before you got injured a couple weeks ago, do you think you were in similar shape to last year?
Buud: Yeah, I think so. I think I was in good shape.
iRunFar: If I recall correctly, and please correct me if I’m wrong, last year before this race you were doing a lot of cycling as well and not a whole lot of running. So… you ran 5:45 here last year off cycling.
Buud: Yes, but the weeks before the race I could run really good, and I felt really strong in the run. Now, I haven’t run for three weeks almost, so it’s a little bit different.
iRunFar: What’s the weather looking like for this weekend?
Buud: It’s going to be really nice running weather, I think… maybe a little bit rain. But it’s not too hot and not too cold. I think it’s going to be really good conditions.
iRunFar: By rain, not a lot of rain? A nice cool day?
Buud: Oh, no. And the course is also really dry right now. I think it’s going to be a fast course.
iRunFar: Even a little bit of rain is not going to slow the race?
Buud: No, I don’t think so.
iRunFar: Awesome. You think Steve is going to be some good competition. Anybody else out there?
Buud: Yes, there are a lot of runners, good runners this year. I think Steve has the advantage as he was here two years ago. You think that’s a big help on this course?
iRunFar: You’ve seen this course more than anybody, so even if you’re a little low on confidence going in, best of luck out there and enjoy.
Buud: Thank you.