Andrea Huser took second at last year’s Transgrancanaria and is back again this year. In the following interview, Andrea talks about where she’s competed over the winter, whether she actually took a break, and whether she can beat Caroline Chaverot at Transgrancanaria this weekend.
Read our Transgrancanaria preview to find out who else is running this year’s race!
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Andrea Huser Pre-2017 Transgrancanaria Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Andrea Huser before the 2017 Transgrancanaria. How are you, Andrea?
Andrea Huser: I’m feeling good. I’m fine, thank you.
iRunFar: What brings you back to the race this year? You were second here last year.
Huser: Yes, I like the race. Last year, I had very good feelings, and that motivated me to come again.
iRunFar: Last year you probably ran more high-level ultramarathons than any other woman on the planet. Did you have any break after your win at Diagonale des Fous?
Huser: Yes, I did a break until the whole of November. I didn’t do much only just for fun. I did some other things than sports.
iRunFar: Then in December did you start training again?
Huser: Yes, in December I started training how I feel, and then in January I started really training.
iRunFar: So December was more gradual?
iRunFar: At the end of December, you did run a 100-mile race?
Huser: Yes, I was invited for that race Tai Mo Shan in Hong Kong. It was very nice. They paid everything, and I really wanted to go to Hong Kong. I did it for adventure. I trained but not much for that race.
iRunFar: So that was not the real start to your season? That was an adventure?
Huser: Yes, it was an adventure.
iRunFar: How did you enjoy Hong Kong?
Huser: I enjoyed it very much. I was thinking I have to go longer next time because I just went for one week, and it was a bit short. I couldn’t see much from the big city, but I could see the real nice mountains.
iRunFar: What did you enjoy in Hong Kong?
Huser: The trail from the race was very nice. I enjoyed it very much. The people are awesome. They did all for me.
iRunFar: I’m guessing, now knowing you a bit, that you’ve probably raced since then, yes?
Huser: Not much. I just did one ski-mountaineering race, a short one, and that’s all.
iRunFar: No running races since then?
Huser: No, no running races… No, I did one in South France. I had not a good race there. It was a nice race—48k.
iRunFar: What was the name of the race?
Huser: Trail de la Galinette.
iRunFar: Not a good run for you?
Huser: Yeah, I felt not good. I had a cold, and I felt tired. It was not good. I enjoyed the scenery. I was there with Caroline [Chaverot] and Diego [Pazos], so we had a very good time there.
iRunFar: Speaking of Caroline, you finished second to her many times last year, but you were also the last woman to beat her in an ultramarathon back in 2015. What do you think it would take to beat Caroline here this weekend?
Huser: I don’t think I can catch her. For me, I think she’s still high level. I think I should be more perfectly trained and with nutrition, and I don’t think I’m in this performance like Caroline.
iRunFar: Do you think you can improve on your own run here last year? Do you think you can run faster?
Huser: I don’t know. I don’t know. I trained other (differently) during January and February than last year, so it’s very difficult to say how I can run here. I don’t know.
iRunFar: Looking around here today, it’s cloudy, and it’s nice and cool down by the ocean, but that can mean it’s very cold up in the mountains. Are you ready for that?
Huser: No, I have to think what clothes I take with me. I don’t like cold. It can be very cold up in the mountains at night.
iRunFar: But you live in Switzerland?
Huser: Yes, I live in Switzerland, and I have a lot of clothes to make sports in Switzerland.
iRunFar: Is it difficult here? You start down low near the ocean, and then you climb, and then the end of the race can be quite hot.
Huser: Yes, that’s the difficulty here. At the end, I remember last year, it was like now, about 20—25 degrees Celsius. I felt very comfortable for this temperature. When it’s not warmer, it’s good. The difference between 3 degrees up in the mountains to 20 degrees will be a big difference.
iRunFar: Having run the race last year, what are you looking forward to the most? What do you think you will enjoy the most on Saturday?
Huser: Yeah, up the mountains—the Roque Nublo, Pico de las Nieves, and the nice technical downhills that I like very much here.
iRunFar: When you’re out there, are you looking around at the scenery and enjoying the beauty some?
Huser: Yeah, sometimes—especially in the morning when I am up in the mountains I look around and can enjoy a bit.
iRunFar: Is it kind of nice after running through the night after six or seven hours?
Huser: I don’t like that very much, but it’s always good to start into the night so I’m looking forward to the morning, but sometimes it’s like you run just for your own in a tunnel. That can be also be very fundamental and quiet.
iRunFar: Do you enjoy that?
Huser: Sometimes, yes.
iRunFar: Is it also a challenge sometimes?
Huser: It is, yes.
iRunFar: At this race, you’re going out, and it’s night. It’s cold, and people are in jackets, and it’s very hard to tell if there are other women around you. Do you look for who you’re competing against, or are you just running by yourself thinking about yourself?
Huser: Yes, I try to. It’s interesting to know how much time I’m behind or I’m on the front from the one behind me, but I try to go just my own pace and try to enjoy the trails.
iRunFar: Was there one part of the course last year that was most challenging for you?
Huser: Yes, the last part. I think the last 2 kilometers I suffered a lot. It’s very flat and…
Huser: It was not the heat; it was the flat part after you come down the long hill. Yeah, the last 2k here on the roads, I don’t like that.
iRunFar: You just wish you would finish at the end of the trail?
iRunFar: Good luck enjoying yourself out there, Andrea, and have a great weekend!
Huser: Thank you!