Magda Boulet is becoming a machine at trail ultrarunning and her second-place finish at the 2017 Tarawera Ultramarathon is an example of this fact. In the following interview, Magda talks about the highs and lows of her race, how she keyed off winner Camille Herron’s pace early on, and how her late-race match-up with third-place Cecilia Flori sorted out.
Be sure to check out our results article to see how the rest of the race played out.
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Magda Boulet Post-2017 Tarawera Ultramarathon Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Meghan Hicks of iRunFar, and we’re here in Rotorua, New Zealand. It’s the day after the 2017 Tarawera Ultramarathon. I’m with women’s second-place finisher, Magda Boulet.
Magda Boulet: Hi.
iRunFar: Hi. Congratulations!
Boulet: Thank you.
iRunFar: Yesterday looked a little bit tough for you?
Boulet: Yes, it was a little bit uncomfortable. I think most of the race felt really good. I did have a section that was a little bit rough, but I came out of it. I’m still very proud of the effort, but I had to dig really, really deep to finish second.
iRunFar: Let’s talk about how things went early in the race. Camille [Herron] took the pace out from the starting line, is that right?
Boulet: Yes, right away.
iRunFar: But you were chasing hard—the gap was pretty close for a long time.
Boulet: I was. Right. When I show up to a race, you run to win. So, I needed to run… my rule is for most of a race, you run comfortably uncomfortable. Then the last part, you just really have to run uncomfortable, so you run really hard. I was feeling really good. I sat a few minutes behind Camille for at least half of the race, and I felt like, Maybe she will come back. I was running within myself, and the gap wasn’t that big. Anything can happen in long races. Anything can happen. I was still feeling really confident that it could really work out in my favor. She was pressing. She ran an impressive race. The gap only got stronger after the second half.
iRunFar: You both… looking back at your splits, you both ran quite nice splits that last 40k. It’s just that she ran hers a little bit faster.
Boulet: You know, actually, when I hit 70k is when I really started to struggle. I was really looking forward to that part.
iRunFar: Getting onto the runnable terrain? Running on instinct more for you?
Boulet: Yes, right, right. That is when I had my rough patch. My lower back started to tighten up. It really was kind of a wake-up call when Cecilia Flori came up behind me. I said, Gosh, I need to latch on and make the best out of the last part of the race. She really helped me. I snapped out of it at 90k, and I finished strong in the last 10k.
iRunFar: Was it starting around 70k that your back was a limiting factor?
Boulet: I felt like I was pressing… like I was running pretty hard. It felt like I was running fast, and I’d try to make a move, but I was not going fast at all at that time. Something was just a little bit off. I didn’t have any issues leading up to the race with my lower back. That section just kind of felt off. I wouldn’t say that it was the limiting factor, just overall, I had a solid day, and Camille had a better day.
iRunFar: You really hammered the final 10k. Was that, I’m out of my rough patch; I feel okay again; I’m just going to give it what I’ve got?
Boulet: Right. I was really trying to finish in second as well. I was trying to protect my spot for sure. At the same time, finally at 10k to go, my back loosened up, and I was able to open up. The uphills were not feeling that great, but I couldn’t really open up on the downhills, which there is a good amount of downhills in the final part. Finally, when I was able to open up, I was, Finally I feel like myself again, and I’ll finish strong.
iRunFar: Time is short. Magda has to go inside to collect her second-place finish and start her vacation on the South Island of New Zealand. Vacation mode on.
Boulet: YES! That’s right. I’m ready. I’m ready to be a tourist.
iRunFar: “I’m about to unzip my sponsor jacket and break out the sundress and go.”
Boulet: That’s right. I’m ready.
iRunFar: Congrats to you on your second-place finish. We look forward to the rest of your 2017 season.
Boulet: Thank you. Thank you, Meghan.