Andrea Huser won yet another long, mountainous race at the 2017 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail. In the following interview, Andrea talks about how her race went, what she enjoyed most during the run, and what races she has coming up.
Andrea Huser, 2017 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail Champion, Interview
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Andrea Huser after her win at the 2017 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail. How are you, Andrea?
Andrea Huser: I’m feeling good, thank you.
iRunFar: How does this year’s experience at Madeira compare to last year?
Huser: During the race I felt not so good compared to last year. It was harder, I thought.
iRunFar: This year was harder? Why was that?
Huser: For me it was. I don’t know. Maybe I started too fast. Yeah, when I had to go up to Pico Arieira, I felt very tired. I thought, I can’t go up there.
iRunFar: Why did you go out so hard yesterday?
Huser: I didn’t want to go as slowly as at Transgrancanaria. There I went slowly. I thought I will push from the beginning. I tried.
iRunFar: Even when you pushed early, through the first half of the race you were moving up in position relative to the men. In the second half of the race, it looked like you were in the same position the whole way. Did it feel that way?
Huser: Yes, I felt that way.
iRunFar: Were you running alone the whole time?
Huser: A lot of the time I was alone.
iRunFar: Did that happen last year, or was it a different experience that way?
Huser: I think last year I was in the group at night, and this year I was the whole night quite alone. But I enjoyed the night. I felt I was in a flow. Maybe that’s also a reason I was going too fast.
iRunFar: Things were going well early. Was it heat or early effort? Were you able to climb well? The early pace made things difficult later, but did you also have problems with the heat or the climbing?
Huser: No, I didn’t have problems with the heat. It was the climbing—I hadn’t any strength in my legs.
iRunFar: It seemed like you didn’t really have a challenge for the win yesterday. Did you feel in control the whole race?
Huser: Yes, after 50k, I knew I was about 20 minutes or 30 minutes in front. I felt I was in a place I felt sure I could win and go my pace.
iRunFar: Was that nice not to have to push the whole way?
Huser: I was very tired. After Pico Arieira, it was good for the mind that I didn’t have to push.
iRunFar: How did you like the second half of the course?
Huser: I liked it very much. I liked the mountains. The last part there are nice trails, but it’s hard for the mind because they’re quite flat. Only the last climb was very, very hard. I think it was a different climb than last year. It was very steep up in the trees.
iRunFar: The 300 or 400 meters vertical? It was quite steep.
Huser: Yes, it was quite steep. The last 10k, the last trail to Machico was very nice because you’re over the sea, but it was hard to run.
iRunFar: But it’s spectacular.
Huser: It is, yes.
iRunFar: Was that your favorite part of the course?
Huser: It definitely was Pico Arieira over the…
iRunFar: Is it the views, the trail, or what do you like so much about that section?
Huser: The views were beautiful.
iRunFar: You went through yesterday, and it wasn’t cloudy there?
Huser: No, it was clear and sunny.
iRunFar: How many times have you run this race—two times or more?
Huser: Two times now.
iRunFar: Do you think you’ll come back next year?
Huser: Why not?
iRunFar: You seem to race all the time. Do you have a race next weekend?
Huser: No, definitely no.
iRunFar: What is your next race?
iRunFar: A few weeks.
Huser: Three weeks. That works. It has not been my favorite race.
iRunFar: A lot or running or why?
Huser: Maybe I’m too slow.
iRunFar: It’s a very fast pace.
Huser: It’s very fast, yes.
iRunFar: Do you have any other races you’re looking forward to over the next few months?
Huser: Yes, Western States I will do. After, Montreux Trail Festival.
iRunFar: Diego Pazos’s trails?
iRunFar: Western States is a very runnable course. How will you prepare for that?
Huser: Yes, I will prepare for rolling stuff and flat running, but I have to be careful because I have some troubles with my calf when I run fast and flat. Anyway, I can go to California. I’m looking forward to that.
iRunFar: Congratulations here at Madeira, and good luck at Western States.
Huser: Thank you.