After placing second at last year’s race, Nicolas Martin is the top returning men’s runner in this year’s Transvulcania. In the following interview, Nico talks about what he did over the winter, where he kicked off he 2017 season, and how he’ll approach this year’s Transvulcania differently than last year’s.
[Editor’s Note: The audio of that accompanies is quite poor. As such, we’re making the transcript the primary source for this interview. However, if you simply must watch it, it’s found at the bottom of the article.]
Nicolas Martin Pre-2017 Transvulcania Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Mauri Pagliacci of iRunFar. I’m here on the island of La Palma before the 2017 Transvulcania Ultramarathon with last year’s second-place Nicolas Martin. Nico, how are you?
Nicolas Martin: I am fine. Hello, everybody.
iRF: How are you feeling, Nico? You arrived on the island yesterday.
Martin: Yes. It’s a short trip for me, but I prepare. I stay at the hotel for two days before the race. It’s okay for me.
iRF: So you can relax and be ready for the race.
Martin: Yes. Yes.
iRF: It was kind of a breakthrough race for you last year here. Your second place. You jumped to the world scene better. What did this race mean to you?
Martin: It’s an amazing race with the landscape and the people. The people are amazing. It’s a very, very special race for me and for all runners, I think. It’s like the Tour de France for France. It’s almost the same thing. I’m excited to run tomorrow. I hope to run faster than last year. It’s not easy, but I hope to push myself to success.
iRF: How was your winter? What do you do during the winter? Do you ski mountaineer? Do you run the roads?
Martin: In winter, I’m a service man in a ski shop. So I run. I cross-country ski just a little. I am on the home trainer for a short time. I can do a great job on the home trainer. So it’s a good tool for the winter for me.
iRF: You are feeling fit?
iRF: So, have you run any races so far this year?
Martin: In winter, I don’t race. I’ve run just one race this year, the Trail du Ventoux, which was the French selection for the [IAU Trail] World Championships. I already was already selected for the world championships, but it’s a good race with the best French runners, so it’s good to start my season. I finished third. It’s okay just one minute behind Ludovic Pommeret and the winner was the Swiss man Marc Lauenstein, the Sierre-Zinal winner. [iRF: Fast guys.] Yes, they’re very good runners. Four hours and a bit less. A shorter race that’s very, very good.
iRF: So, you feel fit for tomorrow? You feel you are in good shape? How are you feeling?
Martin: Yes. I came in Tenerife three weeks ago for a training camp with my friend. I made a lot of cycling and running. I think my level is good for tomorrow, but it’s difficult to know the other runners’ levels to give a race tomorrow. I hope seven hours and ten minutes.
iRF: That’s fast!
Martin: It’s possible to take victory or place on the podium with this time, so I hope I can do it tomorrow.
iRF: Have you seen the other runners in the field or do you just run your own race and not pay attention to the others?
Martin: No, I run for me, for myself. Last year, I have a plan to follow Luis Alberto [Hernando], because he knows the race very, very well. I think it’s a good plan to follow Luis. This year, I don’t know, just listen to my feelings at the beginning of the race and after just push myself at Roque [de los Muchachos]. After, I hope my legs are good for the downhill. It’s a main part of the race, the big downhill. We can lose the race before Roque, but we win the race after Roque one the downhill.
iRF: It’s happened before.
iRF: So, what’s your race schedule after this? Where are you going?
Martin: The world championships after Transvulcania. Then, the High Trail Vanoise in the beginning of July. I will run in the Skyrunning series, and the last race I think I go to The Rut or Ultra Pirineu. I don’t know.
iRF: Well, Nico, thank you very much for your time and have a great race tomorrow.