Nathalie Mauclair won the Trail World Championships in 2013 and 2015 and was fourth last year. She returns this year to lead the French squad that’s looking for another team victory. In the following interview, Nathalie talks about what she enjoyed about running the Marathon des Sables in April, how she thinks she will fair with the shorter distance of this year’s championships, how she prefers a tight team competition, and how she thinks about this year’s French women’s team of which she’s the “mother” will do.
Nathalie Mauclair Pre-2017 Trail World Championship Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Nathalie Mauclair before the 2017 Trail World Championships. How are you, Nathalie?
Nathalie Mauclair: I’m fine. I’m happy to be here.
iRunFar: This is only your second race this year. You ran the Marathon des Sables earlier this year. How was that experience?
Mauclair: Marathon des Sables was a very good experience. During the week we only think about run, eat, sleep, not anything more. It’s fantastic!
iRunFar: It’s like a vacation.
Mauclair: Yes, the tent is not comfortable, but we do our passions, and everyone is cool. The atmosphere is zen. I love it.
iRunFar: The camaraderie and the friendship can be very strong in your tent?
Mauclair: Yes, I do a tent with people who live near my home, so I saw them after. It’s a good atmosphere.
iRunFar: You ran the race last year. Did you feel as strong this year in the race?
Mauclair: There was more sand. It was difficult. There was the three stages that were very nice with the jebels. We run on the top and… it was fantastic.
iRunFar: It was another good race for you.
Mauclair: Yes, I go to the Marathon des Sables in Peru in November.
iRunFar: You like that stage race experience.
iRunFar: For the Trail World Championships, you won this race two times, and last time you were fourth. This must be important to you?
Mauclair: I like the World Championships because we run for our country. It’s very important for me. I do the choice to come, but I know it’s a short race, and it will be very fast. I know I’m not a favorite on this type of terrain, but I’m happy to be here. I’m happy to be with the French team. There are new girls and boys. I’m the older. I am the mama.
iRunFar: Does it feel that way? But you like that.
Mauclair: Yes, and yes.
iRunFar: It is a faster race, but in 2013, it was a shorter course. The last two years have been more or less 80k, but the first time you won, it was faster.
Mauclair: Yes, I don’t know. I will see. In the team, there are girls who runs fast, and they are strong. Then, there is the Spain team, and they are strong, too. I will do the race and do my best. We will see.
iRunFar: Have you prepared specifically? The last few years, you have run longer races. You’ve won UTMB… Did you prepare specifically for a fast race at this?
Mauclair: I tried to do that after Marathon des Sables, but three weeks ago I have a little matter with my hamstring.
iRunFar: Your hamstring is tight, so you’ve been training on a bicycle.
Mauclair: Yes, so I do bicycle. I do my best. I hope I have Philippe Propage, the man who [selects] the [French] team, make my plan to run, so I hope it will be good.
iRunFar: The team, as you said, it’s very important for you to run for the French team. The French women win every year, it seems. Who do you think will be at the top on the French team aside from you?
Mauclair: I think it will be Adeline Roche. I think she’s the stronger woman. She won last year the French Championship of mountain race.
iRunFar: The short 10k and one hour?
Mauclair: Yes, she ran fast. One hour, but 10k and 1,000 meters. It’s fast. There is also Anne Lise Rousset…
iRunFar: But she doesn’t count in the team scoring, correct? Anne Lise is on the French team, but…?
Mauclair: Yes, she’s not on the team. She’s an individual, but she’ll run fast. Amandine Ferrato and Lucie Jamsin, we are all similar.
iRunFar: You’re all very similar in terms of there’s not one woman who will be…
Mauclair: We do a stage three weeks ago, and there was a very good atmosphere.
iRunFar: Positive team spirit at the training camp. Where was that? Was that in France, or did you come to the course?
Mauclair: No, it was in France in the Pyrenees.
iRunFar: Do you think the Spanish team will give the French team good competition?
Mauclair: Yes, I think we will do a battle.
iRunFar: Last year was very close… to the third woman.
Mauclair: Yes, it’s good for the race and for us.
iRunFar: Last year, the French men won by a lot. Would that be as much fun to win so big, or do you like to have competition?
Mauclair: I prefer when there is a competition.
iRunFar: Good luck with your own run and with the team this week.
Mauclair: Thank you, Bryon.