Andrea Huser returns to UTMB a year after taking second. In the following interview, Andrea talks about how fondly she thinks about last year’s race, what races she’s run since taking 10th at the Western States 100 in June, and how she doesn’t like the cold.
Andrea Huser Pre-UTMB Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Andrea Huser before the 2017 UTMB. How are you, Andrea?
Andrea Huser: Hi, Bryon. I’m fine, thank you. I’m feeling great.
iRunFar: The last time I saw you was at Western States, a hot, flat race. Now at UTMB, it will be mountainous and cold. Do you enjoy that?
Huser: I enjoy the mountainous and high altitude, but not the cold. I don’t like cold.
iRunFar: It will be a challenge for you?
Huser: It depends on how it is. When it’s raining then it can be a challenge, yes.
iRunFar: But maybe if it’s actually snowing it’s not so bad?
Huser: No, it’s bad, because I always have troubles to warm up my fingers.
iRunFar: Maybe bring some very warm gloves?
Huser: Yes, I will need.
iRunFar: Last year you had an amazing race here. You were second only seven minutes behind Caroline Chaverot in a great battle. What are your memories of that race?
Huser: It was a great race. It was my race of my life, I think. When I remember the race from last year, emotions come up. Yesterday when I came into Chamonix, the emotions came up to me.
iRunFar: You’ve won many races, but still your performance was that amazing?
Huser: Yes, I didn’t think I could do so good as the race last year at UTMB. For me, it was just great and like a win.
iRunFar: Now, you know you can run like that at UTMB. What are your expectations for this year?
Huser: I hope I can run like last year, but it will be difficul.t because how I said. It was a perfect race. This year, I don’t know… I hope I have nearly the same shape as last year.
iRunFar: Do you feel as strong now?
Huser: I feel good.
iRunFar: You run a lot of races. What races have you run since Western States?
Huser: I did Eiger Ultra [Trail].
iRunFar: You won that?
Huser: Yes. I did some shorter races like a half marathon up to Schilthorn, the Inferno Half Marathon in Switzerland. I did Montreaux Trail Festival. It was a great race.
iRunFar: Did you enjoy it? Good spirits?
Huser: Yes. I enjoyed the routes. It’s amazing.
iRunFar: What was the distance?
Huser: It was 160k with 12,000 meters climbing. That’s my most high meters I’ve done in a race ever.
iRunFar: 12,000 meters of climbing is a lot. How many weeks ago was that?
Huser: That was before the end of July—four weeks.
iRunFar: So you’re recovered.
iRunFar: That’s nothing for you.
Huser: It’s a long time.
iRunFar: Have you run races since then, or have you focused on UTMB?
Huser: I focused on UTMB, but the half marathon I did was training for UTMB and was before two weeks ago.
iRunFar: Obviously, you have strong competition with Caroline here. You’ve run many times against her. Who else do you expect to be a challenge this weekend?
Huser: I think Caroline will be the strongest lady, I think. I don’t think I can run with her because she will be gone off the front.
iRunFar: But we never know what happens.
Huser: Yes, you never know. It’s a long race, and you have to do it first. Yeah, I just will start and go like last year. I will try to take the feeling from last year, and then it will a good race.
iRunFar: Of course, maybe this year we may have a different course. We don’t know right now. Is that a challenge not knowing what you’ll run on the weekend, the route?
Huser: It can be, yes. I think the weather will be the most challenging, but the route, I just run and I will see.
iRunFar: Andrea, good luck this weekend. May you have the same feelings as last year.
Huser: Thank you. Yeah, I hope. Thank you.