After winning UTMB last year, Ludovic Pommeret will change his focus to the CCC this year. In the following interview, Ludovic explains why he’s racing racing CCC rather than UTMB this year, where he’s been racing since the Trail World Championships, and why this year’s CCC might be fast.
Ludovic Pommeret Pre-CCC Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Ludovic Pommeret before the 2017 CCC. How are you, Ludovic?
Ludovic Pommeret: I’m fine. Until now my legs are okay, but the race hasn’t started.
iRunFar: I guess my first question for you is why not UTMB this year? You’re the reigning champion. Why CCC?
Pommeret: That’s true, but it wasn’t enough high level for me. That’s a joke, of course. No, because I had planned to race the Diagonale des Fous at the Grand Raid Reunion. It’s only one-and-a-half months after this race, after UTMB. I’d like to be quite able to perform at this race. I’ve done it twice and twice second. So, we’ll see. Yeah, I’d like to be more recovered. The time (to recover) is the same, but it’s a shorter race.
iRunFar: Big difference between 100k and 170k.
Pommeret: Yes, the race should be around 12-13 hours and UTMB is more than 20… or maybe less than 20 hours this year.
iRunFar: This year with so many of the world’s top runners in UTMB, maybe it’s a good opportunity at Grand Raid Reunion for you.
Pommeret: We’ll see. First, I will race this one, and, then, we will see for the next. One by one.
iRunFar: You’ve had a very good year since you won UTMB. You were second at Transvulcania, sixth at the World Championship, and, then, you ran more races this summer?
Pommeret: Yes, I ran more races just to keep in shape and because I like racing. Yes, the beginning of the season was not so bad, but this is really the race that will be really challenging now for me. We’ll see how it will be.
iRunFar: For me, the level of the CCC now is like UTMB five or six years ago. What do you think?
Pommeret: Yeah, there are a lot of good runners and good athletes from many countries. Two years ago, it was many French and local European runners. Now it’s more international. Yeah, it’s a challenge. Racing the CCC is a challenge as well—maybe a little less than UTMB, but it’s still a good challenge.
iRunFar: Who do you think will be your biggest competitors?
Pommeret: I think there are many, but I know Hayden [Hawks] will be a high competitor, but it’s not a problem; he is from Hoka, as well. We’ll see. Last year, I was not a favorite. I was an outsider. It could be anyone.
iRunFar: Last year, it was a fantastic performance, because you had the stomach problems and you were very far back.
Pommeret: Yeah, it was an amazing race for me and a good souvenir.
iRunFar: Was that any part of your decision to run CCC so you could keep the souvenir a little longer?
Pommeret: Yes, it’s another reason, as well. It’s such an emotional race, and I have to keep it in my mind. The second reason was for the Grand Raid Reunion.
iRunFar: Everyone in France in ultrarunning knows the Grand Raid Reunion, but it’s not as well known in other places. It’s a very high-level race and very famous.
Pommeret: Yes, it’s nice track as well and a nice race. It’s a great place to have holidays with the family because you’re going far for travel.
iRunFar: Do you feel your level of fitness is as strong now as last year?
Pommeret: It’s difficult to say. I did a race in July, and, then, I stopped for training in August. We’ll see. We will have the answer in two days.
iRunFar: Some years at UTMB and CCC the weather is hot. This year, no. The whole weekend might be cold and wet.
Pommeret: It will change the race. Maybe it could be a reason to be faster… and the reason is there are many fast runners… it could be faster because you spend less energy to sweat. But you can spend more energy to stay warm also. The track could be slippery, so it will be a different race. It will be the same for everybody, so you have to adapt yourself and to check and plan what could happen and if you can be warm or cold and just maybe plan to take some warm stuff at an aid station and to change.
iRunFar: You have run UTMB when it’s been cold and wet.
Pommeret: Yeah, but I never finished it.
iRunFar: Have you learned some lessons?
Pommeret: Yeah, no, but I did already some races when it was wet and cold. Of course, it’s not the best way for me to race, but the most important to keep the original track and not change the track because it would be too bad.
iRunFar: You would like to run from Courmayeur to Chamonix.
Pommeret: I hope they can keep the original track for UTMB and for CCC, as well.
iRunFar: I just saw the forecast, and I think it’s improving a little bit with not as much rain.
Pommeret: If it’s only cold and rainy, I think they will keep it. If it’s stormy, it depends.
iRunFar: It’s a difficult decision. No matter the course, best of luck, Ludovic, and enjoy.
Pommeret: Yeah, thank you.