Scotland’s Ring of Steall race has only seen one men’s champion: Stian Angermund-Vik, who’s back to try and defend his title. In the following interview, Stian talks about what the Ring of Steall course is like, how his season is going, and how he think he matches up against Saturday’s competition.
Stian Angermund-Vik Pre-2018 Ring of Steall Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Stian Angermund-Vik before the 2018 Ring of Steall race. How are you doing?
Stian Angermund-Vik: I’m fine. Perfect.
iRunFar: This is not new to you. You’ve won this race twice. You’re the only champion, in fact.
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, there have just been two editions, so yeah, I love this race.
iRunFar: Why is that? Tell us a little bit about this course.
Angermund-Vik: It’s short. It’s intense. It has ridges and is technical. It has everything I like. Normally, it’s raining. It’s perfect and not too warm.
iRunFar: We’re not going to have to worry about heat. Is this good Norwegian weather?
Angermund-Vik: Exactly, I like that. Yeah, I feel like home.
iRunFar: You were talking a little earlier to me how the Ring of Steall race is a little less technical than the Glen Coe Skyline race?
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, this is runnable. On the Skyline, you need to use your arms a lot.
iRunFar: There’s not really any very exposed scrambling?
Angermund-Vik: No, if you jump off the cliff, of course, you’re going to hurt yourself, but I feel safe here.
iRunFar: It’s just the vertical that makes this not super fast?
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, it has 2,500 meters up and down, so that’s going to make it not so fast.
iRunFar: You’ve had good competition here the last couple years, but the competition is going to be up another level. It’s the Skyrunning World Championships race. It’s a Golden Trail race.
Angermund-Vik: That makes it so much more fun. I like the best competition.
iRunFar: You’ve seen that at stuff like Zegama. It could be at a similar level to a good year there.
iRunFar: Who do you think is going to be pushing you, or who will you have to chase?
Angermund-Vik: Of course, Kilian [Jornet]. There are plenty of other runners like Remi Bonnet, Max King, Pascal Egli, and many others. It’s a strong field.
iRunFar: I think Remi wasn’t on the entrants list, but he’s definitely racing?
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, I hope so.
iRunFar: He should push you. Your season—how is it going so far?
Angermund-Vik: Okay. I feel it’s a nice season. Some strong races and I’ve travelled to new places, so yeah, it’s been good.
iRunFar: You went back to Zegama. Were you second there?
iRunFar: You went to Pikes Peak?
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, that was high altitude. It was a little too high and too dry for me, but I liked it. It was nice.
iRunFar: A change of pace. Now you get Dakota [Jones]coming over here, and he can play in your type of terrain.
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, I didn’t know he was running. It’s super cool he is here.
iRunFar: Yeah, he likes this type of stuff, too, I think.
Angermund-Vik: Ahh, nice.
iRunFar: You had Pikes Peak. You had Zegama. Did you run one of the Mont-Blanc races?
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, I did run Mont-Blanc. I was third there.
iRunFar: You’re definitely heading to South Africa in a month?
Angermund-Vik: Yeah. That will be cool.
iRunFar: Probably, again, a little different than this.
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, but we’re going to cool down a little bit in the water, I guess. That will be nice.
iRunFar: That will definitely be different. This weekend there are four different races on four different days. You’ve opted to do two of the races. Why is that?
Angermund-Vik: I like VKs, as well—the VK and the Sky Race.
iRunFar: You’ve done that combination before. Do you feel it takes anything out of you for the second race?
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, I’ve done that a couple times. Of course, it’s more tougher to do two races, but this year we have one day in between those races, so one day to relax. The two first editions it was the day after each other, so it was tougher.
iRunFar: I think Kilian was maybe signed up for the VK but now is not?
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, I heard that now. I wish he could run the VK.
iRunFar: You could have two shots at him?
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, but he was planning to do three races, but now…
iRunFar: Now just two?
Angermund-Vik: It’s not “just two.” The Skyline is a tough race. I haven’t done it, but I’ve heard it’s a tough course, as well.
iRunFar: Are you going to have a chance to check out that course as well before or after. The Ring of Steall?
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, on Sunday a friend of mine and I will go up on the last ridge up there and cheer for the runners.
iRunFar: Have a nice casual run and…
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, and see what it is.
iRunFar: How has your training been going? Have you been healthy?
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, I think very good. I’m in very good shape, so I’m excited to do the autumn season.
iRunFar: Awesome. I look forward to seeing how you do out there and seeing if you can defend your title, Stian.
Angermund-Vik: Thank you, yeah.