Katie Schide Post-2019 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail Interview

Katie Schide, who’s from the USA but who lives in Switzerland, ran a textbook race to take second at the 2019 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail. In the following interview, Katie talks about running many kilometers with friend and fellow competitor Audrey Tanguy, how she pushed a lot of the descents starting at around 80k out of concern for the women’s competition behind her, if she knew how much ground she was gaining on women’s leader Courtney Dauwalter in doing so, and how she feels overall about her performance.

For more on how the race played out, read our MIUT results article.

Katie Schide Post-2019 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail Interview Transcript

iRunFar: Meghan Hicks of iRunFar and I’m with Katie Schide. She was the second-place finisher at the 2019 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail. Congratulations Katie.

Katie Schide: Thanks Meghan.

iRunFar: Can you tell me what you’re wearing right now?

Schide: I’m wearing–I think it’s a traditional Madeira Island hat.

iRunFar: And the little tail on the top, is that supposed to attract aliens?

Schide: Not quite sure. It did not come with an instruction manual so I’m just gonna’ see what happens for now.

iRunFar: We have to Google Madeira traditions.

Schide: I think I’ll have to look into it a bit more.

iRunFar: Okay, you had a great race yesterday. How are you feeling about it right now?

Schide: It’s all kind of a blur, but it was a good day. There were things that I learned from and things that went better than I thought. So all in all, I’m pretty happy with how it went.

iRunFar: Okay, so let’s talk about some of those highs and lows. I felt like you were always like chipper, cheerful, pretty calm, like it seemed like things were going well for you. But there were some lows also?

Schide: That was kind of my goal because I knew going into it that there was going to be a lot more strong women than I’m used to racing at once. So my goal was to just manage the race and try to like feel like I could control myself and see what other people were doing, but also not get too sucked into what other people were doing because I knew it was going to be really fast and furious from the beginning.

iRunFar: And it was fast and furious, wasn’t it?

Schide: Yes definitely, we were all we were all passing each other and leapfrogging for a while before it really settled down.

iRunFar: I felt like the women’s race went out real hot. Courtney [Dauwalter] took it out hot like was expected, but I also thought that a lot of people played pretty close chase straightaway.

Schide: I don’t think it went out overly fast. When I saw Courtney take off, I didn’t think it was so much faster that we needed to chase her. But then clearly it was so maybe I should have gone with her. I don’t know. I don’t have much experience running at night so I wanted to see how that went and kind of deal with that as it came.

iRunFar: So a 15-hour-and-45-minute day, well night and then day. What was it like? What was the night running like? Where was it a low point for you?  Can you take us to a couple places out there?

Schide: Yeah sure. From the beginning, I think after two hours I was having dreams of my bed and…

iRunFar: It was a little soon for this.

Schide: Yeah, I shouldn’t already be like sleepy, and I just kind of told myself it’ll pass when the sun comes up. I was really counting down the hours to when the sun came up. And I think that really helped divide the race. At the beginning I was feeling fine, but not super, super motivated. I was not really ready to push. And then when the sun came up I felt okay. I spent most of the day with Audrey [Tanguy] so I was really happy to be with her. We actually were four, Mimmi [Kotka], Audrey, Maite [Maiora], and I were all together when the sun came up. And it was really, really beautiful and I was really happy then.

iRunFar: Were you on the high part between Encumeada and Curral [das Freiras] when the sun actually was coming?

Schide: Yes exactly. Right after you climb up this steep pipeline it came up.

iRunFar: Awesome. So tell me for a minute about your connection with Audrey, because you guys spent a lot of kilometers together yesterday. What’s the story there?

Schide: Audrey and I actually first met on Madeira Island last year during the 85k, which we actually didn’t run any of it together. She went out ahead of me and then I passed–we didn’t share any of the race but we met at the race. And then this year I invited her to run the ONE&1, which is a partner race that my boyfriend [Germain Grangier] and I are helping organize on the French Riviera. So Audrey came and we did that three weeks ago. So we actually did two days of running 80k together.

iRunFar: Training camp for this?

Schide: Yeah exactly. It just felt right to be with Audrey because we had already spent so much time together and I know a lot of our paces match. She’s also really good at running uphill climbs and that’s something that I’m trying to work on more. In those types of places I would just stay behind her and just hold on. And then sometimes I would go in front on different sections. We really worked together a lot.

iRunFar: Awesome. This morning I spent a little bit of time looking at the women’s splits and you ran the fastest women’s splits for a good chunk of the middle toward the end of the race. From Pico Ruivo–I don’t know how to say that right–to Portela, you had the fastest women’s splits at almost all of the checkpoints. What was going on there? Were you just having a ball in the technical part? Did you feel yourself getting stronger? Were you trying to chase Courtney then? What was happening?

Schide: That’s when Audrey and I separated. We were really well matched for awhile and I thought, okay I know Maite is not that far and I know how strong Maite is–And Mimmi too. They were both behind us and I know how strong both of them are so I was like…

iRunFar: You don’t want those women behind necessarily, right?

Schide: Yeah exactly. It was not a point to get to get lazy. I actually made an effort to push. And I actually did push. It’s good to see that you can see it in the splits because sometimes you just feel like you’re pushing but you’re not actually.

iRunFar: You think you are, but you’re not going anywhere.

Schide: I really pushed there and made an effort, and then just tried to hold it together for the end.

iRunFar: Did you know at Portela you were about 12 minutes back of the leader? Did you have a sense of this?

Schide: No, didn’t know that. I thought it was 20 minutes the whole time.

iRunFar: You had an incredible section from Poiso to Portela where you just carved a ton of time into Courtney there. I think it was 12, 12-and-a-half minutes back there. But you had no sense that she was as close as she was?

Schide: I kind of assumed I was gaining on her because the downhills are something that I can be strong at and I knew that I was pushing. So pushing in something that I’m strong at, I assumed maybe making up a little. But I also assumed she was so far ahead that it wasn’t gonna’ change the outcome of the race. I was more worried about all of the girls behind me.

iRunFar: You were thinking about what was behind instead of in front.

Schide: Exactly.

iRunFar: Interesting. Last year you won the 85k. Now you’ve taken second place at the 115k. Are you glad you came back and did the full traverse?

Schide: I’m really happy I came back. I really like this island and it’s also cool to do a race that you’re so familiar with. I don’t know how often you really come to race where you know the whole course and that’s cool and a little bit more comforting when you’re having a low point to know what’s coming and know that you’ve done it before. And also the island is so beautiful and especially the race organization here I think is maybe the best of any race I’ve been to.

iRunFar: I mean, look at the hat you’re taking home.

Schide: This is a prize so can’t really top that.

iRunFar: You have that beautiful bird-of-paradise flower [bouquet].

Schide: And some fruit.

iRunFar: An amazing box of fruit.

Schide: Yes.

iRunFar: Well, that should help your recovery right along.

Schide: I think so.

iRunFar: Congratulations on your second-place finish at the Madeira Island Ultra-Trail.

Schide: Thanks.

Meghan Hicks

is iRunFar.com's Managing Editor, the author of 'Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running,' and a Contributing Editor at Trail Runner magazine. The converted road runner finished her first trail ultramarathon in 2006 and loves using running to visit the world's wildest places.

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