After a difficult injury, Marc Lauenstein showed that he is back in the competitive game with his third place at the 2019 Pikes Peak Marathon. In the following interview, Marc talks about what happened when he was injured, his short month or so of training before this race, how he just had a feeling Pikes Peak would go well for him, and what he’ll race this fall.
For more on how the race shaped up and for more interviews, check out our results article.
Marc Lauenstein Post-2019 Pikes Peak Marathon Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Marc Lauenstein after his third-place finish at the 2019 Pikes Peak Marathon. Congratulations, Marc.
Marc Lauenstein: Thank you very much, Bryon.
iRunFar: It must feel really good. You had an injury early in the season. Tell me a little about that.
Lauenstein: This was a special day. I didn’t expect that at all. Two weeks ago I was running Sierre-Zinal. I ended 30th and I had a good feeling. But it was my first race, Sierre-Zinal, coming out of injury. It was super tight for me actually to run Sierre-Zinal, and the two last weeks I just noticed every day that it’s getting better and better. So I hoped to do a top 10. It would have been fantastic, and I got third and I’m super psyched about that race, and performance, and to be honest I kind of planned on not coming at all because I thought, I have to stay home, do some training, before I show my face again, and so this feels quite surreal.
iRunFar: And what was the injury, if you don’t mind me asking?
Lauenstein: So on my foot, the metatarsal, the top of the metatarsal had a bone bruise. We don’t know if it was a shock or overuse injury. I didn’t train that much so probably a little bit of both and I didn’t do the rest at the right moment so it was pretty nasty. I had to stop running for three months.
Lauenstein: I have to correct that. It was six weeks straight no running, and then I could start but with five minutes running, and it was only after three months that it was okay to do some real training.
iRunFar: And when did you return to real training?
Lauenstein: Late. It was two weeks before Sierre-Zinal so now one month.
iRunFar: One month. You’ve been training for one month and just…
Lauenstein: Well I could do some biking before, and so I tried to stay in shape as well as I could but it’s not the same. It took a while until I gained some good feelings and today was just really good day and I think the shape is really there now and I’m super happy about that because to be honest I was doubting it, if the season 2019 would just end on an injury and that’s it. Third place is special.
iRunFar: [An ambulance siren sounds] Uh oh. Somebody probably not very well at the finish line. It’s warm day here. We haven’t talked about that, but do you think your long history with sport helped you recover so quick, or get your fitness back so quickly?
Lauenstein: I think I have a pretty good understanding when my body gives me signs, and to do the right choices. That’s why actually normally I’m very little injured and I think I did do the optimal build up and I knew exactly what trainings I needed it, and I just sense it. My wife coaches me so we discuss it with her and it’s a very fine tuned, but you know we also have a family so this is priority so you look at what kind of training you can do, but no I think this was quite perfect build-up.
iRunFar: And was it, maybe was there an advantage, a lot of these men you were racing have raced a lot of times this season. Do you think you were maybe fresher?
Lauenstein: Certainly in here. [points to head] For sure. I was looking forward for this race. When we were driving down to the springs this morning, the sun was rising. I was feeling so excited to race. I knew that it would go better than the race I had done before, so it was something positive, and I was happy for this opportunity to see where I’m at. I didn’t expect to be so good, and just definitely helps if you don’t have a long season behind you.
iRunFar: And in contrast to that, have you had races over past seasons where you just kind of aren’t that excited, you’re just doing them because they’re a race on your schedule?
Lauenstein: Yes and no. I’m somebody who races quite little, and when I choose a race I think well about them, and I’m almost always quite excited, otherwise I wouldn’t pick them, and of course sometimes just before you have some sort of troubles and then you go to the race and you know it’s going to be tough, but no usually I’m also happy to race. But today was special. I knew this was an opportunity that I wanted to grab.
iRunFar: So you were excited coming to the start. When did you know during the race that you’re having a pretty good day out here.
Lauenstein: Actually quite late. It was only starting at Barr Camp, so after 1:00, 1:10, that I noticed my body is switching. Now I finally get the old feelings. The first hour was quite tough. It was more surviving, staying with my friends, and hanging on. Then suddenly it switched and it was a very interesting moment. Somehow my brain had switched and I got the old habits and it was very special.
iRunFar: And when I think of you, obviously a very strong all-around runner, but you are an incredible descender. You are really good on the downhill. Did you think you had a shot at catching Sage [Canaday]?
Lauenstein: Yes and no. To be honest the downhill of the Pikes Peak, it’s just the first segment which suits me well.
Lauenstein: It needs to be technical, and I think I made some time good there. I tried. I really tried hard but once I hit the easier trails I tried but it wasn’t for me anymore. It wasn’t cut for me. And we had a good fight. I know he was super nervous. We talked about it. He was really in fear. So I’m happy I gave him some hard time there.
iRunFar: Very nice. Do you have any other races on your schedule this season?
Lauenstein: Yeah, I have only two races on the Golden Trail Series, so I have to do my third run and it will be Ring of Steal.
iRunFar: Right of Steal in Scotland in a couple weeks, and if you accumulate enough points do you think you’ll go to Nepal?
Lauenstein: Well of course I wouldn’t want to miss that, but it’s going to be a tight one and my focus now will be to prepare for Ring of Steal, do my best, and put my best shot there. And I cannot influence selection for that.
iRunFar: Well you can, by doing really well.
Lauenstein: That’s my goal.
iRunFar: If you show your fitness here, as you said, the very fast descent here isn’t your style. The Ring of Steal has some very technical descents.
Lauenstein: Yeah. I will not lie and I think this race can suit me quite well.
iRunFar: Excellent. So you’ll be excited driving to the start that morning, or walking to the start that morning?
Lauenstein: Yeah, I will be excited, maybe a little bit more nervous than today because I will have some expectations, that’s true. But for me it’s a great opportunity to continue my season and I got a good feedback now today that I’m on track, and let’s see what it will give.
iRunFar: Well congrats on a great race today and good luck on meeting your expectations in a few weeks.