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Audrey Tanguy Pre-2020 Transgrancanaria Interview

After very strong 2018 and 2019, Audrey Tanguy will run her first longer ultramarathon of the season at Transgrancanaria in her debut at the race. In the following interview, Audrey talks about what makes her so good over races of this length on this sort of terrain, why she is coming into this season with confidence, and who she thinks will challenge her at the front of the race.

Read our in-depth preview to see who else is racing and follow our live race-day coverage.

Audrey Tanguy Pre-2020 Transgrancanaria Interview Transcript

iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Audrey Tanguy before the 2020 Transgrancanaria. How are you, Audrey?

Audrey Tanguy: Hi, I’m fine, thank you.

iRunFar: When did you arrive on the island?

Tanguy: Just today.

iRunFar: It’s a little closer for you [to travel here from France compared to runners coming from North America], so that’s not a problem.

Tanguy: Yeah, it’s okay.

iRunFar: Easy travel?

Tanguy: It was easy, yeah.

iRunFar: In the last two years, you’ve had great success at Madeira Island Ultra-Trail, Lavaredo Ultra Trail, TDS. What makes you so strong at races of this distance and amount of climbing?

Tanguy: I don’t know. It’s just because I love it, I think. That’s where I find my energy.

iRunFar: Do you enjoy the shorter races as much, or do you prefer the adventure of the longer races?

Tanguy: I like longer races. But I like short races, too, because when you go you just have a couple of hours to run and then you’re fine. You’re here for lunch, so I like it.

iRunFar: Whereas for something like Transgrancanaria or Lavaredo, you’re a little tired at the end.

Tanguy: Yeah, exactly, exactly. And your recovery is a little a bit longer than for a shorter race.

iRunFar: So, you started your season again with Trail de la Galinette, yes? And last year, you did the same. And between the two years it was maybe a two-minute difference in your finishing time?

Tanguy: Yeah, but it was not the same track [route]. It was longer and it was a little bit deeper. I think it was 400 meters more of climbing during the race. I was happy.

iRunFar: That gives you some good confidence coming into this season?

Tanguy: Yeah, exactly.

iRunFar: What brings you here? There are so many races around the world and you’ve gotten to go to some great ones. What brings you to Transgrancanaria?

Tanguy: I think because it’s in the Ultra-Trail World Tour. I didn’t race this race before, so I wanted to try it. For me, it’s the first one of the season. The Vibram Hong Kong 100k came before this, but I raced last year at Hong Kong [the Translantau 100k]. I loved it, but this year I wanted to try this one.

iRunFar: Here you are. This is sort of the start of your long season.

Tanguy: Yeah.

iRunFar: Who do you think will challenge you at the front of the women’s race?

Tanguy: Everyone, I think! A lot of girls can challenge me. Mimmi Kotka, of course, my friend, I like her. She’s really strong. Kaci Lickteig, she runs for Hoka, too, so I like her, too. There is a Chinese girl, Fuzhao Xiang, she’s really strong.

iRunFar: Yeah, she is.

Tanguy: I raced with her in October in South Korea in a 50k. So, yes, she’s really strong.

iRunFar: And last year at Hong Kong as well.

Tanguy: No, because I didn’t run the Vibram one. I ran the Translantau.

iRunFar: There’s so many 100k races in Hong Kong.

Tanguy: Exactly. So, there are a lot of girls [who will be competitive in this race]… Azara García is really strong and has won it before.

iRunFar: With you naming all of these women, it’s such a diverse group with very different strengths. What do you see as your strength in this kind of race?

Tanguy: I don’t know.

iRunFar: Are you best at climbing, or the flats, or descending?

Tanguy: Oh, definitely I think I’m best at climbing.

iRunFar: Yeah?

Tanguy: Yeah, of course.

iRunFar: Do you use trekking poles?

Tanguy: Yeah, I will. I did it at TDS last year and I loved it, so I will use poles during the race.

iRunFar: Just doing a little thinking about your race schedule, have you gone through a whole night with racing?

Tanguy: Yeah, at TDS and I did Diagonale des Fous, so I ran during two nights at that one, actually.

iRunFar: You got plenty of practice there!

Tanguy: Yeah, and Lavaredo and Madeira Island Ultra-Trail.

iRunFar: You enjoy it?

Tanguy: I like it. I really like it because you arrive early the day after, and I like that. [Finish in time] for lunch.

iRunFar: I see a pattern here: For lunch!

Tanguy: Yeah, I like to lunch.

iRunFar: So, we should get you a table over at a café on Saturday afternoon?

Tanguy: Yeah, you should! [Laughs]

iRunFar: Perfect. You can bring your mother. What are you looking forward to most about the race this weekend?

Tanguy: I want to do a good race. I want to do my best. I don’t want to be disturbed by anything, if that’s possible in an ultramarathon. I want to just enjoy it.

iRunFar: How do you avoid being disturbed by things? Part of our sport is chaos, is problems.

Tanguy: Yeah, I know. I don’t want to have a headache or something else that could disturb the race… a tummy ache or something.

iRunFar: Well, great. Good luck out there and enjoy the race. Bonne chance!

Tanguy: Merci!

Bryon Powell: is the Editor-in-Chief of iRunFar.com, which he founded more than 10 years ago. Having spent more than 15 years as an ultrarunner and 25 years as a trail runner, he's also written Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and co-wrote Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running. These days he calls Moab, Utah and its trails home.

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