Fuzhao Xiang continued to build on her recent success in taking second at Transgrancanaria 2020. In the following interview, Xiang talks about how she didn’t go out fast, why she pushed the pace in the second half, why it was nice to pass runners throughout the race, and where you might see her race next.
Read our results article to find out what else happened at the front of the race.
Fuzhao Xiang Post-2020 Transgrancanaria Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Fuzhao Xiang after her second-place finish at the 2020 Transgrancanaria. Congratulations on your second-place finish.
Fuzhao Xiang: Thank you!
iRunFar: Early in the race, were you running easy and controlled?
Xiang: [With translation assistance from JJ Zhang] I didn’t do that on purpose. I was just that slow. [laughs]
iRunFar: But you felt good, you felt okay?
Xiang: Yes. The whole race I could control myself. [I felt in control.]
iRunFar: You were able to eat and drink enough, no issues?
Xiang: No problems.
iRunFar: When in the second half of the race did you start attacking, start pushing?
Xiang: The first half was at nighttime, so I didn’t see very well. The second half was in the daytime, so I started attacking.
iRunFar: You were improving your position, your ranking in the race–and not just among the women, among the men, too. Did that feel good, mentally?
Xiang: I really enjoyed the feeling of attacking people and chasing them. I was not that tired. Even today, I can still run.
[Ra-Ra-Rasputin by Boney M. plays in the background]
iRunFar: Toward the end of the race, when did you see Azara García, who ultimately finished in third?
Xiang: I saw her and passed her in the last seven kilometers, but at the final two checkpoints, I already knew that we were very close, but I didn’t hurry to chase her. With a good pace at the last, I would chase her.
[Gimme, Gimme, Gimme! by Abba plays in the background]
iRunFar: Although you saw Azara, you waited to make a push until closer to the end of the race.
Xiang: After I passed her, I ran faster so that I didn’t give Azara any chance. [laughs]
iRunFar: Azara said you disappeared. You were here, and then you were far ahead.
Xiang: That was my strategy: To follow her and then to make a sudden pass.
iRunFar: That’s smart. Did you enjoy the race?
Xiang: I really enjoyed the race. Before the start, there were lots of people in the plaza. It was very good.
iRunFar: What was your favorite part of the race, either because of the experience you had, or the beautiful scenery?
Xiang: The most enjoyable part for me was the chasing, attacking [the other competitors]. Although I didn’t see very well in the dark, toward the end I was passing a lot of runners.
iRunFar: And what have you enjoyed about Gran Canaria and your time on this island?
Xiang: The most enjoyable part is that there are a lot of sportsmen here, a lot of people running and cycling. Another part is the seaside–the view of it.
iRunFar: Is it different where you live in China? Where do you live in China?
Xiang: I live in Chonqing [in Guizhou province, next to Sichuan province]. It’s a place for hot pots.
iRunFar: Not for athletes.
[Xiang nods and laughs]
iRunFar: What’s next on your race calendar?
Xiang: My next race is Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji or Madeira Island Ultra-Trail. They’re on the same day, so I’m not sure.
iRunFar: And the travel may be complicated [referring to the challenges of international travel amid COVID-19 concerns].
iRunFar: What is your favorite race to run in China?
Xiang: There are a lot of good races in China, for example Tsaigu Ultra-Trail and Ultra-Trail Ninghai.
iRunFar: The long race at Tsaigu?
Xiang: There are a lot of different groups in Tsaigu. The 100k.
iRunFar: Okay, thank you. Congratulations.
Xiang: Thank you!
iRunFar: Thank you for translating, JJ.