Adeline Roche returns to the 2018 Trail World Championships as the defending women’s world champion. In the following interview, Adeline talks about how she’s just returning from injury, how strong she thinks the French team is, what she thinks about what will be her longest race yet, and what she enjoys about trail running.
For more on who’s racing, check out our women’s and men’s previews before following our live coverage later this week.
Adeline Roche Pre-2018 Trail World Championships Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar and I’m here with Adeline Roche before the 2018 Trail World Championships. How are you?
Adeline Roche: I am fine, thank you.
iRunFar: You come into this race as the defending world champion. How does that feel?
Roche: Perfect, thank you. But on race day, I don’t know.
iRunFar: You come from a shorter-distance background. You ran track and cross-country and marathons. Last year’s World Championships was the longest race you had done.
Roche: Now it’s different. It’s 80k. Last year it was 50k so it was perfect for me. Now, 80k–this is my first experience with the distance. So, I don’t know, but I’m here to discover the Penaygalosa trails. Just to be here, I am happy.
iRunFar: How did you approach preparing for this, with it being so much longer than your previous races? Did it change?
Roche: My training for this was a bit difficult because since mid-September I had a knee injury. It was difficult to do training. But now it’s okay. Since 15 days it’s been perfect [laughs].
iRunFar: It’s well enough to run the race and, you think, to finish.
Roche: Yes, sure. Just to be here it’s okay and the French team, we have a title to defend.
iRunFar: Do you think you have a good chance to do that?
Roche: I don’t know. We have a good team. But there are several strong teams, so I don’t know.
iRunFar: You have a lot of experience with people like Nathalie Mauclair, who’s going to run well.
Roche: Yes, for sure.
iRunFar: And you have people on your team who are new to the distance like you or Amandine Ferrato. Who do you think could be the French team’s top runner this weekend?
Roche: Yes, there are top runners on the French team so we have a real chance to make a good race.
iRunFar: Do you think it will be a battle with the Spanish team again?
Roche: Yes, and the Spanish team is at home. It’s a plus for them.
iRunFar: I remember going to watch when, you weren’t on the team, but when the French team ran at Annecy at the World Championship there in 2015. It’s special, running on home turf.
Roche: Yes, sure.
iRunFar: And the Italian women did well last year when they were at home.
iRunFar: It will be an exciting race. What do you think will be the biggest challenge for you?
Roche: It’s difficult to know. Just my first experience [at this distance] but it’s okay. I’m not afraid of the distance. Many things will arrive during the race, that’s the adventure.
iRunFar: Do you like that challenge of the unknown, the new?
Roche: Yeah, sure.
iRunFar: It’s different from 5,000 or 3,000 meters on the track.
Roche: Yes, very different [laughs].
iRunFar: What brought you to the trails? What do you enjoy about trail running?
Roche: The atmosphere, the nature, the trails, and the ambience and atmosphere with the other runners. Many things, yeah.
iRunFar: Do you still enjoy competition?
Roche: Yeah [laughs]. Sure.
iRunFar: It was amazing last year to see you and one of your teammates, Amandine, finish three seconds apart for the win. You were both going as fast as you could.
Roche: For sure! [Laughs]
iRunFar: Well, I’m glad you’re healthy and good luck this weekend.
Roche: Thank you very much. Thank you for the interview.