Amy Sproston is a world traveler for both her work and running, and this weekend she’ll spend some time the land down under at The North Face 100k-Australia. In this interview, hear how this race fits into Amy’s 2015 racing schedule and what she thinks of her first glimpses of the weekend’s race course.
Find out more about who’s racing with our in-depth race preview.
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Amy Sproston Pre-2015 The North Face 100k-Australia Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Hi, I’m Kerry Suter for iRunFar. I’m here with Amy Sproston ahead of The North Face 100k-Australia. Welcome to Australia.
Amy Sproston: Thank you.
iRunFar: What brings you out here? What is it you want to do in Australia?
Sproston: I’ve dreamed of coming to Australia since I was six. I’ve always wanted to come to Australia. I had the opportunity to come with Ultra-Trail World Tour, so I jumped on the opportunity.
iRunFar: Excellent. You mentioned before that you have a sort of connection with some of the reptiles and snakes and creatures. You have a good understanding and it’s a little bit about what you do?
Sproston: It’s what I did. My Masters degree is in herpetology. In my former life I was a reptile and amphibian expert.
iRunFar: There’s a running joke about how ridiculously dangerous this place is in terms of things that want to bite you and eat you and take you away.
Sproston: I was a little intimidated coming here actually.
iRunFar: Yeah, I expect you’ve got a better handle on it than us Kiwis and a few of the others. What’s your experience been like in the last couple of days?
Sproston: It’s been great. I got in Tuesday morning and had a day to explore Sydney and then came out here with Cassie [Scallon] and checked out the course a little bit. It’s beautiful.
iRunFar: Any thoughts on the course? You’ve been out ahead a bit to look around.
Sproston: Yeah, there are a lot of steps. They warned us there were a lot of steps and there are indeed. I guess I haven’t seen the non-step portions of the course, but there are also non-step portions.
iRunFar: Yeah, my take on it seems to be you plunge in on a lot of steps and then you have a good flat or rolling section and then a hard ascent. Now those transitions are short and sharp. How do you think that’s going to suit your running?
Sproston: Hard to say. We’ll see Saturday.
iRunFar: Your training has been okay for this? You think this is a good race for you? You’re in a good spot?
Sproston: Honestly, my training hasn’t been ideal. I’ve had some work travel. I just got back from Cairo, Egypt, so I’m kind of going the other direction to come back this direction. It’s not necessarily easy to train in Cairo. But I’m well-rested, so I’m hoping that will play to my advantage.
iRunFar: So you might find a lot out about yourself on Saturday—just sort of start easy and see how the going goes or press yourself and test yourself and go with it?
Sproston: Yes, I’m definitely going to relax and see how things unfold. I’ve got the endurance. I’ve done some longer races this year, so I think I will have the muscle memory in my legs. So it’s just being patient and seeing how it unfolds.
iRunFar: There’s a reasonable mix of good-quality runners in this race, and you seem certainly in there, too. Top three for you with a shot at first place or are you just going to see how it unfolds?
Sproston: Yeah, I’d love to do well. I guess I’ll see what happens on Saturday.
iRunFar: You’ve obviously picked up a lot of stamps in your passport in the last 12 months. You’re very lucky to have this lifestyle that sees you touring the world and getting a lot of running in. How’s that possible?
Sproston: I get a lot of great support from my sponsors—I run for Montrail and Mountain Hardwear. I had the opportunity to travel with them to Japan and Patagonia a few times in the last year. Also this race, I’m being supported by the Ultra-Trail World Tour. Yeah, I feel very fortunate.
iRunFar: So where does this fit in the year for you? There are other big goals that you’re thinking for 2015, more racing to be had?
Sproston: Yeah, one of my goals for 2015 was to go back and finish things I hadn’t finished in the past. I started off the year with HURT 100 in Hawaii—a 100 miler, very technical course. I had a good race at HURT. My other race I want to go back to that I didn’t finish two years ago is UTMB. UTMB is really my goal race, and everything is kind of leading up to UTMB.
iRunFar: Absolutely. All the best to you on Saturday, and I hope it goes well.