Anna Frost won the 2012 Speedgoat 50k. This year, she’s been on a tear since coming back from a year beset with health issues. In the following interview, Anna talks about what she’s been up to since winning and setting a course record at the 2014 Transvulcania Ultramarathon, how she’s excited for her showdown with Ellie Greenwood and Kasie Enman, and how she’s feeling going into the race.
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Anna Frost Pre-2014 Speedgoat 50k Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Anna Frost before the 2014 Speedgoat 50k. How are you doing, Anna?
Anna Frost: Good, thank you. How are you?
iRunFar: Very good. The last time we talked on camera was at Transvulcania or right there after. You had a very strong run there.
Frost: Yeah, it was good.
iRunFar: What have you been up to since?
Frost: I’ve been all over the place since. I went to the Azores after La Palma. That was just a really great adventure there. It was an amazing place to go. Then I’ve been pretty much in France since I did the Chamonix 80k. It was a really great month of training there on the course which was really wonderful. It’s a stunning, stunning course, but it was really, really hard. I had a solid race. I felt pretty solid the whole way through the race. It was just long and tough. The gap stayed about the same between me and Emelie [Forsberg] and me and the girls that were sort of changing in third. It was a pretty comfortable day, and I recovered pretty quickly. Since then it’s just been a chaos with going to Kilian’s Classik and then traveling to Hardrock 100 and pacing and not sleeping and traveling and running or not running it feels like. Yeah, so now we’re here.
iRunFar: It sounds really shocking to hear you say you had a month of training in Annecy—one place, training consistently.
Frost: Yeah, it was really nice.
iRunFar: You definitely seem to be inspired by the San Juan Mountains.
Frost: Yeah, definitely. They’re an amazing place. Now I think for me it’s just my sole mission to get into Hardrock 100 whenever I can. It’s not up to me to do it. Yeah, they’re stunning mountains. The 14ers are something quite special. Even the 13ers are something special. You get to the top of them and it’s just huge. It’s massive. So, I love spending time up there. It’s really hard to then taper for a race and stop and not do the long days that you wish you could.
iRunFar: Probably nice that you’ve sort of been busy with Hardrock and that you almost didn’t have a chance to go adventuring every day.
Frost: Yeah, and then the travel afterwards here as well.
iRunFar: Are you feeling… Are you going to get a chance to rest and sort of catch up before Speedgoat?
Frost: I feel like haven’t actually trained for Speedgoat. I feel like I’ve been traveling and resting and doing a bit of running but nothing very specific for Speedgoat. So I don’t feel as prepared as I probably could be or should be, but I feel happy and healthy and I’m here and that’s the main thing.
iRunFar: You won it in 2012, two years ago. Do you feel sort of on par with that?
Frost: Well, I was having a disaster year then. That was when I was having injury after injury. At that point I think I’d lined up after a couple of weeks of running and hiking in the 14ers before coming here. In terms of health-wise, I’m healthier, but in terms of what actual fitness I’m at for this distance and speed of the course and the intensity it’s going to need with the strong girls that are racing, it will be different.
iRunFar: Speaking of strong girls racing, there are a couple out there—Kasie Enmanand Ellie Greenwood in particular.
Frost: Yeah, it’s going to be fantastic to race them. I guess, for me, that’s why I race is to have competition to race against. It’s fine and it’s nice going to a race where you don’t have pressure and you can get good placing, but really what drives me to be competitive and to race is to line up with really competitive girls. Seeing that there are so many more in the scene now is fantastic. It’s going to be awesome to see how Kasie does in the longer one and also to see how Ellie does in the shorter one. I guess for both of them… and I’m kind of in the middle…
iRunFar: This is probably your, in terms of you three women, it’s probably the course and distance that suits you the best.
Frost: Yeah, but I think they’re both super strong and at the moment, very, very strong both of them. So, it will just be fantastic to get out there with them.
iRunFar: You never know what’s going to happen on race day.
iRunFar: Two years ago it was really hot here—temperature-wise it might not have been, but up at 11,000 feet with the sun…
Frost: It was hot. It was boiling. So, I’m not sure if it’s going to be that hot this year.
iRunFar: No, it’s not going to be cool, but it’s not going to be quite that warm.
Frost: Well, that’s probably good.
iRunFar: You’ve run this course before. What parts of it do you think suit you the best?
Frost: To be honest, I can’t really remember the middle section. I remember going up the first hill and down the first hill. I remember really beautiful meadow of flowers. I remember getting to an aid station and being offered a popsicle and thinking, That would be amazing right now, but I can’t. I remember going through a tunnel. I remember going down a hill and seeing other people going up the hill thinking, I’ve got to go back up that hill, then coming back down the hill to the finish. There’s something in the middle I’ve missed. I think the whole race is hard because you’ve got a steep hard climb after a long downhill and again and again. I think that’s the hard thing is getting your legs moving and you can’t go slowly. It’s a quick transition.
iRunFar: But one way to look at it is that there are some really steep hikes on this course, and then there are dirt-road descents that you have to be running pretty fast.
Frost: Yes, and then you transition really quickly. You get to the top and you’ve got to go.
iRunFar: And you’re gassed when you get there.
Frost: Yeah, so it’s a hard course all throughout.
iRunFar: It’s a good challenge. Anna, best of luck out there and have fun.
Frost: Thanks, I will.
iRunFar: A bonus question for you. You’ve just been in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado and you’ve been there before. What’s your favorite mountain to climb so far?
Frost: Sneezy. Ah-choo!
iRunFar: Mount Sneffels?
Frost: Yeah, that one.
iRunFar: Why is that one your favorite?
Frost: I don’t know. The name? It’s cool.
iRunFar: That’s enough.
Frost: That’s enough. Yeah.