Anne-Lise Rousset Séguret Post-2023 Hardrock 100 Interview

A video interview (with transcript) with Anne-Lise Rousset Séguret after her second-place finish at the 2023 Hardrock 100.

By on July 17, 2023 | Comments

France’s Anne-Lise Rousset Séguret took second at the 2023 Hardrock 100, and ran the fifth-fastest time in event history in doing so. In this interview, Anne-Lise talks about how the race went for her, what happened when it started getting difficult, how this event differs from many ultras in Europe, and how closely her husband predicted her finishing time.

For more on how the race played out, read our in-depth Hardrock 100 results article.

Anne-Lise Rousset Séguret Post-2023 Hardrock 100 Interview Transcript

iRunFar: Meghan Hicks of iRunFar. I’m with Anne-Lise Rousset. It’s the day after the 2023 Hardrock 100 Endurance Run, and you are the women’s second-place finisher. Congratulations. Félicitations.

Anne-Lise Rousset: Thank you. Thank you so much.

iRunFar: It’s the day after the race. How are you feeling?

Rousset: I’m tired. [laughs] But I’m feeling good. It was a super, super day. Breakfast day.

iRunFar: We’ve just had the award ceremony. It’s a big breakfast celebration in the park, but you were there with your children also being a mom while celebrating after running 100 miles. There’s no break for moms, is there?

Rousset: Not really, but sleep tonight. It’s good.

iRunFar: A very good sleep tonight.

Rousset: Yeah.

iRunFar: So, you have been in Colorado for three weeks here to experience the mountains, and learn the course before the race. What do you think of this part of the world?

Rousset: It’s a very, very beautiful part. I enjoy, I came in Silverton before, but just passed.

iRunFar: Okay.

Rousset: And it was so beautiful. Wow, it’s the place of the Hardrock, so we have to go back. And yeah, it’s very wild. It’s a little trail, so I enjoy. Yeah, I love running here.

iRunFar: I think you like wild things. For your longer experiences, you’ve done Diagonale des Fous, very wild, on Réunion Island. You’ve done the GR 20 in Corsica. Also, a difficult path. And now the Hardrock path. Of those things, what has been the hardest?

Rousset: I don’t know. [laughs]

iRunFar: [laughs] All hard.

Rousset: Yeah. I think the GR was an experience, incredible. But, well, the technical is very hard, but running a long time on the road is difficult, too. So, well, Corsica it was always, always rock. Always.

iRunFar: Okay.

Rousset: Here, there are roads. There are rocks. They are wild. So, it’s different, but both are very hard. [laughs]

iRunFar: Okay. Let’s talk about yesterday’s race. What was your mindset going into the race? After you had been here for some weeks, you had seen the course, you had felt the altitude. Was your mindset to go in with a race strategy, or to let the miles come to you, or how was your race plan?

Rousset: It’s the first time I did the 100-mile, so I’m not enough experienced in the so long run. So, first of all, I was afraid by the altitude. I didn’t know how my body will be [at] so huge altitude. So, well, I want to, I start feeling the race, and I feel good. Until 100 kilometers, I felt pretty good. So well, I’ve no real strategy. I ran and it was the feeling.

iRunFar: You go entirely by how your body feels.

Rousset: Yeah. Yeah.

iRunFar: Okay. And then was it at 100 kilometers in, it started to become difficult?

Rousset: Yeah, yeah.

iRunFar: Okay.

Rousset: The three 100 mile I did, after 100 kilometers it was very, very, very difficult.

iRunFar: It doesn’t get easier.

Rousset: No. Not really.

iRunFar: And so here in this race, was it after Ouray climbing up towards Kroger’s Canteen, and then Telluride?

Rousset: Yeah.

iRunFar: The descent to Telluride, is that when it became quite difficult for you?

Rousset: Yeah, yeah. Quite difficult.

iRunFar: What were the feelings during that time? I think you had a pacer with you?

Rousset: Yeah. I have a lot of pacers. [laughs]

iRunFar: Yeah.

Rousset: We came here with all my friends. We did the Corsica. So, I have four pacers.

iRunFar: Wow.

Rousset: And crewing like, 15 person.

iRunFar: American style.

Rousset: [laughs] Yeah. Super.

iRunFar: And were your pacers able to help you during the times when it became difficult?

Rousset: All of them speak to me. They encourage me. It was very important for me.

iRunFar: There are some places on the Hardrock course that are very difficult this year. There was snow, and some of it was frozen in the night. What was the hardest part of the race for you?

Rousset: I think after Ouray, to go up to the pass. First time there are 12 kilometers of roads, so it was very difficult now. And then there is ice. A wall of ice at the end until the pass, so it was difficult. And then to go down, it was very, very hard.

iRunFar: Very, like steep? Like straight down?

Rousset: Yeah, yeah. So that, I think it was the hardest part.

iRunFar: Okay. When you came back to Silverton yesterday as a second-place finisher of this race, what were your feelings? What were you thinking about?

Rousset: I’m proud. Yeah, it was super. A great experience. And I think I will remember for a long time, it was very, very incredible.

iRunFar: Your time was the fifth fastest women’s time in the history of the race. It’s one of the fastest times ever. Had you any idea you were moving that fast?

Rousset: Not really. My husband planned the race day. All day, every time. And he thinks I will run to 27:35.

iRunFar: And you ran? And your time was?

Rousset: 27:14.

iRunFar: That’s incredible. Your husband is an incredible statistician.

Rousset: Yeah, I think. See, it’s super.

iRunFar: Well then, we should say your race went according to his plan.

Rousset: [laughs] Yeah.

iRunFar: But what was that feeling when you, because at the finish line you had all of your pacers, all of your crew. It was a big celebration for you. What was that like?

Rousset: Oh, emotion came.

iRunFar: Yeah?

Rousset: Yeah, yeah. It was sort of, it’s incredible. I don’t have the words, but yeah, lots of emotion.

iRunFar: Has ultrarunning or trail running changed for you in becoming a mother? Because you have been a runner for a long time before becoming a mother, and now you have a two-year-old boy. How is it different now?

Rousset: It’s different because it’s difficult to train with a child. Not only by the time, but training and not spending time with him. It’s difficult to accept. You have culpability, and I think it’s the most difficult when you are a mother.

iRunFar: It means being very flexible in changing your trainings by the day, to his needs and what’s happening.

Rousset: Yeah. Yeah, you need to have the time for your training, the time for your job, your time for your child, and everything. It’s difficult in one day.

iRunFar: My last question for you. When I hear French runners talk about Hardrock, I hear them use all the same word. They say “mythical” to describe Hardrock. When you go back to France, how will you describe this experience? What will you say to your friends and the people you run with there?

Rousset: I think, yes. The word is a great word. It’s absolutely different than other races in France. The crew, all the staff around the Hardrock is incredible. On the aid stations, they are welcoming. Everybody smiling, helps you. And well, we are just 150 on the start line. Everything is different, but it’s an incredible experience. And I will remember and talk about Hardrock in France, for sure.

iRunFar: Congratulations to you on your second-place finish at the 2023 Hardrock 100.

Rousset: Thank you so much.

Meghan Hicks

Meghan Hicks is the Editor-in-Chief of iRunFar. She’s been running since she was 13 years old, and writing and editing about the sport for around 15 years. She served as iRunFar’s Managing Editor from 2013 through mid-2023, when she stepped into the role of Editor-in-Chief. Aside from iRunFar, Meghan has worked in communications and education in several of America’s national parks, was a contributing editor for Trail Runner magazine, and served as a columnist at Marathon & Beyond. She’s the co-author of Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running with Bryon Powell. She won the 2013 Marathon des Sables, finished on the podium of the Hardrock 100 Mile in 2021, and has previously set fastest known times on the Nolan’s 14 mountain running route in 2016 and 2020. Based part-time in Moab, Utah and Silverton, Colorado, Meghan also enjoys reading, biking, backpacking, and watching sunsets.