France’s Cédric Fleureton, a former international-caliber triathlete, took third at the 2017 Trail World Championships. In our first interview with Cédric, watch him talk about his history with triathlon and how he came to trail running, his few years of national-level trail running performances in France, how his efforts at the front of the race went down, and how he plans to compete in both trail races and off-road triathlons in the future.
For more on what happened at the race, check out our 2017 Trail World Championships results article, which includes links to additional post-race interviews.
Cédric Fleureton Post-2017 Trail World Championship Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Meghan Hicks of iRunFar and we’re here in Badia Prataglia, Italy. It’s after the 2017 Trail World Championships. I’m with men’s third-place finisher of France, Cédric Fleureton. Nice to meet you.
Cédric Fleureton: Nice to meet you, too.
iRunFar: Congratulations on your third-place finish today, and congratulations to Team France on your gold medal. How are you feeling?
Fleureton: Not so bad today. I was in good form today, I think. Perhaps I started a bit faster because the American guys started a bit fast, but I think I took the lead after the 25k. I was good, but I had problems with my muscles with cramping in the last part of the race. The last 10k were terrible for me.
iRunFar: This is our first interview with you, and this is iRunFar’s first time watching you race on the trails. I’d love to know a little bit about your history with sport. I think you raced triathlon internationally?
Fleuerton: Yes, exactly. I was a triathlete before. I did triathlon for 15 years. I did [International Triathlon Union] World Cup and it was short distance. I stopped my triathlete career in 2010. After, I did nothing for four years. I just began trails just for fun, and I did good results. I continued because it was fun.
iRunFar: Your triathlon career was a pretty strong one. You had several podium finishes at the European Triathlon Championships and at mostly shorter-distance triathlon, is that right?
Fleureton: Yes, short distance. I’ve never done long distance.
iRunFar: You said in 2014 was your first trail race?
Fleureton: Yes, I started trails in 2014.
iRunFar: You’ve raced several times in national-championship level trail running in France. I think you have a couple national trail titles.
Fleureton: Yes, I won the French title in the short distance since 2014.
iRunFar: How did you feel about a race that was four-and-a-half hours long today? Was that on the long side for you, for racing?
Fleureton: Yes, it was long for me, but I prepared for that, so it was not so bad. Perhaps I didn’t do enough downhills, so the muscles were not perfect.
iRunFar: Early in the race, you said the Americans went out fast, and you went with them. You were basically sharing the lead with America’s Andy Wacker on the first uphill and downhill. But by the top of the long climb to about 18 or 19k, you’d taken over the lead, and then you set the pace for a long time in the race after that.
Fleureton: I took the lead after the first checkpoint at 25k. All was okay for me at this point. I tried to have a good sensation and to do the best race possible, but my muscles were hurting in the last.
iRunFar: We were out on the course and saw you at different places, and at 38k with 10k to go, you were still in the lead, but it looked like maybe then you were starting to suffer a little bit?
Fleureton: Yes, it was difficult too see the Spanish guys pushing…
iRunFar: Coming up behind you and pushing…
Fleureton: Yes, but my muscles were terrible.
iRunFar: I was at the 5k-to-go-to-the-finish point at the last pass before you began the long downhill back to town. You looked good and smooth there. Was it just certain parts of the hills that hurt your muscles more?
Fleureton: Yeah, it was terrible. I tried to drink a lot. I tried to rest a little bit, but my muscles were tight.
iRunFar: A podium finish at a Trail World Championships event… you’ve had French national titles before, but now on the podium internationally… you’re fairly new to this sport. Does this make you think about continuing your career?
Fleureton: Yes, first of all, it’s a very good result for me. It’s the first time I’ve done the worlds, so it’s a good result. After, I don’t know. I am 43 years old, so I’m not young, but I do trails with pleasure and with passion. We will see. I don’t plan the rest of my career.
iRunFar: Do you have any races on your calendar for the rest of this year?
Fleureton: Yes, this year I will do the swimrun ÖTILLÖ race in Sweden. This is the worlds in swimrun. I will do that. After, I want to do the XTERRA World Championships in Hawaii.
iRunFar: The XTERRA Trail or Triathlon World Championships?
Fleureton: This is triathlon off-road with mountain bike and trail running, so it’s good for me. I loved it in the past and will try to do something.
iRunFar: Congratulations today on your third-place finish at the Trail World Championships. We look forward to seeing you around the international trails.
Fleureton: Thank you very much. I hope. We will see. Thank you.