Ekaterina Mityaeva Post-2021 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail Interview

Russia’s Ekaterina Mityaeva ran solidly in second place throughout the majority of the 2021 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail (MIUT) before eventually finishing third. In the following interview, Mityaeva talks about what was challenging about this year’s MIUT, why the final kilometers were difficult, why she’s excited about Hillary Allen’s win, and whether we can expect other Russian women to challenge for top positions at trail races in the future.

For more on what happened at the race, check out our MIUT results article for the play-by-play and links to other post-race interviews.

Ekaterina Mityaeva Post-2021 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail Interview Transcript

 iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Ekaterina Mityaeva after her third-place finish at the 2021 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail. How are you?

Ekaterina Mityaeva: Oh, thank you. I’m fine now. I feel better but after the race I feel not so good. Because for me, I think this race was so hard.

iRunFar: Why is that? What was the biggest challenge?

Mityaeva: For me it was not so easy run downhill because we had a lot of stones and a lot of places were slippery.

iRunFar: Yeah, a lot of mud.

Mityaeva: Yeah.

iRunFar: There was heavy rain in the couple of days before the race, so.

Mityaeva: Yeah, yeah.

iRunFar: I keep hearing that, so you’ve also run like the Ultra SkyMarathon Madeira.

Mityaeva: Yeah.

iRunFar: Has it been the same with slippery then or is this different, a new challenge on Madeira for you?

Mityaeva: I think it was the same a little bit. Yeah, yeah.

iRunFar: But not 55 kilometers, 115.

Mityaeva: Yeah, yeah.

iRunFar: But throughout most of the race, you are running in second place with Hillary Allen just ahead of you. Was it nice to have somebody to follow? To have her be in the lead and you to challenge? Was that?

Mityaeva: Yeah, I all time knows about Hillary go first. But for example, the first part I didn’t know about my place.

iRunFar: Yeah?

Mityaeva: Because I thought oh, maybe I ran first woman.

iRunFar: Okay.

Mityaeva: Yeah. But no, I ran second and all time I know about, Hillary behind me five minutes, more, a little bit, yes. And I all time knows about this. But I feel not so good. But I work and I know about it, it was so hard. Yeah. And guys who, on, for example, on checkpoints. I know about oh, behind me, Sabrina [Stanley]. And I, oh, yeah, okay. I cannot stop and I work, work, work, run, run very faster. A little bit. [laughs] Yeah.

iRunFar: No sitting on the trail.

Mityaeva: Yeah.

iRunFar: And did you have a time during the race that was the most difficult or challenging?

Mityaeva: For me, I think at the end of the distance, it was so hard. Because yes, because I, I saw my track, and I saw we have a flat part and after downhill, but for me it was flat part the whole time. [laughs] And I see on my track and see oh, it’s not 115, it’s more ah, oh my god, where is the finish line, where is the finish line? Yes. And at the end of the, before the finish line woman run very faster. And who is it? Oh, I thought oh, maybe she ran 60 or maybe 80k but not my distance, but now it was girl from Norway.

iRunFar: Kirsten [Amundsgård].

Mityaeva: Yes. But she run very faster, but…

iRunFar: There was no, impossible.

Mityaeva: For me, no.

iRunFar: Mind said no, or was it the body?

Mityaeva: Yeah, because I have pain in my knee. Yeah, and I have muscle pain too.

iRunFar: And 115 more kilometers. Yeah.

Mityaeva: It’s very hard.

iRunFar: Are you happy with your season?

Mityaeva: Yes, of course. Yes. Yes. For me the season was great. Because before we didn’t have any races, but now in this season, I’m very happy. Yeah.

iRunFar: It seems like you and Dmitry [Mityaev] your husband, not only enjoy the racing, but to visit places and experience the cultures. Is that an important part of your?

Mityaeva: Yes. Yes, of course. It’s, it’s really great because for me I’m very happy to see Hillary because before she had problems but now I’m very happy she’s back. Then here Madeira is wonderful place. Yeah.

iRunFar: Will you enjoy today? Will you travel around the island and see some things?

Mityaeva: I think maybe yes.

iRunFar: Yeah? And then you will go to Turkey for one week.

Mityaeva: Yeah.

iRunFar: Where you will lead a trail camp, you two. And how have you seen Russian trail running grow over the last few years?

Mityaeva: Ah, now, I think we in Russia, trails stay more popular. Yeah. And guys from Russia, they follow us and they want to, [laughs]…

iRunFar: They see this. [gestures at scenery]

Mityaeva: Yeah, yeah.

iRunFar: Right now it’s maybe cold in St. Petersburg or Sochi but…

Mityaeva: Yeah, yeah, but here wonderful weather, yeah, and place, too.

iRunFar: And now there are more strong Russian runners coming to international races like Aleksei Tolstenko.

Mityaeva: Yes. Yes. Yeah.

iRunFar: A great finish at UTMB and here.

Mityaeva: Yeah.

iRunFar: Are there any top women from Russia we should also watch?

Mityaeva: I think yes we have, but I hope maybe they invite this place or another wonderful race in Europe. Yeah.

iRunFar: Great. Well, congratulations on your race and your season.

Mityaeva: Thank you. Thank you so much.