Ellie Greenwood (Montrail) is having an incredible season, winning races left and right. In the following interview, find out how she’s feeling after running all of those races, if she’ll be taking a break any time soon, what races are drawing her in these days, and how she’ll motivate herself at this weekend’s UROC 100k.
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Ellie Greenwood Pre-2012 UROC 100k Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here before the second annual 2012 Ultra Race of Champions with Ellie Greenwood. How are you doing, Ellie?
Ellie Greenwood: Good. I’m glad to be in Virginia.
iRF: It’s been a little while since we’ve last spoken. Wait, never mind… 3 weeks ago?
Greenwood: CCC, a whole 4 weeks. It’s a long time in the iRunFar world.
iRF: It is. It’s like 14 races ago.
iRF: Well, you’ve had quite the season so far. Just going through since Chuckanut 50k, Western States 100, White River 50 mile, CCC… you’ve been racking up wins left and right, and you’ve been racing a ton. How are you feeling coming into September?
Greenwood: Yes. It’s starting to feel like the end of September. By that, I mean I’m super excited to be here. I’m feeling good. I’m still loving going out and running. But obviously the more races, cumulative, maybe I’m a little tired. But that’s when it’s good to be at a race you’ve not done before because you’ve got the excitement of a new course, new competitors, being at a race out East which I’ve not really done before. So yeah, it’s beginning to feel like it’s slightly towards the end of the season, but this was a main race for the year. So in that sense it kept me going, and I had some other races like Squammish 50 or White River that were more like, yeah I raced, but I didn’t race all-out or super hard. They were more like just events that I really wanted to do, so I said, “Hey, I’m going to throw them in now,” whereas this was a focus race even though it’s towards the end.
iRF: Does that mean you’re going to take some recovery after this or are you going to squeeze in two more months of training and come back for The North Face 50?
Greenwood: I’m not going to do The North Face 50. I’m doing JFK. It’s the 50th year. I do like to do UROC, one of the newer races where they’re bringing people together which I think is more like The North Face 50. Then, I also like to do the ones that are sort of historical. You know lots of runners in the past that have been on that course and that kind of thing. That appeals to me, too, so I decided to do JFK instead.
iRF: That’s great. That puts together the history of Western States, Comrades, JFK…
Greenwood: To me they’re more like iconic races, and they’re ones that are a real part of our sport. Maybe races like UROC and The North Face become those races, but I think they’ve got a different appeal than the more traditional races.
iRF: This race has a mix of road and trail, rugged and fast. You have a very varied skill set. Are you excited to test all your skills out on one day?
Greenwood: Oh, totally. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve no idea what this course is like. This morning we’ve been driving around, and I’ve gotten to see a little bit of what the area is like. I’ve never set foot on the trails, but I like road running. I’ll admit it. I love trail running, too, right. So the combination of both—and these definitely look like scenic roads. You’re not on highways or anything, right? You’re starting to get the fall colors.
iRF: They’re historical kind of roads.
Greenwood: And it’s rolling and it’s nice countryside kind of scenery. So, I’m pretty excited to see the course.
iRF: Going into this race, there’s a little bit less competition on the high end that would normally push you. Lizzy [Hawker]’s not here; some of the people from Western States aren’t here. It’s sort of a new course this year, so there’s not course record to go after. How are you going to motivate yourself to push for race day?
Greenwood: There are still some good women here. And it’s the most dangerous thing to say the day before the race … to get too laid back about it. No, it’s still a race. I believe Liza Howard’s coming?
iRF: No, she’s not.
Greenwood: Oh, she’s not? Well, there ya go. Ragan [Petrie] is here? She’s fast. She ran last year, so she knows the course. My attitude is that you can’t be too relaxed about it. If I have a good day and maybe I’m in the lead and maybe significantly in the women’s lead, then I’ll look out for some men on the course.
iRF: Perhaps chick a few people?
Greenwood: No, no, it’s nice to run with the men. It’s friendly competition. It’s definitely not the same as if you’re running with another woman.
iRF: A heated battle?
Greenwood: I think we all respect each other as runners, and part of that is, “Okay, we’re in a race.”
iRF: Game on.
iRF: Best of luck out there tomorrow, Ellie.
Greenwood: Thank you so much.
iRF: Have fun.
Greenwood: Thank you.