Emelie Forsberg put herself on the trail and ultrarunning map this year by logging top results all over the geographic map. From 3 Peaks and Zegama Marathon (post-race interview) this spring to Cavalls del Vent and Les Templiers this autumn, we’ve seen her name over and over. That racing has earned her a Skyrunning World Series title and third place in the Skyrunning Ultra Series. In the following interview, find out what races she’s enjoyed the most this year, her strategy for the ultras she’s run, and what she feels like when being mentioned along with best women in the sport.
We’ll be providing live coverage of the TNF 50 on Saturday. [Update: We’ve posted full 2012 TNF 50 results with links to many other race resources, including to a post-race interview with Forsberg, who finished second.]
[Click here if you can’t see the video above.]
Emelie Forsberg Pre-2012 TNF EC 50 Mile Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Emelie Forsberg before The North Face (TNF) 50 Mile this year. How are you doing, Emelie?
Emelie Forsberg: Good, thanks. And you?
iRF: I’m doing excellent. It’s the end of the season.
iRF: One final race—and you have had a long season. You had a good race at Zegama and it seems you’ve been racing ever since.
Forsberg: Almost, yes.
iRF: What have been some of your highlights on the race year? What races have you most enjoyed?
Forsberg: I’ve done a lot of different races and I enjoyed that. I love running short races because you can run so fast. I tried long races, too, and everything has its charm.
iRF: You won the Skyrunning World Championship, correct?
iRF: Congratulations. You were also third overall in the ultra series?
Forsberg: Third in the long, yes.
iRF: You hadn’t run an ultra until this year.
Forsberg: No, that’s funny.
iRF: You’ve gained a lot of experience… and some confidence?
Forsberg: I’m working with that. I’m not very confident. I’m working with that. I don’t know if I need to work with it. I don’t know if I need to be so confident with it.
iRF: You’re going to have a lot of great competition this weekend.
Forsberg: Yes. It’s so cool. It’s so cool that people think I’m the same level as them, because when I look at the names—whoaaaaaa!
iRF: You are—as this year has shown.
Forsberg: That’s strange. That’s very strange.
iRF: Now having run all these different distances—before this year you’d run all the shorter stuff—is there a difference in trying to race the competition in a short race vs. in an ultra? Do you approach it in a different way?
Forsberg: Yes. You just smash the short ones. The long runs—I don’t really know how to explain—it’s much more… you have to feel much more because if you’re tired and run uphill, you need to save it for later; or you can just try to go fast because you know it’s so long that you will get recovered to the next uphill. It’s a bit more planning I think—not just poof, smash it.
iRF: Have you built out a plan for yourself for the race?
Forsberg: Hmmm… no.
iRF: You’ve run a couple ultras this year, but compared to some of the people in the field, you’ve run many fewer. In the races you’ve run this year, have you tried to stay with the leaders early on and then raced later? Or have you just run your own race from the start?
Forsberg: My first one was Cavalls [del Vent] and I was running my own race. I was thinking I felt good and I wanted just to try. So I was alone for the first 42k and then Nuria [Picas] came and we ran a bit together. Then Anna [Frost] came and we went on and off. Templiers, I decided to stay behind and that was pretty good. But I had a really bad race at Templiers, so I think I could have done better. I’m not going to push this race. I’m not going to go in the front.
iRF: Not with this many?
iRF: You live far up north. You left to come here over the weekend; you wrote you just missed the last bit of sun for the year.
Forsberg: Yes. It’s coming back the 12th of January.
iRF: What is that like knowing that unless you travel, you’re not going to see the sun for almost two months? How do you keep training? Do you run outside? Do you ski?
Forsberg: I just sit inside and drink hot chocolate and recover. Nooooo… it’s okay training. You can use the headlamp. I mostly do cross-country [ski] training in the evenings; it’s light in the tracks. You can enjoy the three hours of almost light (twilight). It’s good.
iRF: So you take advantage of your midday twilight?
Forsberg: Yes, when I don’t have to be in school.
iRF: So you’re fortunate; you’ve been able to make time for school and your racing this year.
iRF: Well, best of luck with both and have fun out there this weekend!
Forsberg: Thank you.
iRF: See you on the trails.