Emelie Forsberg returns to Les Templiers for the first time in five years. In the following interview, Emelie talks about why she’s had a lighter racing season, how she’s reevaluated her priorities, and why she’s back at Les Templiers.
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Emelie Forsberg Pre-2017 Les Templiers Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Emelie Forsberg before the 2017 Les Templiers. How are you, Emelie?
Emelie Forsberg: Good, thank you.
iRunFar: You’ve had a very limited season this year.
Forsberg: Which season?
iRunFar: Running season—you’ve had four races?
iRunFar: Why is that? I know last year you had a short season but that was coming back from injury.
Forsberg: I kind of reevaluated what I wanted to do and why I do it. In the beginning of the summer, I didn’t know if I wanted to continue. I wanted to change a bit my contracts. I didn’t want to be known only as a trail runner because that’s not who I am. I just needed to make it clear for myself and then for my sponsors, so I took time to do that.
iRunFar: If you don’t mind sharing, what values did you really find that you wanted to focus on? Who is Emelie Forsberg?
Forsberg: I wanted the freedom to do ski mountaineering as much as I do running as much as I do alpinism. I’m not an alpinist, but I want to have the possibility to take time to do that. I know that’s super luxury to say, “I want to do this and this and this,” but then I said, “That’s what I want to do.” If I can’t do it with how I’m working with my sponsors now, maybe I should just change or go back to do something else. So I needed to clarify that for myself and see that I would be as happy to work with something else and do this in my spare time. I needed to figure things out.
iRunFar: In the end you decided to continue with sport as number one?
Forsberg: Yeah, exactly, but just a bit more…
iRunFar: On your own schedule? With your own priorities?
Forsberg: Yeah, with my own priorities in a way.
iRunFar: You went to the Himalayas in the spring and because of that you couldn’t run some races like Transvulcania…
Forsberg: Yeah, and also I lost a bit of motivation. I took it slow because I wanted to come back from skiing to running really well not to injure the knee. It’s difficult switching from when I ski to when I run, and with the knee, I didn’t know how it was going to be. So I was really, really slow. I didn’t do as many miles per week as I did before. It was just a lot of things going on. I just needed more time than to do races every weekend.
iRunFar: Now you’re back. You had a decent race at OCC, and then you won Glen Coe. How was that?
Forsberg: OCC, I was happy. As I said, I haven’t been training as much as I did before, not as many miles at all. So, that was really hard. After five hours, I was just dead. It was such a fun feeling because in long races, I’ve always been stronger and stronger. It was a new experience there. I was really worried about Glen Coe because that’s eight hours, and it’s also technical.
iRunFar: It’s almost alpinism at times, yeah?
Forsberg: Yeah, it fits me. So that worked well.
iRunFar: Was it fun?
Forsberg: Yeah, I love those kind of races. OCC, I loved it, too, because it’s fast running. It’s fun to change.
iRunFar: You did enjoy it. There’s a part of you that still loves trail running.
Forsberg: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, I love trail running. I will always, always run. I love running. I just didn’t know if I wanted to do it as much.
iRunFar: Now you’re here. You were here five years ago—the beginning of “Emelie Forsberg, trail-ultramarathon runner.”
Forsberg: Yeah, it’s so fun. I remember nothing of the trail—a little bit, but it feels so long time ago and so many races ago.
iRunFar: It’s a pretty runnable course but with some steep ups and steep downs. Is that going to be a challenge? Have you been doing much on faster terrain?
Forsberg: The last two weeks I have been trying to run flat. It’s fun for two weeks. I can motivate myself for two weeks, but I’d rather go up than around. Like I said, I love to run a bit of everything.
iRunFar: What brings you here?
Forsberg: I wanted to do a race at the end of the season when I got my motivation back. I’m also curious… this will be may longest race since over two years ago because of the knee. I haven’t been running… I want to see how I am in this distance again.
iRunFar: Test yourself here and maybe again in a few weeks?
Forsberg: Yeah, I need to see if I need to take care of Kilian [Jornet]. Then I won’t go to The North Face.
iRunFar: He’s having a bit of surgery today.
iRunFar: You have some new arrivals at your house soon? Your sheep?
Forsberg: Yes, I’m super excited for that. I’ve been working with my arms putting in the poles. I just need to finish that. In Norway, you need to send things in and get it approved. I hope they approve it.
iRunFar: Approve your fence?
Forsberg: Yes, the fence, the shelter, the water, everything… so hopefully next year we have some wild sheep there.
iRunFar: Your farm grows.
iRunFar: Best of luck this weekend, Emelie. Enjoy.
Forsberg: Thank you.