Fernanda Maciel debuted in the 100-mile distance with her strong second-place finish at last weekend’s Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji. In the following interview, Fernanda talks about how good she felt during the race, what running in the nighttime was like, and what the most difficult part of the race was for her. Stick around until the end of the interview to hear what interesting project she hopes to wrap up 2014 with!
[Editor’s Note: Have a look at our results article for the race’s full story as well as five additional post-race interviews. Apologies on the delay in publishing this video… there were some (sleep-deprivation-related) technical difficulties! ;-) – Bryon]
[Click here if you can’t see the video above.]
Fernanda Maciel Post-2014 Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Fernanda Maciel after her second-place finish at the 2014 Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji. How’s it going, Fernanda?
Fernanda Maciel: Great.
iRunFar: You had a very strong run this weekend.
Maciel: Yes, I felt really good. I was feeling starting slowly. My objective was to cross the finish line. So I’m really glad for that.
iRunFar: I did not know this—this was your first full 100-mile race?
iRunFar: You’ve tried before, but UTMB had changed the couple times you’ve…
Maciel: Yes, so I couldn’t race 100 miles. I did the Everest Trail Race last year which I think was 100 miles but in six stages.
iRunFar: So very different.
iRunFar: How did you find 100 miles? How was the experience?
Maciel: Nice because I keep the same speed. So since the beginning, slowly, just enjoying. I didn’t feel bad at any time.
iRunFar: That’s a great first 100-mile experience. So you approached it, not cautiously, but very evenly. You didn’t want to go out too hard?
Maciel: No and I didn’t care about the other runners because my objective was so clear, just to finish. I wasn’t worried about the girls and how was my place in the race.
iRunFar: But later during the race, you must have known… people would have to tell you you were in second place and Núria [Picas] was just ahead of you. At some point did you get a little…?
Maciel: No, it was funny because somebody said, “You are in second, and Nathalie [Mauclair] is in front of you.” And I said, “What? What happened to Núria?” So I spent all the race thinking that Núria dropped.
iRunFar: And that you were chasing Nathalie.
Maciel: And then still when I got the leader and I passed Nathalie and thought that I’m in first place. The guy said, “No, no, no, Núria is in first.” Ah, I was missing her.
iRunFar: What was it like running all through the night because you would not have done that before in racing?
Maciel: I like to run at night because in the past I did adventure racing. So for me it’s easy to run at night. I really enjoy it.
iRunFar: Were any parts of the course harder than you expected?
Maciel: The long bridge at the ending, it’s a road—for me that’s what’s hard.
iRunFar: For your body?
Maciel: The mountain is hard, but when you get a long 10k on the road just to the finish, for me that was terrible.
iRunFar: Big challenge?
Maciel: Yeah, the running… it was a kind of climb, but not a climb so you need to run everything.
iRunFar: Very hard. Was your stomach okay the entire race?
Maciel: Yes, I digested a lot, my stomach. It was good. I could eat the whole time to keep my energy up.
iRunFar: What is your nutrition plan for a race like this? How many calories per hour? What kind of foods do you eat?
Maciel: It’s crazy because during this race you can lose, like, 15,000 calories but it’s impossible to get everything, so the important is to keep the carbohydrates high, sometimes the salt as well—so you need the sugars high and salt—and I have the minerals capsules, and some BCAA’s. So that keeps my stomach and my energy until the end.
iRunFar: Yeah, and after such a hard race, you’re walking around fine today. Do you feel good?
Maciel: Yeah, I think when you have good nutrition, you feel good all the time because you can be almost at the limit and go hard and after, you have a good recovery.
iRunFar: You’re looking fine. Do you have any races coming up?
Maciel: Yes, now I go to Australia in two weeks [for The North Face 100k Australia] which is why I need to recover fast. Then there’s the [Skyrunning] World Championships in Chamonix and UTMB.
iRunFar: So you have a busy next few months, yes?
Maciel: Yes, and then finish.
iRunFar: After UTMB your season is over?
Maciel: After, I prepare for a project—the Aconcagua record the highest mountain in the Americas—but that will be in December. Between UTMB and the project, I have one month of recovery and then prepare.
iRunFar: Alright. Well, congratulations on your run at Fuji, and see you around!