Spain’s Gemma Arenas says she had a perfect race in finishing third at the 2022 Trail World Championships 80-kilometer race. In the following interview, Gemma talks about how she was surprised by how good she felt and how fast she was able to run, what it was like running almost the whole race in third place, and how it felt to finish on the podium while representing Team Spain.
For more on how the race played out, check out our 2022 Trail World Championships 80k results article.
[Editor’s Note: Thanks to Anna Comet for her translation, and congratulations on her performance in the Trail World Championships 40k race!]
Gemma Arenas Post-2022 Trail World Championships 80k Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Meghan Hicks of iRunFar. I’m with Gemma Arenas. It’s the day after the 2022 Trail World Championships 80k and you were the third-place women’s finisher. Congratulations.
Gemma Arenas: Muchas gracias.
iRunFar: How are you feeling today?
Arenas: [In Spanish, through translator] She feels good. She is surprised how she left today.
iRunFar: She’s surprised by how she feels today?
iRunFar: Not so bad, or?
Arenas: Not so bad.
iRunFar: Ah, okay. Yesterday there it was about 5,000 meters of climbing in 80 kilometers. That’s a lot of vertical in hot and humid conditions. How did you find the course, the terrain, the weather?
Arenas: She says that she felt better than she thought before, because she isn’t used to this climate. She tried to drink a lot and to manage with water and food. And she felt better during all the race.
iRunFar: It looked like for the first climb of the race, maybe you took things a little bit easy. There were the lead women, and then you were maybe a little bit calm behind them. Did you intentionally start the race easy?
Arenas: She, when before starting the race, she would be happy with a top-10 position because she knew the level was very high. But from the beginning, she was fighting with the fourth place for third place, but then she gets in the third place and from that moment, she says, Okay, here is my race. I will go forward and try not to be caught by the followers.
iRunFar: People behind.
iRunFar: That was going to be my next question for you, is it wasn’t long in the race until you were in third position. And you didn’t move forward, and you didn’t move back. How did it feel to just kind of … In these races, often there’s like, dynamics going back and forth, but you were just in third most of the second half of the race.
Arenas: She felt good during all the race. This is not, this isn’t a thing that happens always. And she got profit from that.
iRunFar: Yeah, yeah.
Arenas: And she was thinking, just run, run, run, and try to not be caught by the followers. But she says that it was a good day, and she was thinking just to run.
iRunFar: You kind of had a dream race then, didn’t you? Like everything was just okay?
Arenas: Yes, she says that it was a dream race. She knew that there were places to run a lot and it’s good for her. But also, to hike kilometers uphill. But she was feeling good. And …
iRunFar: It just is what it is.
iRunFar: You have represented Team Spain at the Trail World Championships a number of times, and now you’ve reached the podium. What does that feel to represent your country on the podium of this race?
Arenas: She says that just being here representing the country, it’s like a gift, and sharing with the team. But being on the podium is just amazing.
iRunFar: I think it’s kind of mean to ask this at the finish line of one race, but what are you planning for your 2023 season of running?
Arenas: She says that she hasn’t finished the season. She has two more races.
iRunFar: No way! Okay.
Arenas: One at the end of November and another one at the beginning of December. And for next year, in January she will close [open] the new calendar.
iRunFar: Okay, so what are you racing left this year?
Arenas: She’s going to Málaga, to the south of Spain, in a short race, 32 kilometers. And then to another in Tenerife, to do the 42k.
iRunFar: Good luck to you on those races. Congratulations on your podium finish at the Trail World Championships 80k. And also thank you to you, Anna Comet, for translating, and also congratulations on your race in the 40k yesterday.
Arenas: Thank you. Thank you.