Spain’s Gemma Arenas will make her Les Templiers debut at the 2021 race. In the following interview, Gemma talks about how she recovers physically and mentally between races, why she’s running Les Templiers for the first time, and who she thinks her strongest competition will be.
For more information on who’s racing Les Templiers be sure to check out our in-depth preview before following our live coverage this weekend.
Gemma Arenas Pre-2021 Les Templiers Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar, here with Gemma Arenas before the 2021 Le Grand Trail des Templiers. How are you?
Gemma Arenas: Very well, thank you.
iRunFar: So a few weeks ago you finished second in a very close race with Azara García at Ultra Pirineu [100k], and then, you ran MiM at Penyagolosa [60k], and were second again, between that. How are your legs and your energy?
Arenas: Well yes it’s true, it’s been two races in a very short time and on top of this, a couple weeks before I also did the two in a row so there were four. I come, I’m in great shape, I’m longing to see what will happen.
iRunFar: What is your secret to quick recovery?
Arenas: I think there is no real secret, it’s a matter of having rest in between the races and then to go with a big desire really and that’s it, if you go for it, and I’m lucky because I recuperate quite well.
iRunFar: While I think that’s important, I want to think about that a little bit more, how do you get your mind to recover and have that passion so quickly? Because not everyone has that.
Arenas: I live in an area where there is no mountains, so that’s why I always look for some more competition. And then in between the competition you have to train, so I’m always training or competing and I’m very competitive, so for me it’s important to go on competition. That’s what makes me train all the time and compete all the time.
iRunFar: You think that your long history with running also helps with being able to race more frequently?
Arenas: Yes, I think so. It’s been six years that I’m running in mountains and so far it’s been good. I’ve been respected by the injuries, no injuries, I just expect that I can go on like this. If time comes to stop, we’ll see.
iRunFar: So this is your first time racing at Les Templiers, why are you here?
Arenas: It’s a race that I heard about many times and I’ve been thinking really about coming, but so far I haven’t had the occasion in this year, after the race El Oso [65k] in Asturias, I’ve been talking with Azara, and we decided to come together, they talk so well about this race that we decided to come together. So here I am.
iRunFar: But no Azara?
Arenas: Sadly, she’s not here, we’ve been expecting until the very last moment but it’s not been possible, and it’s sad because I really wanted to be here with her and enjoy the fiesta, enjoy the ambience. She’s a good friend, also she’s a teammate, but that’s the way it is.
iRunFar: Who do you think your strongest competition will come from among the women?
Arenas: While I think that if you come here, it’s because you’re strong, everybody comes prepared. I think may be Ruth Croft obviously, but in the end everybody is strong, everybody is fighting, and the one who will win will be the strongest, or maybe the one who will have the best day that day.
iRunFar: Thank you very much.
Arenas: Thank you.