Switzerland’s Jean-Philippe Tschumi came in to the 2021 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail (MIUT) as a bit of a dark horse. Well, he certainly pulled through with a third-place performance. In our first interview with Jean-Philippe, he talks about how his race for third place played out, how he felt about his performance, and his history with sports.
For more on what happened at the race, check out our MIUT results article for the play-by-play and links to other post-race interviews.
Jean-Philippe Tschumi Post-2021 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Jean-Philippe Tschumi after his third-place finish at the 2021 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail. Congratulations.
Jean-Philippe Tschumi: Thanks.
iRunFar: You had a very good day yesterday.
Tschumi: Yes, for me it was a good day and a lot of pleasure to discover this race.
iRunFar: Earlier you were telling me how you had an injury before the race. What were you thinking?
Tschumi: Yes. I have not a good year this year. It was not really good for me. I have a good time and not good times. And I do some good race and another race not. Also I come for the last race in Madeira and I was not sure how is my condition. Yeah.
iRunFar: So maybe with less than expectations or less pressure?
Tschumi: Yes. Exactly. I, but I want every time [to] go fast. So you are in doubt. And I was a problem with my two knees. I am an old man.
Tschumi: And yes, I will try and I am in [confidence], yeah, planning for next year. Yeah.
iRunFar: Cool. So you went into the race without expectations and the race, as all races, it goes out fast. The runners go out quickly. And what was your feeling on the pace, the rhythm early?
Tschumi: Yes. It was the first time, like I was not very sure of my condition. I said, “For one time, you will start cool.”
Tschumi: At the first 30 kilometers, you food and drink and quiet, quiet, quiet. Normally I go fast. I want to be the first. And yesterday, yeah. Perfect. Six, five, four, three, two, three, three. Dmitry Mityaev was too strong. Incredible. I never see the first. So cool, cool. It’s nice to do the race behind.
Tschumi: And you can control. You are not,
iRunFar: The rabbit.
Tschumi: Yeah. Rabbit. A lot of dogs.
iRunFar: All of them. Four hundred.
Tschumi: You lose a lot of…
Tschumi: Energy, yes.
iRunFar: So it was enjoyable to be from behind?
Tschumi: Yes, yes.
iRunFar: And the, the battle with Dmitry, where did you, where was the passing?
Tschumi: Yeah, like when you, I discovered when you start slow, your body warm up quiet and I have time to, at the checkpoint I eat good and never go down. But yeah, my legs were hard.
iRunFar: And was it a surprise, you’ve attempted Diagonale des Fous, Grand Raid Réunion two times?
Tschumi: Two times.
iRunFar: And stop.
Tschumi: Yes, first time knees and the second time you lose all the band. Yes. But yeah.
iRunFar: So was it nice to have a strong race on a long race?
Tschumi: Yeah, yeah. Perhaps I am, for 100k, I think perhaps my body cannot give me, but I will see.
iRunFar: Maybe this will give you some confidence?
Tschumi: Perhaps, yes. I must earn me. I must learn to earn me. Yes I think with my body and my spirit. It’s difficult sometimes to know.
iRunFar: And normally when you prepare for an important race do you try to run the course, to run the trails before?
Tschumi: Yes, but here it was difficult. [laughs] Yeah, so it was a discovery of normal problems.
iRunFar: And you enjoyed that? An adventure exploration?
Tschumi: Yes, but during the race it’s not very exploration. Sometimes you see the sea, yeah cool, but no, in the race, yes.
iRunFar: What is your history with sports or athletics? Were you, did you practice sports when you were a child or?
Tschumi: Yes, every time some, a lot of different sports. And after, when I was an adolescent it was more to do the fast, to make…
iRunFar: To win?
Tschumi: No, no. This part a little how to, to make, I don’t know fer la fête [a party]. And after when I was 32, I love the mountains. And I go in the new house in really in the mountains and I decide to run.
iRunFar: It’s a good idea.
Tschumi: Why not, why not? And yes, I discovered that and it’s a realization I can learn to me, learn of me.
iRunFar: Yeah, the trail is your teacher, is it?
Tschumi: Yeah, exactly. The life. Every time I understand that the sports are a good experience for the life, idea why, and I understand now. Yes.
iRunFar: Well cool. I look forward to seeing you at another race and seeing you learn from it.
iRunFar: Well done.