Jordi Gamito ran a consistent race to end up third at this year’s UTMB. In the following interview, our first with him, Jordi talks about his history as a futbol goalkeeper and, later, fighter, how he modified his racing schedule ahead of this year’s UTMB, and how knowing himself allowed his to race his best.
Check out our 2018 UTMB results article for the full story of the race, as well as links for all of our post-race interviews.
Jordi Gamito Post-UTMB 2018 Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Jordi Gamito after his third-place finish at UTMB 2018. Congratulations, Jordi. You must be happy with your race yesterday.
Jordi Gamito: Thanks a lot. Yes, I’m so happy.
iRunFar: You’ve run UTMB a few times around 10th position and now a big step up to third. What changed this year?
Gamito: I only changed in not running so much or so long of races for the season. My focus was UTMB and for the last two months. I only think about this race. When it started, I only focused. I didn’t change anything.
iRunFar: So more focused.
Gamito: I was more focused and more training.
iRunFar: And less racing or fewer races?
iRunFar: How was your season? What races did you do before UTMB?
Gamito: I went in April to Madeira, MIUT. Later a little bit not short but 80-90k. I didn’t want so many ultras, but the first of the season I only think of UTMB this year.
iRunFar: Was that difficult because you do get invitations to go to races around the world to say, “That would be fun, but no?”
Gamito: Yes, this is a difficult plan, but you have to stay focused and your mind clear. If you have your mind clear, it’s good and possible to go for training and race, then go, but if it’s not possible, then speak, “No.”
iRunFar: In these two months when you’re focused on UTMB training, what does one week of training look like? How much do you run?
Gamito: I train at a maximum 22 hour in one week, but the other is normal training about two or three hours per day.
iRunFar: Just running every day and not focused intervals or…?
Gamito: Never intervals or flat because I don’t like so much flat. Intervals uphill, yes, so much.
iRunFar: So not just every day going and relaxing in the mountains?
Gamito: Sometimes, I relax in the mountains for five or six hours in one block every four days. I think this is good for preparing for UTMB. For serious training only in uphill, never in flat.
iRunFar: Who is Jordi Gamito? I’ve met you before and know you well. Tell the world about yourself. Where do you live, and what do you do?
Gamito: I live in the mountains in a small village in the Pyrenees in Catalunya. It’s 1,000 meters. It’s a very good place for training. It’s a quiet place. I live a little bit up with 60 people in the village. It’s so quiet. I work half day in construction and have a half day for training. I need to eat.
iRunFar: You train a half day with work.
Gamito: No, I train before and after I work. It’s okay.
iRunFar: Before you were a runner you were a fighter. How long did you do that?
Gamito: I was a Muay Thai boxer for four years. I trained and fight in Thailand, but now it’s finished.
iRunFar: How did you make the transition? You went from being a fighter to being a trail runner.
Gamito: I think I trained so many times in Thailand. In Thailand, it’s so hard. The training is maybe six or seven hours per day. Maybe this is one of my powers for the mind.
iRunFar: Gives you that focus?
iRunFar: Before you were a fighter were you an athlete?
Gamito: No, before I fought I practiced football. It was so fun. I practiced soccer, but I was a goalkeeper. I didn’t run so much.
iRunFar: You were a goalkeeper? That’s a great variety of things to be a goalkeeper, a fighter, atrail ultrarunner.
Gamito: Yes, but when I was a goalkeeper, I ran with the people of the team, but every time in the front. I never knew. When I went to my first race, I saw it was possible to stay in the front and later I focused a little bit.
iRunFar: So far it’s been very good, but for this race itself, UTMB, was it a dream come true?
Gamito: Yes, I think so. I think everything is possible. This is my mantra for the race—everything is possible.
iRunFar: So anything is possible—maybe someday you win UTMB?
Gamito: Why not?
iRunFar: Why not. You had a much better race this year. Did you feel good in the whole race?
Gamito: Yes, I felt good. Maybe in the last part I wanted to push a little bit, but I wanted to finish second and not third. I think Xavier [Thevenard]was so strong yesterday, but the other guy, maybe it was possible to catch him, but my legs maybe started so fast and didn’t have so much power.
iRunFar: No big problems, just not enough power.
Gamito: Not so big problems, only not enough power and pain in my legs which I think is normal.
iRunFar: So many of the top runners yesterday stopped. People who were going fast early, almost everyone stopped. You, you were fast at the beginning and stayed fast the whole race. What was different?
Gamito: Yesterday, I didn’t want to fight with other guys, I wanted to fight with me. I know me a little bit more every year. I wanted to push at each moment, but I wanted to push with myself. I know me. It’s possible to push 300% and later nothing. I wanted to push 100%, but this time I needed to arrive in Chamonix.
iRunFar: You know what your 100% is; you don’t run someone else’s 100%.
Gamito: No. I’m happy.
iRunFar: What was your favorite moment from the race?
Gamito: Arriving in Chamonix.
iRunFar: Is it still special?
Gamito: I think it’s so special, but here in Chamonix, I have many friends from Catalunya come to see the race. In every aid station they cheer me. I was so happy. It wasn’t possible to stop.
iRunFar: It’s incredible because there are the thousands of people at the Chamonix arrival, but there are also your friends. It’s special.
Gamito: It’s special.
iRunFar: Is your season over now or do you have some more racing?
Gamito: I don’t know. I want to do one race more—I think Diagonale des Fous. Maybe I need to take care and save my legs and have a good recovery. Later, I will speak with my coach and see wha tthe final of the season is. Now, I exhale. The work is done. Now it’s okay. It’s pleasant. Maybe Ultra Pirineu.
iRunFar: That’s close to home.
Gamito: Yes, but it’s only four weeks for recovery, so…?
iRunFar: Congratulations on a great race. Thank you for taking the time to chat.
Gamito: Yes, thank you.