Julien Chorier Pre-2012 TNF UTMB Interview

A video interview with Julien Chorier before the 2012 The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc.

By on August 30, 2012 | Comments

Julien Chorier (Salomon) has had a great string of trail ultras over the past 14 months with wins at the Hardrock 100, Grand Raid Reunion, and the Zugspitz Ultratrail. He’s also quite familiar with the UTMB course, having run the race multiple times and twice run the full course in training this year. In the following interview, find out more about his past year, why you won’t see him “attacking” in a 100 miler, and how many runners have a chance of winning this year’s UTMB.

[Note: We’ve interviewed Julien three times in the past. Hear him before the 2010 TNF UTMB as well as before and after his 2011 Hardrock 100 victory.]

Added: Why Julien Chorier Isn’t Running This Year’s TNF UTMB

[Click here if you can’t see the video above.]

The Original Julien Chorier Pre-2012 TNF UTMB Interview

[Click here if you can’t see the video above.]

Julien Chorier Pre-2012 TNF UTMB Interview Transcript

iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Julien Chorier. How are you, Julien?

Julien Chorier: I’m very fine.

iRF: Good. You have the Ultra-Trail de Mont-Blanc starting tomorrow. Are you excited?

Chorier: I’m very excited. I just want to start, to be doing the race.

iRF: Have you spent much time on the Tour du Mont Blanc this year?

Chorier: Yeah. I’ve done it twice before the race. Once with the Salomon family/team and one time with some guy slowly.

iRF: Last time you raced when iRunFar was there was the Hardrock 100, which you had a great run at and won. Can you tell us some of your results since then?

Chorier: I had a win at the Grand Raid Reunion.

iRF: Le Diagonale des Fous?

Chorier: Yes. This year I won the Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji.

iRF: You were challenged there by Adam Campbell?

Chorier: Yes. And then I won at the Zugspitz Ultratrail in July.

iRF: So you’ve won 2 more 100-mile races (more or less) and… how long is Zugspitz?

Chorier: Zugspitz is 100k.

iRF: You’ve had a good year!

Chorier: Yes. At the moment, it’s been a perfect year for me.

iRF: Are you healthy? No injuries?

Chorier: Yes. No injuries. I’ve had very good training—a lot of training—maybe as much as last year and better.

iRF: This year at UTMB is much better than in the past. Last year, Kilian [Jornet] was here, and he was stronger than the rest of the runners. So there was sort of a group of runners who stayed together for a very long time. Tomorrow, there are a lot of runners who are very similar in strength and speed. Do you think people will be attacking?

Chorier: For me in ultra trail, there is no attack because all the guys have their own race, but I don’t know. For me, I try to have my own race. I don’t try to attack very fast.

iRF: More control.

Chorier: Yeah, more control.

iRF: This course is interesting because the first 30k are very flat—there’s one climb, but a lot of running. Then there are a lot of mountains. Are you stronger on the mountain sections?

Chorier: I prefer the mountain sections. For me, the start of UTMB is La Balme, before the start of the Col du Bonhomme. Before, it’s just a big warm-up—30km of warm-up and then the race starts.

iRF: This year you might need to warm up, literally. It’s going to be cold and wet.

Chorier: The weather is to be very bad, but we know. We just have to take a good jacket and a lot of clothes.

iRF: There’s no reason to take chances. You take the equipment you need. I ran this last year and it was muddy at the start in the rain. What shoes are you going to wear?

Chorier: I wear the S-Lab Soft Ground. For me they are perfect because they have good grip and is good for me for the terrain.

iRF: You have a few very good teammates running tomorrow and a few other good runners running tomorrow. Who do you think is going to be up there with you for the first half of the race?

Chorier: It’s difficult. I think 10 people will make a very good race tomorrow. It’s difficult. I don’t know all the guys or people.

iRF: Is it fair to say that your goal is to win tomorrow?

Chorier: Oh, it’s the goal of 20 guys tomorrow to win. Yes, it’s my goal, but I win tomorrow if I’m the best and if the other guys are slower. If they are faster, I can’t go faster.

iRF: You can only go as fast as you can go.

Chorier: Yeah. I try to be as fast as I can.

iRF: I also hope you enjoy it. Good to see you again, Julien.

Chorier: Yeah, thank you very much.

Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Founding Editor of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for more than 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.