Ludovic Pommeret will represent France at the Trail World Championships for the sixth time when he runs the 80-kilometer race on Saturday. In the following interview, Ludo talks about what it’s like to represent his country for so many years at this event, what he thinks of the unique course and climate in Thailand, his long and successful 2022 in racing that has included winning the TDS in August, and if he’s found any secret to racing as a masters runner.
Ludovic Pommeret Pre-2022 Trail World Championships 80k Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Meghan Hicks of iRunFar. I’m with Ludovic Pommeret. It’s a couple of days before the 2022 Trail World Championships 80k long course race. Hi, Ludo. How are you?
Ludovic Pommeret: Oh, not so bad. It’s vacation, you know?
iRunFar: Trail running vacation.
Pommeret: Yeah, yeah. We should stay focused on the race, but yeah, vacation would be a bit later.
iRunFar: It’s funny. We’re in the middle of Chiang Mai, Thailand, right now. But just to the west of here, there’s a beautiful national park where this race is taking place. You’ve been here for about a week. How are you finding the trails?
Pommeret: Yeah, it’s very various trail. We can find quite a steep climb, steep downhill, and some quite easy parts that will be fast. So, I believe everybody will have some, some good parts that they could perform. And it’s different because of the temperature and humidity. So, we are sweating a lot. But yeah, let’s see the races on Saturday as well.
iRunFar: I think that you have participated in five Trail World Championships prior. This is the most exotic location, yeah?
Pommeret: Yeah, all of them were in Europe. So it changed a bit. It’s good as well for the world championships to change the continent.
iRunFar: Yeah, yeah.
Pommeret: It’s difficult for us to acclimate but it’s the same when the other countries are coming to Europe. It’s different. You have to adapt to the food, to the temperature, to everything. So, this time it’s harder.
iRunFar: New challenges this time.
iRunFar: Team France is always very serious at the Trail World Championships, and you’ve represented your country here a lot of times. What does this race mean to you and mean to Team France?
Pommeret: Yeah, that’s true that our federation takes this seriously and they hope to have good results. So that’s why we came one week before. For me, for us, and I think for all the team members, we are proud to wear the shirt. It’s a special race. We are not running for our partners, as usual. We’re running for this shirt. So it’s a bit special. And there’s as well something special: it’s the team race. Because it’s an individual race, but we’re as well racing for the team and to have a team result. That’s for me an important part of this race.
iRunFar: Now, in my mind, you’ve already had a big year of racing. You were in the top 10 at the Western States 100 in June. You won the TDS in August. And I know there were other races peppered in there too. How is it doing this race late in a year of racing?
Pommeret: It’s late in the season, so it’s difficult to be prepared with this intermediate objective. But I hope it will be okay and that the motivation will push to give the best for me, of course, but for the team as well.
iRunFar: Now we asked some of our followers what they would like to know of you. And one of the main questions we received was, Ludo, as a masters runner, you seem ageless. And so — as a 44-year-old speaking to a 47-year-old — what is your secret? Do you have one?
Pommeret: [laughs] No secret. It’s more and more difficult, of course. But yeah, to be older, it’s still a challenge to fight with young men. So that could be additional motivation.
iRunFar: There really are no, I don’t know, adaptations you’ve made to your training, or maybe to your life and your well-being, to be able to maintain such a high level of fitness as you become a masters runner?
Pommeret: No, I did not change but in fact, just when I was master, the beginning of master, I started to do the world championships and I started to have a coach. Before I had no coach.
Pommeret: So that’s what changed when I became a master. My coach is really sensitive to what I do in the real life. So, I’m not only a runner, I have a family, and I’m working as well. So, [my coach] takes care of all these aspects to build the best plan for me.
iRunFar: My last question for you. This race is in the jungle of Thailand. You’ve been here for a week. There are interesting snakes and spiders and things out there. What have you seen?
Pommeret: Hopefully I do not see snakes because I don’t really like them. I’m a bit scared. I think that I will not be in the front so I hope that they will move away. And maybe nobody will take the lead and when you do open the trail it’s different. Many of my teammates saw some snakes, so.
iRunFar: Oh, they have.
Pommeret: Yes. [laughs]
iRunFar: Okay. Well, yeah, hope somebody else clears the trail for everyone else.
Pommeret: I just had some, I don’t know the English word, “sangsues.” [leeches] They’re small, they stick on your skin.
iRunFar: Is it leeches?
Pommeret: I don’t know.
iRunFar: Yeah. “sangsues,” I’ll look that up. Okay.
Pommeret: That’s not really funny.
iRunFar: Well, best of luck to you at Saturday’s race and we look forward to following you through the national park.
Pommeret: Yeah, thank you.