Luis Alberto Hernando is the defending Ultra Pirineu champion as well as the favorite to win the Skyrunner World Series ultra category, despite currently sitting in third. In the following interview, Luis Alberto talks about how he’s recovered from Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, why he’s racing Ultra Pirineu after a long season, and how he plans to run the race.
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Luis Alberto Hernando Pre-2015 Ultra Pirineu Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Luis Alberto Hernando before the 2015 Ultra Pirineu. How are you, Luis Alberto?
Luis Alberto Hernando: Good. Good. Fine, thanks.
iRunFar: Very good. It’s been less than three weeks since you ran UTMB. How are you?
Hernando: I’m not fully recovered yet, but the muscle level is doing very well, and I hope I can get through with this season.
iRunFar: It was your first 100-mile finish. Is it taking longer to recover than you thought?
Hernando: The long distance has definitely been a factor in my recovery, but the main factor is the whole season. I’ve been running a couple of long races, but I’ll probably be fine.
iRunFar: Why are you here? You’ve had a long season.
Hernando: Yes, mainly because this is the final race for the success for the points I have [in Skyrunning.] I feel like I can go for the win. The other reason is because this race is so special. It was one of the first long races I won. The ambiance here and the people—it’s a great race.
iRunFar: This is the Skyrunner World Series Ultra final. Do you know what position you need to have the win?
Hernando: It’s totally doable, but it depends a lot on what two or three people end up in the race. This is if I probably end up between the first 15 runners, I can probably go for it. It always depends on if two or three runners are way up there with me.
iRunFar: Franco Collé is leading right now, and if he wins, I think if you are fourth, you are the Skyrunner World Series Champion. Will you try to win the race here? You’re the defending champion. Will you try to win the race here or just try to run strong enough to take the world series?
Hernando: My head is telling myself to keep on going 10th place, always 10th, but probably when I’m racing, my heart will ask to go a little faster. I will try to go slow in the 10th, secure place just to avoid having to totally stop at some point.
iRunFar: So no trying to beat Kilian [Jornet] in the first 30k?
Hernando: No way that I will be up there with Kilian because he’s in great form. He’s done great vertical-kilometer races. I’ll probably join him but only if he wants me to be up there with him because he’s in great form and he’s coming for a win. It’s always nice to run with Kilian. It’s always pushing and you try to run with him, but it’s always a little dangerous to do that. I recommend trying to hold back a little and not try to follow him, because he’ll be completely [tired.]
iRunFar: Good luck.
Hernando: Thank you very much.