For the second time, France’s Nicolas Martin took second at the Trail World Championships, this time in the 80-kilometer race in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In the following interview, Nico talks about how his race went, how Adam Peterman stacks up against the best in the sport, and why he always performs his best while running for Team France at the Trail World Championships.
For more on how the race played out, check out our 2022 Trail World Championships 80k results article.
Nicolas Martin Post-2022 Trail World Championships 80k Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Nicolas Martin after a second-place finish at the 2022 Trail World Championships 80k. How are you, Nico?
Nicolas Martin: I’m fine. A little pain after this race, but it’s okay.
iRunFar: You worked very hard yesterday.
Martin: Yes, yes, true phrase. A lot of humidity and hot. It’s a special condition for the European guys. But we had the possibility to come to Thailand 10 days ago, so it’s okay for the … for the race.
iRunFar: Yeah. Tell me how your race played out. How did it go in that early, the beginning of the race?
Martin: So beginning of the race is not very fast. A group with eight or 10 runners with Adam Peterman, Thibaut Garrivier, and Spanish guys. And after the checkpoint 2, just four guys with Andreas Reiterer, Adam Peterman, and Sebastian Ljungdahl. And at the checkpoint 3, just two guys, Adam and me. And after just Adam, go very fast on the uphill. It’s incredible.
iRunFar: Did he make a strong move, or did he just slowly pull away from you?
Martin: I have a little, little gap after the checkpoint 3 on the aid station and on the next uphill, I think I have a gap of one minute. And in 10 minutes of race Adam come back and after two kilometers, go. And I ran 40 kilometers alone in the second place. Just I saw Andreas Reiterer at 55 kilometers, but just 10 seconds on that last, bigger uphill. And I go to the top, and on the summit, I think I had five minutes. So on the last downhill, just go to the finish line, no risk, just manage my gap.
iRunFar: Yeah. You didn’t think you could catch Adam?
Martin: No, no, no. Adam, it’s another world.
iRunFar: But if you also if you ran smart, you weren’t going to get caught by …
Martin: Yes, yes. So just on the first uphill, I saw Adam. It’s incredible. Just on one, two seconds, and very, very strong. Fast to come back on the … on the lead. In my head I said, Wow, it’s amazing.
iRunFar: So you’ve been running against the top competition in the world for a very long time now. How does Adam compare to other top runners out there?
Martin: Yeah, I think Adam is the same family of Kilian [Jornet], Jim [Walmsley]. It’s a top, top runner. It’s, for me it’s impossible to win this race. So I’m very happy to take second place.
iRunFar: So you’ve had many strong races, strong results in other races, but at the Trail World Championships, you always seem to run your best. Why is that?
Martin: Yes. I love my country, the jersey, the blue jersey. So it’s another race with group spirit, and the season was difficult for me with an injury during July, sorry, June. And we start during the middle of July. And I ran OCC to take place on world championships.
Martin: I ran very careful and start on the 14th place and finished on the sixth. And the goal is to take a new selection. And I … I had very good feelings during the last week. And I hoped to do a very good race here. And with Tom Evans and Hannes Namberger not here, I think it’s possible to take a medal. My dream is to, was to take a medal with Thibaut.
Martin: But Thibaut was sick one day before the race. So I tried to run for two and take a medal.
Martin: Six years after my first time on the … on the podium.
iRunFar: Second place.
Martin: Yes, it’s a big, very emotional for me. The first time it’s very different. I hoped to become a world champion. And now I have just get a new medal. So it’s very, very good for me. I’m so happy with it.
iRunFar: But as you mentioned, the French team, on paper was the clear champion. What happened?
Martin: Yes. We know the team was strong, but not so strong. Thibaut was necessary for the title and it’s not a very good day. It’s amazing mentally to finish a race, [Thibaut had] a little injury during the race on, on the calf, and finished for the team. So the second place, it’s a good thing. For all the team, I … my race was good, but for the other runners, it’s a good way is with the medal on team.
iRunFar: So, given how much you enjoy running for France in the Trail Running Championships, do you think you’ll run in Innsbruck/Stubai next June? It’s the beginning of the season so it’s kind of hard to…
Martin: I hope. I think it’s okay for run in Innsbruck if you want. I don’t know if it will be on the short race or long race, but the long race is very difficult. The longer, long steeper climb, and it’s more a race for the ultrarunner, I think. Very mountainous. It’s not my best, my best abilities. So I don’t know. Maybe the short race. It will be very difficult. I don’t know.
iRunFar: All right. Well, congratulations on your great run here, and see you next season.
Martin: Thank you. Thank you very much.