Ruth Croft returns to Les Templiers having won the race in 2017. In the following interview, Ruth talks about her recovery from this year’s Western States 100, why she was glad not to run CCC as planned, and how she’s feeling heading into Les Templiers.
Ruth Croft Pre-2021 Les Templiers Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar, here with Ruth Croft before the 2021 Grand Trail des Templiers. How are you Ruth?
Ruth Croft: I’m doing well, thanks Bryon.
iRunFar: You ran your first 100 miler back at the Western States 100 in June and you’ve played it kind of cool since then?
Croft: Yeah, I think it was navigating the whole recovery post 100 miles that was kind of new territory for me. Yeah, I had a three-week break and then got back into training, I was based in Chamonix, France, and the plan was to do CCC . So I was there with my adidas Terrex teammates training, and physically, I felt decent but obviously not all cylinders firing. Because you can’t in such a short block. Physically I felt decent but then I think it was more mentally a bit of resistance to go into the well again, to really suffer. But I would still kind of talk to myself like I was going to be okay for CCC, and then the week of I got a stomach bug and so I kind of had to pull the pin.
iRunFar: Probably in the end, better for you anyway?
Croft: I think so, I think there was a lot of psychosomatic work going on there and so I think it was a good thing that I didn’t race there. And then since then, things have been, I suppose it was about a month ago that I started feeling mentally and physically back to my old self.
iRunFar: And your training went well, kind of after CCC?
Croft: Yeah, I’ve been training consistently, apart from the block where I was sick, training has been going well and then I was in Austria last month, we did Infinite Trails with adidas Terrex, it was good to be back in a shorter race and then I had a good block of training in Austria.
iRunFar: In a shorter race with probably not a lot of pressure?
Croft: No, no, no pressure, just good to get out there and get in a race setting again.
iRunFar: Nice. Well you were presumably training for Transvulcania.
Croft: I was, yeah.
iRunFar: Which is a very different race, at least on paper than Les Templiers.
Croft: It is.
iRunFar: How did you switch up your training, when did you make the call?
Croft: I made the call after the week after Austria, probably end of September, early October I made the decision. It’s like, I’ve been training and I haven’t done specific sessions like I did in 2017 when I prepped for this race but I know the fitness is there so I think if the fitness is there, my head’s in a good space. That’s the two main things you need.
iRunFar: Yeah, and you are training for a race of roughly the same distance. There’s probably, the vert’s probably not that far off, it just comes in very different form.
Croft: Yeah, very rolling here and I feel like with Transvulcania it’s like one big climb and then a long descent but here it’s a bit more up and down. But yeah, I think it will be okay.
iRunFar: Looking back at your win here in 2017, it was an incredible run, whether you look at your ITRA score or just kind of, at least I would say comparatively, one of your top runs, do you think it was?
Croft: Definitely. It was a really stacked women’s field and for me I just left my job and life in Taiwan to try and give running a bit more of a shot and so it was kind of a confirmation that everything’s going to be okay. So I was really happy with the block that I did and I trained very specifically for that race.
iRunFar: Yeah, and you executed very well on race day.
Croft: Yeah, it all panned out on the day.
iRunFar: And good competition, not just on paper ahead of the race but like, Ida Nilsson had a really good race that day.
Croft: Yeah, she did. It was Ida and Emelie [Forsberg] and Mimmi [Kotka], there was a bunch of strong ladies.
iRunFar: Do you feel like, you didn’t train as specifically, but do you feel like your fitness is at least close to on par as a couple years ago?
Croft: I’m not sure, that was the ideal prep so I don’t think it’s as good as that but I think it’s, like I said, I’ve been training consistently and I think it is there.
iRunFar: Who do you think you’ll be watching out for in that women’s field? Who’s going to push you?
Croft: I’m not sure, it’s interesting. There’s Marta [Molist], who won CCC. She’s racing. But then also a lot of these girls have raced quite a lot recently. So you don’t know what they’re going to be like on the start line either.
iRunFar: They could be really sharp and fit or tired.
Croft: Or they could be tired. You never know. So yeah, I just go out there and do my thing, see what happens.
iRunFar: And pretty excited to be back? A full-on race.
Croft: Yeah, I think the main thing is that I’m pretty mentally stoked to be on the start line, which I haven’t had post Western States 100 I don’t think and so it’s good to be back in that space. I kind of struggled last year, I still raced, I still came over to Europe and did some races but I think I just never found any fitness last year. I never got into a groove, I felt like you trained for something and it got canceled, kind of that feel. So I think this year it’s been just a lot more, everything’s been a lot more certain, it’s kind of back to the normality in the sense.
iRunFar: Cool. Well good luck out there and have fun.
Croft: Thanks Bryon.