Sébastien Spehler will make his U.S. trail-racing debut at the 2019 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile. In the following interview, Seb talks about how he thinks the travel might affect him, whether he prefers to run longer, more mountainous races like the Lavaredo Ultra Trail or shorter, faster ultras like Les Templiers and Lake Sonoma, and how the terrain of Sonoma County compares to his home in France.
For more on who’s running the race, check out our in-depth preview and, then, follow our live coverage on Saturday!
Sébastien Spehler Pre-2019 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar and I’m here with Seb Spehler before the 2019 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile. How are you doing, Seb?
Sébastien Spehler: [With assistance translating by Anne-Marie Madden] It’s going well, thank you.
iRunFar: You’ve arrived from France, it’s very long travels. How do you feel?
Spehler: Yeah, it was a long trip. It was a nine-hour time change, but I’m feeling pretty good.
iRunFar: Is this your first race outside of Europe?
Spehler: Yeah, it’s my first time racing outside of Europe and I’m super excited because it looks like great race conditions.
iRunFar: Do you think the time changes and the long travel will present any challenge?
Spehler: That’s always my biggest worry, but I’m feeling pretty good.
iRunFar: You’re very good at performing in a variety of circumstances. You’ve won Les Templiers twice, but you’ve also won Lavaredo Ultra Trail. Do you have a preference for the big mountain races, or the faster races?
Spehler: I feel like the 50-mile race is a good distance. A faster course like this should be good for me.
iRunFar: How does the terrain here compare to where you live in France? Is it similar, or very different?
Spehler: Where I live in France is also full of vineyards and rolling hills, not large mountains but smaller hills. So it’s similar to this.
iRunFar: So this is comfortable for you.
Spehler: Oui, oui, oui. Definitely, in the sunshine, it’s good.
iRunFar: So, it’s often difficult for runners to train during the winter. Do you run through the winter? Do you ski? How do you maintain your fitness?
Spehler: Over this last winter, I had some pretty good luck with weather. There was snow in January, but in February and March I was able to do all of the training the way I wanted.
iRunFar: Nice! A bonus question for you: what is your favorite variety of wine?
Spehler: My favourite wine? Any kind of white wine.
iRunFar: Okay, we’ll find some. Merci et bonne chance.
Spehler: Merci beaucoup.
iRunFar: Thank you for translating, Anne-Marie!