Stian Angermund-Vik has been tearing up shorter trail races all season. On Sunday, he’ll take on his longest trail race to date at the 76-kilometer Grand Trail des Templiers. In the following interview, Stian talks about the highlights of his season so far and what his thoughts are heading into uncharted distance territory at Les Templiers.
Be sure to read our preview and follow our race-day live coverage.
Stian Angermund-Vik Pre-2017 Les Templiers Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Stian Angermund-Vik before the 2017 Les Templiers. How are you, Stian?
Stian Angermund-Vik: I’m fine. I’m looking forward to this adventure.
iRunFar: You’ve had a lot of short races this season and some good results. Now that we’re coming to the end of the season, what do you think your best race was this year?
Angermund-Vik: The best race must have been the Marathon-Mont Blanc and Zegama. Both the races there were fantastic for me.
iRunFar: Doesn’t get much better, yeah?
iRunFar: You had another win a few weeks ago in Scotland.
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, I love Scotland. It’s so fantastic there.
iRunFar: What was that like?
Angermund-Vik: Beautiful mountains, raining… I felt like home.
iRunFar: Extreme terrain…
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, it was cool.
iRunFar: You’ve done very well on the extreme races, yeah?
Angermund-Vik: The shorter vertical ones? Yeah, they’ve been okay this season. Most of them have been quite good but not all of them.
iRunFar: This weekend will be a special challenge for you, it will be your first—technically you’ve run some just longer than a marathon—but your first ultramarathon.
Angermund-Vik: Yes, so this will be exciting. I’ve never run so far, like you said. I wonder how that feels in the body after so many hours.
iRunFar: What aspects are you excited about?
Angermund-Vik: I think the whole thing will be an adventure, not trying to push too hard at the beginning and just feel how it goes.
iRunFar: How will you do that because you’ve been racing shorter events all year? How will you relax?
Angermund-Vik: I think I just need to tell myself the whole race, “Slow down! Slow down!”
iRunFar: Maybe make sure you’re behind people for some kilometers?
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, I will not be in the front. No, I will try to stay behind and just try to run easy and eat and drink a lot. I’m running with a pulse belt for the first time just to check the pulse are low enough.
iRunFar: Maybe in the end see if you can go high enough?
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, if that’s possible. I have no idea how that feels and if it’s possible to run quicker at the end. I don’t know.
iRunFar: This race has a lot of very, especially at the beginning, sort of flat and fast.
Angermund-Vik: I’ve heard that the first 40k is really quick and runnable and that it starts there.
iRunFar: You heard about the steep, real climbs at the end?
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, I heard that most of the climbing is at the last part.
iRunFar: There’s not a whole lot of total elevation gain, but they are short and steep.
Angermund-Vik: Yes, I’ve heard. I’ve won the good VK. Exactly. Just shorter VKs at the end—I wonder if people are walking or running there.
iRunFar: I think a lot of people are walking.
Angermund-Vik: I guess so.
iRunFar: You have raced seven hours in trail running long ago in Tromso?
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, I did the Tromsdalstind in Tromso [in 2014] that took around seven hours. Then I’ve done triathlon and Ironman distance and a long cycling race from the city of Trondheim to the capitol in Oslo that is 540k. So I’ve done something long but not running for so long.
iRunFar: So the concept of fueling and hydrating for that long is something you’ve done before.
Angermund-Vik: A little bit, just a little bit.
iRunFar: Is there anything in particular you’re nervous about with running so much further?
Angermund-Vik: No, I’m just so happy to be here and looking forward to run. So I don’t feel nervous. I don’t feel like I have to improve something or show a good result, I just want to run as quickly as possible.
iRunFar: So there’s no pressure? Is it nice coming up to a new distance in that you don’t feel like there’s expectation even for yourself maybe?
Angermund-Vik: No pressure, that’s the word. Yes, there are no expectations. I think it’s going to be fun.
iRunFar: It looks like it could be a pretty nice weekend.
Angermund-Vik: Yeah, maybe some more clouds and rain would be perfect… for me. Twenty-five degrees and sunny is not good for me.
iRunFar: I don’t think we’ll have that. Some years this race can be hot and sunny.
Angermund-Vik: I guess I picked the right year.
iRunFar: You picked the right year. Good luck out there, and enjoy your longest race to date, Stian.
Angermund-Vik: Thanks a lot.