While it’s hard to get past his course record-setting win at the Western States 100, Timothy Olson (Pearl Izumi) has had a great first 8 months of 2012 on the trails. In the following interview, find out about Timothy’s preparation in Steamboat Springs, how having a newborn son has affected his life, and how a full night of running might change the 2012 Run Rabbit Run 100.
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Timothy Olson Pre-2012 Run Rabbit Run 100 Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Timothy Olson before the inaugural Run Rabbit Run 100. How are you doing Timothy?
Timothy Olson: Good. Good. Nice to see you again.
iRF: Likewise. You’ve been here awhile. You’re investing in this. How long have you been in town and why?
Olson: Little over two weeks and definitely to acclimatize a little bit and get used to this no-oxygen. And we just had a baby; he’s a little over five and a half weeks old now. So I took some time off of work, and I’m just playing in the mountains with him and just relaxing. Life’s been just a little bit of running and not a lot of sleep and playing with my new son. It’s great.
iRF: Awesome. You’ve also been on the course—pretty much the entire course, right?
Olson: Yes, for the most part besides a couple little bumps in the middle of the Emerald Mountain side—I haven’t done a lot of that. Otherwise, I’ve hit a lot of the course.
iRF: You’re one of the few in the Hares Race who’s had that experience. What are you thinking the winning time is going to be this weekend?
Olson: Me and Karl [Meltzer] have talked about it. I’m thinking around 17 hours or something. There are lots of factors that I’m not exactly sure about how I’ll feel with the oxygen up high—it’s a little bit harder to push up those climbs. I’ve definitely done some hiking on them where mostly I’d run those. I think also it’s just getting used to it. Then running through the night—I think it’s a fun twist that we’re starting at 1 pm. It will be my first experience running through a whole night. I haven’t had a ton of experience with that, so I think that will slow me down a little bit. Hopefully, the headlamps work solid and I can switch some batteries here and there.
iRF: You’ve had some good Tristan training, right?
Olson: Definitely, I’ve had a lot of night training. I’ve been hitting the 3 am shift, so I’m ready to roll at 3 am. So we’ll see if that translates out on the course at all.
iRF: People haven’t really seen much of the course. Is there much technical terrain on the course?
Olson: Well, you’re going to have both sides. Technical compared to Hardrock—probably not at all. There are a few spots where there are some rocks where you could get a little lost or lose your footing, but for the most part it’s clear trail. You’re going to have a hard time getting lost and a hard time stumbling. There are some good little steep descents that I’m sure people will knock around and trip a little bit.
iRF: So, other than the altitude (7000-10,000’) and the night, the terrain itself is pretty fast.
Olson: Yes, I’d say so. Definitely not as fast as Western States type of thing. It’s more like the first 20 miles of Western with some rocky stuff—nothing terrible. So it will slow you down a little bit, but a lot of the trails are really runnable.
iRF: There’s a lot of money on the line here—a lot of diaper money for you. And for everybody else, it’s a pretty competitive race. What do you think the extra incentive… how do you think that changes the race?
Olson: I think it brought a few more people; so more competition may push us a bit. Most of us that are spending a lot of hours out running aren’t making a lot of dough doing this, so having that carrot to chase gives us a little incentive. I don’t think it will be any different than a lot of races, but it did bring some competition. It’s really nice to see. I would love to bring home a little cash, pay for some diapers, and pay for this trip out here and stuff like that. I’m hoping to run away with a little bit of money, but you never know how the day will go.
iRF: Aid station strategy: are you going to have your baby boy out there?
Olson: Definitely. My family and especially my new son inspire me a lot. I’ll definitely be looking for them at the aid stations, and I’ll be rolling with a little picture of him in my wallet just to give me a little incentive if I’m feeling pretty crappy out there. He’ll definitely be an inspiration for me.
iRF: He’ll be there with you the whole way.
iRF: You’ve run a fairly large number of races this year—seven big races with some pretty competitive fields. How are you feeling leg-wise? You just ran a fast race at Waldo 100k.
Olson: I don’t exactly know how I’ve been feeling lately. It’s been a little bit of zombie walking around without as much sleep as I’m used to. But I think I’m well-healed from all my different races. Waldo didn’t really beat me up that much. I think it was a really nice opportunity to get out and get a long run in before this one. I felt comfortable running 62 miles; now I’ve only got 40 left. But, I feel like my legs are solid and ready to go.
iRF: Well, best of luck out there, Timothy. Take care.
Olson: Thank you.