Hello Sebastian, 170 km and 10 000 m of elevation gain, how do feel about the huge challenge coming ahead?
Following the success of last year's TDS race in Chamonix, I remember watching the start of the UTMB race 2 days later, and I was already super stoked about the crazy atmosphere and to take on a new challenge this year! It feels natural to up the game and go the full distance! The challenge is huge, but it's the same for everybody! Even though I'm racing for a top ranking it's always good to race against yourself and max out your potential!
Where do you live and train in Norway?
I live on the west coast of Norway, just outside the town Molde in Romsdalen. It has plenty of rugged terrain and alpine mountains, long winters and unfortunately a lot of rain :-) But by far the best place in Norway to live for mountain athletes! It's a beautiful place and I feel lucky to live there and play around on skis in the winter and running shoes in summer!
What has been your specific training leading to the race?
I raced in Andorra at the end of June, that gave me 8 weeks of preparation for UTMB, unfortunately I got covid right after the race in Andorra, which gave me a shorter training block than planned. But I think I have made the best out of it and shortened down the taper period before UTMB by a week, which gave room for an extra big training week. Let's hope I didn't squeeze the lemon too hard, and that I am ready to rumble in Chamonix!
There are almost no nights here in Norway during summer, how do you get ready to run 8h in the dark in a few weeks?
I always love running with a headlamp in the dark. We don't have much darkness in summer, but the rest of the year gives us plenty of training with a headlamp!
And since I'm running with Moonlight headlamps, I have such a good vision, it more or less feels like running in daylight!
Any tips to handle the night in a 100 miles race?
If you feel unsure about running at night, I would choose a headlamp that gives you enough vision that you feel more confident! And then make sure to have a spare battery, so that you don't need to conserve the power, especially on the downhills!
Biggest mistake you have done in the past during the night in ultras?
I have made many mistakes in the past, ran out of power, and had to slow down a lot! Missing turns in the dark and running extra kilometers.
What are the sections you are the most looking forward to (from start to finish)?
I'm looking forward to the start line and the feeling of excitement and nervousness, but also about the sections with a lot of spectators providing huge motivation for me to get into the zone and keep grinding on! Being alone with my headlamp far away in the mountains in the darkness, running into the sunrise and hopefully pushing for a top podium spot at the end of the race and finishing totally empty in Chamonix.
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