Anna Frost Pre TransVulcania Interview-
As I am sure most of the BCR readers will be well aware, Anna Frost will be taking on the TransVulcania this weekend. At 84km and with over 8500m of climbing this will bring most to tears and we think Anna might just bring a few of the “elite” men to tears also by “chicking” them. It is easy to forget this will only be Anna’s 3rd Ultra Marathon race (with 2 wins from 2 at TNF50 in San Francisco the last 2 years), but you’d be brave to bet against her for the win on the Canary Islands, given how strong she is in the hills, climbing the rough stuff. We managed to catch up with Anna last week- before she got/gets bombarded this week- not only are a large chunk of the top ultra runners from around the world going to be at TransVulcania, but all the top trail/mountain/ultra bloggers/media will be at the race covering it! So expect a heap of great race day coverage- to keep track of Frosty! I am guessing irunfar, Ultra168 and TalkUltra will be good places to start for coverage (jeez, almost as hard as picking the winners!)
Live tracking is HERE and Anna is #24
Backcountry Runner- Anna, thank you so much for making time for us. I know you have been training up a storm on the Canary Islandsfor the TransVulcania. But before we get into that- You spent a bit of time back here in NZ this last summer, travelled a lot and did a lot of running all over the show- what was the highlight of your latest stint back in NZ?
Anna Frost- Usually in the time I do get to come back to NZ it is for rest and recovery from a hard year of training and racing and travelling. I don’t often get the chance to explore or race in NZ so it was awesome to get in a bit of everything while I was there. We had a great weekend in New Plymouth setting some records on Taranaki with fellow Salomon runners Grant Guise and Matt Bixley, I trained a lot around theDunedinSilverPeakswith Matt and other Dunedinites, I ran from Queenstown toDunedinoff road, I raced the Moonlight Marathon and ran through some amazing country on the Greenstone-Caples loop.
BCR- You then headed toGreecefor the Salomon Running “Advance Week”. Can you explain what this week is about? Can you share any of the new products that are in the works?
AF- The week inGreecewas amazing. We ate lovely fresh vegetables, olives and feta cheese as well as Ouzo and wine to dine on. We ran every day for 3-5hours testing new products, but unfortunately I cannot share any information about the products as they are all prototypes for the next generations of racing and training. We shared time, motivation, plans and adventures with our fellow Salomon International team mates and had a chance to work closely with all the support crew, managers, designers, doctors, massage therapists and podiatrists. We then finished off the week with a vertical race and a 25 or 35km race on the stunning historical trails surrounding Kalamata.
BCR- TransVulcania. What is the first thing that pops into your head when you think about that race?
AF- Brutally hard and hot!
BCR- And how has the build-up been? How prepared do you feel for TransVulcania compared to your runs at TNF SF50?
AF – I will have had 5 weeks in total here before the race. It has been lovely to be based in one place, rather than my usual travel from hotel to hotel every 4 days. I have gone over the entire course in pieces and have been able to get used to the terrain. It is very hard – made up of all volcanic rock and hard packed trails, as well as hot and high (2400m altitude) at the highest point on the island. I feel different compared to TNF50 San Fran build ups as I have had a nice big break over NZ summer and this is the first race of the season, rather than holding on until the end of the season. I am still exhausted though from some big training days out. So I am looking forward to taper week!
BCR- Who do you see as your biggest competition on the 12th May?
AF- There is a super strong woman’s field including IAU Trail World Champion Maud Gobert from France; America’s Darcy Africa, 2011 Hard-Rock 100; Nikki Kimball, 3rd 2011Western States 100 and 2007 TNF Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®; Kasia Zajac from Poland, Zugspitz Super Trail 2011. Nuria Picas from Spain who descends like a fairy, Julia Bottger fromSwitzerland who is as strong as an Ox. It is going to be an awesome battle!
BCR- Do you have a pick for the men’s race? Or a dark horse to watch out for?
AF- This is possibly the best line up ever…minus Miguel Heras of course…Kilian Jornet, Iker Karrera and Frenchman Sebastien Chaigneau; America’s Mike Wolfe, 2011 TNF Endurance Challenge 50M Championship and 2nd Western States 100; Geoff Roes, 2010 Western States 100 and 2011 Ultra Race of Champions; Anton Krupicka, 2nd 2010 Western States 100; Dakota Jones, 2nd 2011 Hard Rock 100 Endurance Run and 2nd 2011 TNF Endurance Challenge 50M Championship; Rickey Gates, 2011 Canadian Death Race; France’s Erik Clavery, IAU Trail World Champion; Britain’s Andy Symonds, La Course de Templiers 2011. French runners: François D’Haëne, Thomas Lorblanchet, Thierry Breuil, Yann Curien. Americans Joe Grant and Ian Sharman; Csaba Németh, Hungary; Florent Troillet, Switzerland; Gustavo Reyes, Argentina; Giuliano Cavallo, Italy; Philipp Reiter, Germany. I really have no idea…but a gut feeling says Kilian will take it out on the day.
BCR- The TransVulcania is the first race in the new Sky Runner Ultra Series- are you planning to run the whole series this year? Where will we see you next?
AF- Yes, I would like to compete in the series. Next up in the series for me will be The Speed Goat, then Cavel de Vent and then Les Templier…as long as my body keeps up!
BCR- 1st December- Will you be in Te Anau or San Francisco??
AF- …or on a beach somewhere inThailand??…I am undecided yet…I will see how the season goes. I am pushing myself in terms of distance this year so I might need a break earlier.
BCR- all the best Anna! We can’t wait to see the result!