Michael Aish pre Leadville Trail 100mile

Michael Aish- “ just some old retired track runner…”

Michael Aish is a name that will be familiar to those that can cast their mind all the way back and remember the early 2000′s. It was a joyful time with the realization that the whole silly Y2K scare did not end the world and The Facebook was just in its infancy. It was also a pretty good time for Michael Aish as he lit up the track, clocking smoking times in the 5000m and 10 000m and representing New Zealand at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. This weekend Michael is looking to light things up once again, this time on the trails, for 100miles…..

I posted a great little video on the BCR facebook page a few days ago- “Crushing Hope” and have added to the bottom of this interview if you haven’t seen it yet and if the early 2000′s are a little hazy, check out this article over at Running Times on Michael. Michael admits to being very new to trail ultra running, but in his first outing last month he won the  Leadville Silver Rush 50 Mile, no doubt there is some real excitement about how he will go at the Leadville Trail 100mile. While he does now have a US passport, “we” are still going to claim him and we are hopeful of him adding to the current string of top results by kiwi ultra runners off shore.

BCR- Thanks for making time for us Michael, we are less than a week out from Leadville now. I think the biggest question I would have is why? You’re an exceptionally fast runner (27:46 10k, 2hr13 marathon) and an Olympian (10,000 in ’00 and 5000 in ’04) what is the motivation to step up to the Leadville 100mile?
Michael Aish- I really don’t know. This race has always been on my “Bucket List”, it’s a big deal here in Colorado and I’ve always wanted to see just how tough I really was. The race has a 47% drop-out rate and gets up to 12,600ft (or about 3,800m).

BCR- How has the transition been training for a marathon on the road to a 100miles on trail?
MA- I stopped running for a long time and was just working lots and skateboarding when I could to try and keep somewhat fit. I had the idea to run about 10 weeks ago when I was walking the dogs in the hills and things kind of grew from there. My first week back was 8 miles, second was 50 miles and from then on I’ve been over 100 miles on 5 days running.

BCR- What are your expectations going into Leadville? What are your goals?
MA- I really don’t know. My goal is to compete as long as I can. I like to race, so it’s not really about me taking my time and just making the finish line. I’m going to go out with the leaders and hang on, if there is a time when I can push, I will. I think that with this approach only two things can really happen. I run well and get in the top few or you’ll find me in a ditch finished.

BCR- Who is more nervous this week do you think- yourself about to run your first 100mile and lining up against the likes of Nick Clark, Tony Krupicka and Tom Lorblanchet, or Nick, Tony and Tom because they are going to be racing you, or Matt Carpenter and his LT course record?
MA- Truth is, I’m shitting my pants (just don’t tell them that). Ultra running is a whole different game. I think that more people want to just see how I do, and if I can make the end. I’ve had to teach myself to run slow (real slow) which was harder than it seems, learn how to hike, lots of different kinds of stuff. Thing is I’ll have every man and his dog betting against me, so I have nothing to lose. If I can just beat one of them I’ll be real happy. This is what they do, this is their game. I’m just some old retired track runner that will be on the start line. So I think to answer your question, Them.

BCR- Thanks Michael and all the best for the weekend!

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  1. Will be interesting for sure. Will be super comfortable at whatever pace the others think they can handle so I guess it’ll come down to the BCR basics. Eating, Drinking and Left Right.

    All the best, hope it goes well as adding to the talent pool can only be good.

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