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Glenn Hughes pre WMRC Interview

Today we catch up with Glenn Hughes ahead of this weekend’s 28th running of the World Mountain Running Championships. This is the 3rd (and final) in our short series of interviews with some of the NZ team ahead of this year’s Up Hill only championship race. Glenn, a Scottish Wellington club member, as had a good build up over the winter racing cross country and looks to be in good form after coming in 2nd behind Jono Wyatt at the Trofeo Rifugio Scarpa in the Dolomiti mountains in Italy.

Our other 2 pre WMRC interviews have been with Dougan Butler and Helen Rountree. NZRUN.com WMRC info page  (start list, live stream, course photos links). Previous BCR WMRC intro post. Athletics NZ story on Sally Gibbs shared by SportzHub.

Glenn racing to 2nd at Rifugio Scarpa, Frassene, Agordino, ITALY.
photo credit: Aron Lazzaro

BCR- Congratulations on your selection into the NZ team for the world mountain running champs Glenn. This will not be your first time going to the WMRC, or racing in Europe- what are your past experiences?
Glenn Hughes- my previous seletions in the NZ mountain running team for the world champs have been 1999, 2000, 2001, 2008, and 2009. Although I have only competed in 2000 and 2008 as I got injured the other years and did not compete. My best placing was 12th in the juniors (under 20) when I was 18. In 2008 I was around 70th in the senior mens. So despite having good knowledge of the europe racing circuit, I haven’t been able to do much racing over there.
BCR- most of your competition in Europe will be right in the thick of racing during summer. How have you been preparing and how do you train for 1000+m of climbing (as we have limited options for runable climbs this big)?
GH- Coming out of a NZ winter we are quite disadvantaged to this type of racing compared to the europpeans. You ideally need to do 3-4 build up races which we don’t have in NZ in winter. My training has been limited to the hills around Wellington city that I can reach during work day lunchtimes. The largest is one called Tip Track on Wellington’s south coast that climbs 400m in 3.5km. Generally anything under 19min is a good time up there. You can generally only make sure you are as fit as you can be and trust your abiity to run up hills in the big races.
BCR- Are you heading out early to check out the scene in Europe? Will you be doing any other races while you are over there?
GH- I have headed to europe super early to get in a race before the world champs. It is about 8km long and climbs 600m. I also have a race planned the weekend after called the Drei Zennin that is about 12km long and climbs about 1200m.
BCR- Looking past the WMRC, you turned up at the Routeburn this year and ran a very slick time- are we going to see you on the trails more this summer?

GH- I have enjoyed the trail running races I have done in the past. It is a good opportunity to race a new group of really talented runners. Most of them can be hard to get to from Wellington so I will see what James Coubrough is up to and tag along with him. I really want to run Tois Challenge and Kauri Run. Next up for me is the NZ road relay champs in Nelson in early October then Lake Taupo cycle race in late October.

 All the best to the NZ team this weekend from BCR!


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A Backcountry Running Community for New Zealand trail, mountain and ultra runners- We want this to be the place you come for all things trail running including race previews and reports, interviews with New Zealand runners and hopefully a whole lot more! Our aim is to provide as much original content- previews/reports/interviews on New Zealand trail, mountain and ultra races. We can't be everywhere- so feel free to get in touch if you have the scoop on a race or event.

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