Athlete Interview: Jordi Gamito

Jordi Gamito

Continuing to bring you more than just the world inside Australia, today we’ve lined up an interview with one of Catalonia’s top runners, Jordi Gamito.  This year Jordi Gamito is ready to have his best season yet. In this interview the runner from the Compressport International Team talks about last year’s results and his calendar for 2018.  He wants to be in the UTMB Top 10 again this year and as such, Chamonix is the main goal, but there is a long road ahead of training and races before competing in the main event against the best.

Training, training and more training. This ex-Muay Thai fighter knows how to work to achieve his goals. He did it when he was fighting in Thailand and now we can see him doing here what he does best: hard work.

Without a doubt, 2017 has been your best season so far. Before analysing it, let’s talk about the first race from 2018 that you have won: Romeufontaine. How did you feel during this first race of the season? Did you enjoy running in the snow?

Even though it was an early race in terms of my preparation and also in the season, I felt great. It’s always satisfying to feel confident for the first race of the season. I ran Romeoufontaine because I really enjoy participating in this race. Running in the snow is so fun! I think that it’s also an ideal race to start the season with.

Last year you ran several big ultra races and you got pretty good results in all of them.  You started the year in the Canary Islands finishing 4th at Transgrancanaria before finishing 15th in Zegama, 10th in UTMB and 4th in Ultra Pirineu. Which race was the highlight of the season?

Without a doubt, the highlight of the season was UTMB. Why? Because on the starting line were the best ultra runners from around the world. Kilian Jornet, François d’Haene, Jim Walmsley or Xavier Thévenard to mention a few. Before the race I knew that I had an ambitious goal. I wanted to be in the Top 10. I knew that it was not an easy target to achieve, but I felt ready for it. As soon as I reached the finish line, I could not stop crying. I was so excited about what I had just achieved. It was a dream come true, but it hadn’t been easy. A few days before the race, I wasn’t even sure I would be able to run due to an injury. The race itself was also grueling. You can imagine that running UTMB is no walk in the park. It is a huge effort.

In 2018 you will run Transgrancanaria again. This year you have chosen the Advanced because it’s going to be the Spanish Championship. I am sure it is going to be a fast race due to the level of runners that will be there. Did you choose this race because you want to be the Spanish Champion or just as a test of your speed for longer races like UTMB?

Well… I must admit that I wanted to race Transgrancanaria Advanced, but I’ve been training well and since I had been feeling great… I ended up changing my mind. My body tells me that I must run the big one. So, as you can imagine, I have decided to go for the Transgrancanaria again this year.

Recently, you said that Madeira Island Ultra-Trail is the start of your 2018 season. Why?

Madeira Island Ultra-Trail is where I want to have my first performance peak of the current season. Ideally, the second one will be at UTMB. This race is one of my favourite events because it has all the ingredients I’m looking for. The trails are technical, it’s a tough race and the landscapes are incredible! I really want to go back there and give it my best without forgetting the most important thing: to have fun!

Two years on and you are currently planning to run the Lavaredo Ultra-Trail again. Last time you participated, you struggled a bit and ended up walking a lot of the race. Will you try to win this time or is it going to be a test for UTMB in terms of pace and nutrition?

I am going there to compete. I feel gutted about the last time I raced there and I want to re-write this outcome. While it is true to say it is not the type of race I would normally compete in, I will train hard for it. I just want to reach the finish line feeling happy about how I performed there.

Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc is the most important race of the year.  What do you have to improve on to be in the Top five?

First of all, I have to overcome my fears because this makes me a slow starter. I would describe myself as a cautious runner, at least during the first part of the race. The second thing I have to improve on is my speed. Despite the fact that is a 100-mile Alpine race, it’s completed at an intense pace. So, I will work hard on my speed without forgetting my endurance. The third factor is one that every runner counts on in a race like this and it’s luck.  You must have all the elements in your favour, some of which you can’t control, to finish a race like UTMB.

Ultra Pirineu is going to be the last race of 2018. This race is just a month after UTMB and your recovery time will be limited. Why is it so important for you to run both?

Ultra Pirineu is where I would like to finish my season. It is my backyard and I have come across many friends while running there. I also really enjoy the atmosphere of the race. There are always people cheering you on and this helps a lot when you are really tired. It’s a legendary race and I want to be there. I want to feel the goosebumps when Baga’s main square is full and the BSO from the Last Mohican is playing. How could I miss it?

Thanks to Jordi for his time and sharing his thoughts with us.

Pol Puig
Pol Puig is a writer from Barcelona and a member of the Corredor de Montaña’s website. ( www.corredordemontana.com), one of the top mountain running websites in Spain.

As a writer from Corredor de Montaña’s team, Pol writes on the Spanish mountain running scene, but knows life down under well having lived in Queenstown during the 2015. He's the Ultra Easy, the Routeburn and the Shotover Marathon in Queenstown.

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