Jan Margarit is one of the youngest and fastest Skyrunners on the scene today. Two years ago, he started to run for the Salomon Spanish Team. Since then, he’s just getting faster and faster. After an insane descent, he won the Dolomites Skyrace in front of Marco Di Gasperi, but behind his big shy smile, there is one of the bravest runners on the scene. Don’t be surprise if you see Jan Margarit winning plenty of international races in the coming years.
In 2017 you achieved some great results in international races. Dolomitas Skyrace, Nit Pirineu or Comapedrosa Skyrace are just some examples of it. How would you evaluate your season?
I am really happy with the results that I got this season. To be honest, better than I expected. To sum up, it has been a great year and I was really happy with my performances too. Throughout the whole season I felt really strong and I could compete with the best runners. During the most competitive part of the season, while running the most important races, I felt extremely fit. I am also satisfied with how I managed my training and performance during this period. I think this was the key to my success this season.
In the Dolomite Skyrace you were the winner ahead of Marco di Gasperi, one of the best Skyrunners in the world. You started the downhill with him, and both started an insane descent that led you to overtake several positions till you led the race. You won the race in 2h 06’ 20’’. How do you feel about this victory? Was it your best performance of the year?
I have to admit that it was a really special race, the Dolomites always is. The day before the Skyrace, I ran the vertical. I knew I was in good shape because of my results earlier in the season and also for how I was training on the Pyrenees. The Dolomites was the first international weekend race of the year for me and I guess that I was nervous about it. My nerves played a dirty trick on me for the vertical race.
The day of the Skyrace I started slower because I wasn’t that confident. Step by step I started feeling more confident and could run faster. Then I caught Marco di Gasperi and we got to the top of the race together. I knew that he knew the descent very well and that if I were able to follow him on the downhill, we would end up in a good position. I was lucky enough to match his pace.
At some point, he told me that we had to push even harder if we wanted to win the race, and that was what we did. Marco knew that we were not far away from the finish line and we caught the leaders within a few minutes. David Magnini, who also runs for Salomon, was very strong. Luckily, I was able to finish the race a few seconds before him and Marco. I couldn’t believe it. I have Goosebumps when I remember the moment I crossed the finish line.
You also won the Skyrace Comapedrosa in Andorra. Nobody could match your pace and you beat Marco di Gasperi, again, by more than 6 minutes. What’s more, you also established a new record. What were your feelings during the race?
The Skyrace Comapedrosa was the antithesis of the Dolomites Skyrace. After the race in the Dolomites, my confidence was really high. I also knew the track very well. For that reason, I started ambitiously.
Even though I made some mistakes that sapped my energy for the last few kilometres, I felt extremely strong throughout the race. It helped a lot that I was running at home and had plenty of relatives and friends cheering me on during the race. This is always energising.
The Dolomitas Skyrace and the Comapedrosa Skyrace are two of the most important Skyraces of the year. You won both in a week competing against some of the most successful Skyrunners like Marco di Gasperi. How did you manage to recover from the Dolomites and have your legs ready for Andorra?
It was a key week for my legs and me, no doubt about it. I had a big challenge in front of me, and I had to manage it well. I must admit that it turned out well after all. The day after the Dolomites we cycled a little bit after taking the plane to Barcelona. My legs were fine.
I also spent two days in Matadepera (This is where Jan Margarit was born) swimming in the morning with my brother and some friends. I went for easy runs in the afternoon and I read to distract me from the competition. On Tuesday night I was in Arinsal, the start of the race, sleeping in my van. It helped me a lot because I started focusing on the race. To sum up, the main goal was to do short training sessions. On Friday morning, I ran a vertical race to start heating up my engine. I rested a lot and felt great.
The day before, I did an easy run on the race circuit. The last thing I had to do was a good warm up. I have to say that I think the key to my week’s success was that I rested a lot.
This year you also won some vertical races. You are the Junior World Championship of Vertical Races. You also won Nit Vertical and finished second in VK of Zegama. What was your most important result in the vertical races?
Zegama was the best one, no doubt about it. From my point of view, this is the most beautiful Vertical race that I have ever run. It has all the main ingredients that every race should have. The best runners, who also are good friends, were there. My parents were there and this was special for me as well.
This season is over and it’s time to start thinking about 2018. How important is skiing and cycling for this part of the season where you focus on training?
I love to combine different sports. In particular, we have to take advantage of the snow we have in Font Romeu during the winter. I do ski mountaineering and cross country skiing and I spend most of my time training with skis in winter. Cycling also helps during this season as it keeps me feeling fast.
What does Jan Margarit have in mind for 2018?
I would like to run the Skyrunning World Series and the Golden Trail Series. It is going to be the same calendar with a longer run. If the trainings go well and I feel strong, I would try to be focus on the shortest races of both series.