|Interview in El Mercurio.|
3 questions for Daniel Rowland
Born in Zimbabwe, but living in Chile, this 28 year-old ultra-marathoner left his work in an international mining company to dedicate himself to the "dream of being a runner". A member of the Lafuma team, Rowland achieved a win in flawless fashion in the Atacama Crossing, a stage race of 250 kilometers, in a time of 26h17:51. "I can't make a living from this yet, but it would be ideal to be able to dedicate myself to this 100%," he says.
1 - In 2012 you were 9th, and now you won. What's changed?
"More time to train. In September I resigned from my job, and decided to take a year's sabbatical to be able to do what I love most: run. Having more time allowed me to prepare well. I visited the desert twice before the race and I trained in the desert conditions of altitude and heat. I reduced my time by almost two hours".
2 - How do you train for a stage race?
"I did three blocks of four days, running three, four and six hours, to simulate the race. I trained at 2pm in the heat of the day with a 6kg backpack. My training weeks comprise of between 10 and 15 hours, with a volume between 80 and 150 kilometers. I also arrived at the race better prepared mentally, which was important as I only had a one-minute lead over second place by the third stage (he had a final advantage of 37 minutes), which is something that is atypical in these types of races".
3 - How do you see the development of these types of races in Chile?
"There are still few Chileans competing in stage races. There were only three in the Atacama, but in the country the phenomenon of running is growing. There are many great trail races here - I've raced in some (Endurance Challenge, K42) - and there are many people who want to train and learn about the sport. For my next personal goal, I want to race in October in the Kalahari Augrabies (250km), in South Africa".