An exclusive interview with Maude Mathys, after her victory in Marathon du Mont Blanc 2021!

Από 06 Ιουλ 2021

The 34-year-old Maude Mathys comes from Switzerland, has the highest Performance Index in ITRA in women with 813 points and has conquered the top in Mountain Running in recent years with impressive victories – sometimes with course records - in iconic races such as the Pikes Peak Marathon in 2019, last year final of the Golden Trail Championship in the Azores and of course the first two races of this year's Golden Trail World Series in Olla de Nuria and the Marathon du Mont Blanc! She started her athletic career with ski-mountaineering, ran successfully a few ultra-trail races in the past (to which she might return someday as she tells us) and focused on mountain running in recent years. Read her exclusive interview at Advendure!



[Advendure]: Maude, you had an impressive victory in the classic Marathon du Mont Blanc. You also started the Golden Trail Series 2021 winning Olla De Nuria. Tell us a few things about these races, your effort and the competition.

[Maude Mathys]: Yes, I am fit and surprised to have won these races "with ease". I feel like I'm progressing every year and that's thanks to my coach! (I think). Since this year, I have also done more weight training work with a physical trainer.



[Advendure]: You are a ski mountaineer, but also a great mountain runner. What draws you to mountain running and the mountains in general? It will be great if you give us a brief description of your athletic career.

[Maude Mathys]: The effort is more diverse and the landscapes more beautiful! But I also like to run on flat to change. My career: 10 years of track and field (until 18 years old) with almost all discipline, then I met my husband (who was running and doing ski-mountaineering) and I began with him… At the beginning, only for pleasure, then a few competitions and when I saw the progression, I continued and had envy to train more and more. Ski mountaineering between 2012 and 2017, then I gave up international races to focus on running.


[Advendure]: Pikes Peak Marathon, Olla de Nuria, Marathon du Mont Blanc, three different races, with different terrains, profiles and distances, but with the same result for you ... first place and impressive course records! Which terrain is your favorite? Technical trails or more runnable races?

[Maude Mathys]: I prefer runnable races, not too much technical and around 1h30-3h of race. And I prefer uphills!



[Advendure]: Maude, how was the pandemic period for you in terms of rest from competition and training?

[Maude Mathys]: It was a good period (laugh). Yes, it’s true! I didn’t have pressure of competitions, neither media. It was calm. And I could to train more in feeling, didn’t have planning sometimes.


[Advendure]: As we see, you ran successfully some ultra-trail races between 2009 and 2011. Now you run faster races with fewer kilometers. Will you go back to ultras or you have found your “holy grail” in short and medium distances?

[Maude Mathys]: I think I would run again longer races, to have a new challenge and to discover how my body would answer. But with years, I realize that I prefer short distance because you can run more races and you recover faster and from 3h-4h of race I don’t have pleasure any more. Even in training at home, my long run is max 2h30 – 2h45.



[Advendure]: This one is a question that I also asked Stian Angermund in his interview at Advendure before a couple of weeks and I like to ask you too, because I think it’s important: When you’re running races, your focus is of course on the clock, but what about the beauty of nature around and the feelings of the effort? Has an elite runner like you a different approach for our sport compared to the vast majority of average runners? What about all the side effects of mountain running growth (commercialization, intense competition, money prices etc…). Are we moving away from the pure roots of our sport as mountain running or it happens in a solid frame?

[Maude Mathys]: When I race in competition, it is only the time that counts and it is rare that I can contemplate the landscapes. But in training I do it (not always because I often have the same landscape ;-) ). But I think we have the same pleasure as all runners, when we train (landscapes, moment to ourselves, disconnection, proud to have done this difficult session ...) The attraction for mountain races is beneficial I think (at least for the elites) because there is more visibility, more money, sponsors and it allows to live or almost. And for business (clothes, shoes,…) it’s a good thing to have more and more runners. I don’t see it with a bad eye. The only thing to improve is the parallel between Championship (world and Europe) and Golden trails world series and to gather circuits and championships.


[Advendure]: It seems that you’re pushing the pace from the beginning in your races and we could say that you do not have a conservative approach of the “wait and see” kind. In any case, it’s very successful as we see from your results, but we want to know more about your racing and training philosophy!

[Maude Mathys]: Yes, that's right. In fact, I like to take my rhythm because I'm afraid of getting tired if I'm in a "false rhythm". And also, I prefer to get ahead because I'm always afraid of having a worse time or games where I'm less comfortable and that would make me waste time.



[Advendure]: Golden Trail Series, Ultra Trail® World Tour or Skyrunner® World Series seems to be significant milestones for mountain running worldwide, supporting races and athletes and making the sport more visible, accessible and united. What is your opinion about such initiatives?

[Maude Mathys]: I think they are good and as said before, I think it's great to be able to live trailrunning and you have to think about bringing the athletes together in order to make this sport more attractive.


[Advendure]: Is there a race you definitely want to run in the future, like a dream race? Of course, apart from the races, Fastest Known Times (FKT’s) efforts are becoming very popular. Are you planning something like that in the future?

[Maude Mathys]: No, I don’t have a race in particular but I miss two things: to win the Mountain World Championship and a participation in Olympic Games (on marathon). FKT’s doesn’t interest me for the moment. I just would like to continue to be fit as longer as I can and to crush records of the races! ;-)


[Advendure]: Mountain running is very popular in Greece, with hundreds of races and thousands of athletes participating. Are you aware of any races in Greece? We will be very happy to see you racing here in the future!

[Maude Mathys]: No, I don’t know any race in Greece and I didn’t know it is famous! If I have the opportunity to come in Greece, I would come!


[Advendure]: Next race? What are you racing plans and goals for 2021?

[Maude Mathys]: Next goal is Sierre - Zinal. I would like to go to the final of Golden Trail World Series but I would also like to go in Thailand for the Mountain World Championship. The both aren’t possible because too short between the races but I would see… the pandemic situation can change a lot of things!


Dimitrios Troupis

Photo copyright: Sierre - Zinal, Goran Mojicevic, GTWS

Δημήτρης Τρουπής

Κατάγεται από το Ξυλόκαστρο Κορινθίας και ζει μόνιμα στην Πάτρα. Συμμετείχε στην συντακτική ομάδα του Adventure Zone από το 2009, ενώ μαζί με τον Τάκη Τσογκαράκη ίδρυσαν και "τρέχουν" το Advendure.  Το τρέξιμο στα μονοπάτια των βουνών και η μεταφορά εικόνων και συναισθημάτων μέσα από τα άρθρα του αποτελεί αναπόσπαστο κομμάτι της ζωής του. Παθιάζεται με τους αγώνες ορεινού τρεξίματος, υπεραντοχής και  περιπέτειας. Έχει πολλές συμμετοχές και διακρίσεις σε αγώνες ορεινού τρεξίματος όλων των αποστάσεων, με έμφαση στους αγώνες ultra trail.  Θεωρεί ότι το τρέξιμο και η πεζοπορία στη φύση είναι μια εσωτερική ανάγκη του ανθρώπου, μας φέρνει πιο κοντά σε αυτήν και μας κάνει να αγαπήσουμε περισσότερο το περιβάλλον.