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Interview with Mireia Miró: "those who have a wish, will find the way"
Par skimo.org le Mar, 2009-12-15 15:24.
Unknown 3 years ago, Mireia Miró (21) has achieved recognition in ski mountaineering and sky running in only two seasons. Discovered by the CTEMC (Youth ski mountaineering training team of the Catalan federation) and its « brain » Jordi Canals, Mireia Miró won her first international races in 2007 as a Junior racer, but boomed into glory in 2008 by winning the Junior World Championships in Switzerland (vertical race and individual). Flatmate of Kilian Jornet, she follows his steps and has already finished 2nd in her first Senior World Cup race in 2009. Since then, she is not a fear for the other athletes anymore, but a fact: Mireia Miró is among the best in the world, and for sure the best Spanish skimountaineer and skyrunner ever.
After finishing 2nd in the World Sky Running Series and before beginning the winter season in Pila (Italy) with the first Ski Mountaineering World Cup race, we took profit of the resting time to ask her some questions for skimo.org.
This summer you did your first complete running season with excellent results. What’s your balance of this first summer ?
I faced the summer season with the idea of distracting myself and because the races served me as an excuse to train for winter. I haven’t specifically prepared any race, so the balance is unbeatable. At the beginning I didn’t imagine that I could be so ahead, but I had a good base from winter and I believe this is what allowed me to greatly enjoy running, and with the last few races, to enjoy the results as well.
The summer season is long and it’s always said that an athlete can’t be 12 month per year in top condition. Are you afraid of « paying » this effort during the winter season ?
I am highly aware that you can’t be 12 months in good physical condition, or even 6 months (what a winter season lasts). Psychologically, this summer has been long because I planned on running 4 or 5 races and I ended up running 9.
On a physical level I don’t suffer that much, but we’ll see. The winter is very long. Last year I was very strong until the European Championships, and later on I started losing breath. This year I want to consider it differently because there are a lot of important races in March and April, which means that I’m not in such a hurry to be on ‘top’ condition.
Apart from the evident differences, what are for you the main differences between skyrunning and skmountaineering? What is harder? Where is the highest level?
Even though the two disciplines are endurance sports, they are very different.
Ski Mountaineering is very intense and it requires a lot of technique. I like it much more because you can squeeze yourself to the limit. However, in the races on foot you have to be more “conservative”. Sky running is very hard physically.
More level? I believe that it is in ski mountaineering, although there are more runners in sky running because the races are more accessible.
The winter season is beginning soon. Last year you won all in Espoir category and collected plenty of silver medals in Senior, always at the shadow of Laetitia Roux. What are the goals of this season for you ?
Just to keep up with the results from the previous season will be very hard indeed, since it went so well. This year I have my sight on the first fortnight of March, when the World Championship and the Pierra Menta take place. I’ve got much more work at university since it’s the last year, so I’m not very sure about the level I’ll be able to be at. I hope I can be a pain on the neck, give some spectacle and a little bit of emotion. With that I’ll be satisfied!
How do you see the evolution of ski mountaineering competitions, especially on female category?
I haven’t been competing for many years, but nowadays you can see many more young girls than when I started. Let’s see their continuity, because it’s not easy to deal with everything altogether. I hope for the good of sport that it goes upwards, and at a personal level as well, because competing ‘alone’ is very boring. If there’s no ‘friction’, there’s no competition.
Can you live/survive from ski mountaineering and sky running?
Actually, survive. But just thanks to the double season. You’re dependant on the results, and that’s something that I don’t like too much.
You live with Kilian Jornet and Marc Pinsach, two impressive athletes, in Fontromeu. What is so special there for launching such performing athletes?
Font Romeu is a very special place, and if you don’t like sport, then you don’t go there. It has got nearly unbeatable conditions for training: 1800 meters above sea level, snow in winter and countless mountain tracks in summer, cross-country ski trails and skiing runs… and above all, a very ‘sportive’ atmosphere. Usually, when I go training I bump into my teachers practicing cross-country skiing, ski mountaineering, downhill skiing… This is very comforting.
Here you live sport.
Kilian and you both travel nonstop. Do you have time to train together and share know-how?
Kilian and I know each other since I started practicing Ski mountaineering, we have lived in Font Romeu for three years and we share many hours traveling together, in winter as well as summer. He’s a very good friend and a great sportsman, he has taught me a lot of ski mountaineering and of sport in general. I hope he keeps us dreaming, just like he has done until now, for many more years.
The Spanish team is known always for its good mood and unity of all athletes. How did they achieve this atmosphere?
There’s a very good atmosphere in the team, and I think that it’s very important because we spend many hours together and feeling the support of the others gives you strength and motivation. When someone gets a good result we all live it intensely. It helps you going more willingly to the races and meeting concentrations. It is widely known that unity makes force!
You are still young. How many years do you think you will stay competing? Which are your and sports and as well personal goals at long term?
I hope I can continue competing for many years, even though it’s at a high level, and to be able to contribute with my knowledge to the youth that comes behind us.
At a sports level I’d want to try in a few years some ironman, some marathons… I’m open to new suggestions!
At a professional level, I’d like to do for a living what I’m studying right now: teacher of adapted sports. It’s very gratifying and I enjoy it a lot, but I don’t see competing at a high level and working at the same time very feasible, so I’ll have to leave it for a later time.
Regarding my studies, and despite this being the last year of my degree, I would like to keep on studying. I’m quite uncertain, though: on one hand, learning German and take up English again, since I’ve had it quite abandoned for the last few years. On the other hand, studying a remote degree, such as tourism… Time will tell. For now, I’ve got my hands full with the last year course in STAPS.
And the last question… Pierramenta with Laetita Roux?
Ton idol man: Kilian Jornet
Ton idol woman: Francesca Martinelli and Roberta Pedranzini
The best race: I hope Pierra Menta, but I can’t tell yet!
Your best souvenir: The party of the Championships(lol), it was my First World Cup in senior, Civetta.
Your worse souvenir: The day I got blessed in Daschtein 2009
My favorite mountain: All where I can ski.
Your skis: Dynastar
Your boots: Gignoux
Your bindings: ATK
Your skins: Pomoca
How many meters uphill do you do per year with skis? Don’t Know. Between 150.000 and 175.000?
How many races did you do in 2009? 21
What do you prefer: individual, team, vertical races, long distance…? Individual
Your favorite film: Jeux d’Enfants (2003), directed by Yann Samuell
Your favorite book: Read?
Your favorite music band: Depends on the moment
Your favorite historical personality: A lot and none.
A meal: Ravioli spinach and ricotta cheese
Restaurant or eating home? Eating home
Fiesta or dinner with friends? Dinner with friends and fiesta afterwards
Nomad or home? Nomad
Your strength: Stubborness
Your weakness: Stubborness
An advice for young athletes: Fight for your dreams!
A dream: To be always happy with the things I do