Philipp Reiter makes me laugh… he makes me laugh lots! 21 years old, the world is ahead of him and he embraces each day as though it was his last. His passion for life and running is matched by his appetite for the ‘buffet’ at our hotel. Boy can he eat!
In 2012, he emerged on the ‘world’ stage by clocking up a series of top 10 places and wins that only a fool could ignore. He won the Salaomon Four Trails ahead of Thomas Lorblanchet and Francois d’Haene. He teamed up with teammate, Iker Karrera at Trans Alpine and won. He suffered a little at Transvulcania, ran strong at Trofeo Kima and dug deep at Cavalls del Vent.
After Trofeo Kima I asked him what his aspirations are for the future….
“I want to be the new Kilian” he replied.
Today, just before we headed out on to the beach to take the photos that you can see in the post, I questioned him again. His answer today?
“I want to beat Kilian”
He has just spent the last two to three months ski mountaineering and this weekend he lines up at the 83km TNF Trans Gran Canaria to take on a competetive field that includes teammate, Ryan Sandes. With no running in his legs is it possible to perform over 83km on tough trail? Philipp thinks so.
On the trails yesterday, Philipp flew off like a man possessed. It was hard to believe that he hadn’t run… no small stops to ease himself in. No, not at all. He bounded and leaped down the trail as though some binding shackles had been removed.
“When you take the skis off and run, you feel so light. It’s incredible. It’s a joy to run” said Philipp in my 30+ min interview scheduled to be aired in episode 30 of Talk Ultra on March 8th.
“The break from running freshens the mind, it’s a good thing, I love sport, I love cycling, I love going to the gym, I love variety. That is what is so exciting about what I do”
You can see the logic. Look at his peer group; Kilian Jornet, Nuria Picas, Emelie Forsberg and so on… they all turn from trails to snow in the winter months.
This coming weekend will show us how Philipp’s form is after months of no running. But ultimately the 83km on Saturday are only small and tiny steps on what will be a very interesting 2013 season.
A full set of images from today are available HERE
You can see how Philipp gets on against Ryan Sandes and the other runners at : http://www.transgrancanaria.net
You can listen to my interview with Philipp on the next episode of Talk Ultra. It will be available for ‘free’ download on iTunes, Libsyn and talk ultra.com.