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Q & A: Moritz auf der Heide

Moritz is a 31 year old trailrunner based in Munich, Germany. He started running in the mountains about seven years ago and has been racing all over the world since scoring numerous victories along the way.

Moritz running Vietnam Trail Marathon 2019


What’s your favoured distance?

I don’t actually run the very long distances. I prefer anything between 20 and 50 km. This enables you to race more often and experience more places. It all started because my parents who used to run city marathons. I guess I wanted to beat their best times back then.


We know your result at VTM this year was not up to your usual pace, but you were still super happy on the finish line – can you explain to our readers why?

Well, I do win a few races every year, but I am pretty sure that I have always also been very happy with a second place! This time though I was particularly happy since I had been dealing with an injury for months before the race. To be able to finish the beautiful VTM trail was emotional after a long period of painful running.


What was your favourite part of the course?

My favorite part was definitely the little village in the middle of the forest where we got to see those tiny pigs running all over the place. It was such a stunning little area with the most curious and friendly people.


Did you have a strategy for race day? If so, did you execute it as planned?

Not really. All I was concerned about was running pain-free and enjoying the time out there. I made sure to the get the full experience. Usually I go all out from the start.


VTM was your first race in Vietnam. What made you decide to come to Vietnam to run VTM?

Yes it was. I heard about it through a German friend of mine who had participated twice in Vietnam before. He told me a lot about the perfect organisation and urged me to go.


Your Marathon PB is 2:27:04 (2016). Do you do lots of interval work to build your speed? How else to you build speed?

I got that PB in Amsterdam in 2016. It is funny because I very rarely use intervals. Only in winter. Normally I prefer long tempo runs at high speed and runs in the mountains which build up endurance and strength.


Which of your results are you most proud of and why?

I think the most emotional result for me was the marathon PB. I had been working to go sub 2h30m for more than four years. When I finally achieved it in Amsterdam I sat down right behind the finish line and cried with joy. The result I am most proud of might be the third place at the Long Distance Mountain Running World Champs 2016 with the team. We worked very hard and got the podium.


You are very active on Strava – do you think it helps your running and why?

Strava definitely motivates me every day. I love to share all my activities, follow others on this platform and discuss single sessions. It also helps me to track my training since I do not use a trainer or specific training schedule.


You are a member of Scott Running RC Club, Can you share more about it and how running club motivates runners?

I am fortunate enough to be part of the Scott Elite Team. Scott makes perfect running equipment for the mountains and their motto fits me: RC stands for Racing Collection. And I like to race. A lot!


Do you have a running hero or inspiration?

There are many others that motivate me. Old heroes and living athletes alike. Of course I admire people like Kilian Jornet, but my real idols are other runners who do a full time job next to their running career. Just like me. I find this kind of dedication very inspiring.


Lastly, when will be your second race in Vietnam?

I very much hope that this will be in 2020. This year I have basically already used all my vacation time to plan my other races. I only have a certain amount of days I can take of work and it is often hard to decide what to use them for. But I would love to come back for VJM and VMM. I just loved the nature, the food and the people in Vietnam, so it is a must to come back!


To read another Q and A with a top ultra runner, check out our Q and A with VTM champ, England’s Jo Meek here.