Madeira Skyrace 2019 interview with Sofia Smedman Sweden
I had the opportunity to meet this super strong and very nice Ultra/Skyrunner from Sweden at Madeira Skyrace this year (2019).
Sofia Smedman and her Team Billingen X-trail was the second team in the very challenging and demanding race, Madeira Skyrace 55k, 4121D+. Madeira 2019!
Congrats Sofia for your great achievement and your personal time 09:42:06.
Can you tell us a little about the race and your experiences from that?
The race was fantastic! Well organised from the beginning to the end. Good service out on the track and the course was well marked, so it was easy to follow. It’s one of the finest and toughest races I’ve done! Tough uphills and brutal downhills. The heat made it even harder, but the views made you forget how hard it was.
This was the first race I’ve done where the competition was really top notch. This is really good for me, to change my perception about what I need to improve to be able to fight about the top positions on similar races.
Can you describe yourself with two sentences?
I’m fun and a bit goofy but also very stubborn. I’m a person that like challenges and I’m always very competitive.
What is most important for you in life?
My partner in crime. To be able to run and travel to all this amazing races.
Your passion for Skyrunning? Where is that coming from?
This was my first ”real” skyrace. I’ve done a couple of similar races, but none quite like this. I’m very passionate to spend time in the nature, which I find to be very calming. It’s fascinating what places running can bring you to! And I love to compete.
Can you tell us a little about your Team Billingen X-trail?
Yes! Team Billingen X-trail is a Swedish ultra-trailrunning (now also Skyrunning) team that race and train together.
Although we don’t live in the same town we have the same trainings that we do, and afterwards we check on each other how it went. We learn from each other and we get inspired by each other. I’m very happy to be able to hang out with these great guys (Kalle Andersson, Rasmus Persson, Viktor Stenqvist) on races in Sweden and all around the world.
Our first tough race that we did together were Buff, Bydalens Fjällmaraton, 50k, 2900 D+. This is one on the toughest mountain marathons in Sweden, I think.
Madeira Skyrace 55k, 4121 D+, is my first Skyrace, and also the toughest one so far that we have done together the whole team. So, we’re very proud of our second place.
We are all very different, but that also makes the group more interesting. Viktor is fast and explosive. Kalle is awesome pushing the boundaries, giving more than 100%. Rasmus is stable, strong, and runs effectively. I’m very stubborn, and I never give up!
Is Skyrunning a hobby or is it something you like to do for a living?
It would be a dream to be able to do this for a living. Currently it’s my greatest hobby!
Have you always had this type of lifestyle (Skyrunning etc…) or have you done any change of direction in life that you like to mention?
No, I started to get in to trail running around 2015, when I was 26. I was hooked! Since then I haven’t looked back.
Do you usually push yourself outside your comfort zone? How does it feel at the time? Can you see that the rewards coming out of this is worth this little extra effort?
Sometimes I’m struggling to give myself that extra push. I’m working on this, and I do believe that I’m improving. Faster, stronger and more confident. It’s important to continue to challenge yourself. To do this one have to step outside of ones comfort zone, as you will be faced with hard and technical terrain and stunning heights, on top of that you will have really tired legs.
How does your race plans and goals look like for 2019?
Next up is Ehunmilak UltraTrail, a 100mile race in the north of Spain. Idre fjällmarathon, Kullamannen. Hopefully I will find one more skyrace before the season is over.
How does a normal week with training and all that look like for you right now?
I work a lot so it’s hard to tell how a normal week would be. I know I should train a lot more than I’m currently able to do. Now I catch all the moments that I can.
Which are your best training tips to other Skyrunners all over the world?
Train a lot of up and down hill running. That is something that is hard for me because we don’t have a hill that is higher than 125m D+. Making do might mean a lot of ups and downs.
Which are your favourite races that you would recommend to other Skyrunners all over the world?
Come to Sweden and run Buff fjällmaraton 50k and the 100 mile race called Kullamannen!
Do you have any dreams and goals for the future that you like to share?
My dream and goal for the future is to become one of the best 100 mile runners.
How does your game plan look like for that?
Not sure yet, but first I need to stop working overtime and spend more time on my training. We will also move to the northern part of Sweden for better training opportunities. I have a lot of races on my bucket list that will challenge me to become a better runner.
What is your inner drive?
My inner drive is to explore and be able to push my limits. I’m very curious to see how far I can go.
Name: Sofia Smedman
Country/town: Sweden – Skövde
Your team or sponsor now: Team Billingen X-trail
Occupation: HR – coordinator
Education: Human Resources
Facebook page: Team Billingen X-trail
Instagram: @Iasmedman/team Billingen X-trail
Thank you, Sofia, for taking your time sharing! Wishing you all the best luck in the future with your Ultra/Skyrunning and everything that you want to do.