Nikki Wynd Interview

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Most of you know of Nikki Wynd from her amazing performance at Badwater this year- winning female, 4th overall, second fastest female ever. Well, I was lucky enough meet her briefly as she flew past at Coast to Kosci last year. The only overseas race I’ve ever really wanted to do is Badwater, so I figured I could feature her as my first actual interview on this blog- and to my surprise she said yes!

Also- I’m not any sort of journalist or writer- if the questions suck, send me some hints and I’ll do better next time!

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Photos by Chris Kostman

1. Congratulations on your win at Badwater this year! How do enter and get accepted for a race like that? (Cough, asking for a friend……)
ha ha, good try Adam.  You need to complete 3 ultra marathons over 160kms and this does not include 24hour track races.  So basically I spent 18 months building a resume so to speak of not only 100 mile races but also 100km races.  I also tried to pick the toughest ones in Australia – ie: C2K, GNW and I also did Glasshouse. You also then have to answer questions about things like “what does the name Badwater mean to you”, who is your favorite BW legend etc.  So they want to know that you know everything there is to know about this race. 
2. You’ve done the race before- how much of an advantage do you think previous experience is worth in this race?
Well last year the race was run on a difference course so I didn’t have that as an advantage but I went back there not as intimidated and scared as I was last year.  Last year I actually didn’t feel like I should have been there, so after running 3rd there last year I did feel well I did deserve my spot and I was a lot calmer and probably a lot more low key than last year.  Last year I was absolutely petrified.
3. How did your strategy differ this year? In another interview you mentioned walking breaks- how does that work?
I think just another year of ultra’s under my belt made a difference. I felt more confident as I had done another 3 races over 200kms.   I had a strategy this year and had strategic walking breaks factored into my running. I found having the walking breaks, just 2 mins at a time, really made my legs feel a lot fresher in the back end of the race.  Last year I actually felt like I held back a little bit to much, this year a very good running mentor of mine Mal Cree told me to “run on feel” and that was what I did.  I wanted to feel like I had given it everything that I had and when I crossed the finish line I knew I had nothing left in the tank. 
Nikki Wynd, David Eadie at Badwater
4. One interview says you’ve only been running for 5 years. This doesn’t seem likely as I’ve also been running for 5 years and I’ve never won anything (jealous!). And yet you seem to have done just about every long distance race I can find- what other races would you like to do?
I have been running marathons on and off for probably the last 10 years, but I didn’t take up Ultra Running until 2010 when I did Oxfam with some friends from my local gym.  I liked the fact you were allowed to walk and eat in ultra’s, and it was a lot of fun getting out to train with friends.  Next year I am keen to do my first 48 hour race and then after this I am not really sure.  A part of me actually feels I am ready to take a bit of a break from racing and just train for fun. 
5. The reason I was able to score this interview was because we met briefly at Coast 2 Kosci- how would you compare that race to Badwater?
how could I forget you from C2K…….I must admit your shaving story was the highlight of the presentation at C2K last year.  I actually think they are pretty similar races, its actually really difficult to say which is harder, C2K is longer and the last few years the weather has been cold and crap however Badwater has a lot more climbing and elevation and the high temps (48+), also the night start at Badwater was tough too. I am hoping this year at C2K we just get hot weather and good conditions as those that know me well know that I am not good in the cold. 
*editors note- I suppose there are worse things than being known Australia-wide for having chafed nuts but I’m struggling to think of any right now….

6. Your partner David Eadie is also a very handy runner- how do you decide who gets to do which race?
I must say that I am very very lucky to have such a supportive partner who totally gets what I do.  At the moment David is happy to take a back seat and just be my training partner.  He has spent 20 years at a competitive level so is quite happy to just jog around with me (and carry my bags as he likes to tell people).  We are pretty lucky to do what we do together.  We have travelled to so many amazing places together all thanks to our running.  He is also the one who keeps me on the straight and narrow and makes sure I am eating properly and looking after myself.  
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Photos by Chris Kostman

7. Favourite race or distance? Often we finish a race and immediately think we could improve with a few changes. What race have you done that you think you could go much better at?
I really love the 24hour track races and would love to break 230kms.  At the moment my current distance is 221kms. 

8. Bucket list runs… Any that you haven’t done yet that you’d love to have a good crack at? (very similar to Q4 I guess)
Next year the 48hour race in Canberra. UTMB and Western States. 

finish line

Photos by Chris Kostman

9. Goals for the next 12 months? Do you prefer trail, road or track? You seem to have done all of these!
I started off running trail however the past few years I have definitely done most of my racing on road and track.  I do love the track, this would probably be my preferred surface at the moment, I find i can just get into the zone and keep going.  The next 12 months – Canberra 48hour in March, Oxfam with my girlfriends Sam Gash & Jodie Obourne in April and back to Badwater in July

10. What tips would you have for someone wanting to step up from a marathon or 100km distance?
I really think that the step up from Marathon to 100km is quite easy.  Introduce strategic walk breaks, have  a plan, practice your plan in training, find out what works best for you.  Train on the surface you plan on doing your race on and be consistent but listen to your body.  I think the main thing is to have fun, find some friends to train with and remember its not going to be easy but it will be worth it.  Nothing beats the feeling of crossing that finish line achieving your goal……..

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Photos by Chris Kostman

* I also said to Nikki that she could promote her coaching business here- this blog is non commercial but I’m happy to support people who support the sport. She didn’t send me a link but go and have a look- The Running Man