Tuesday, 27 August 2013

UTMB Time Again

Not much from me on the blog lately. I've been too busy sitting in the sun, drinking wine, eating pizza and pretending that all those aches and pains will go away soon, an activity otherwise known in the ultra world as "tapering". It's time for the annual Chamonix party again. I missed it last year because I was otherwise engaged in the Tor des Geants race starting over the other side of the hill in Courmayeur, but I'm excited to be back this year for another crack at this iconic event.

This isn't a wilderness experience you understand. With 2300 runners on a course that for many of its 105 miles is a singletrack, you're never going to be alone. But that is more than made up for by the stunning nature of the course, with its big climbs, never-ending descents and views to die for. And of course, the welcome you get all along the way  -  the "Bravos", the "Courages", a bonfire in every village and checkpoints you can hear long before you see them. Chamonix is completely taken over for the week by the UTMB, and of course the concurrent events, the PTL, CCC and TDS. It's a scene that every ultra runner has to be part of at least once in their career.

The weather hasn't been kind in recent years, the last time the "official" course was run was in 2009, so let's hope this year it comes good again.

So on Thursday I'll be heading over to a town that I've been visiting on and off for the past 48 years. Time for another dose of adventure.

 Bonhomme hut  - but in the race it's always dark when you get to here!