Countdown to UTMB!

Okay, here we go! 10 days and counting to the start of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc .. 167km of mountainous mayhem and 9500m of elevation for my woefully prepared legs.

The course profile looks like this: (yikes!)

The last few months have been truly crazy busy and I haven’t had much time to breathe let alone do any race prep! I’m arrived in Chamonix yesterday afternoon, so now it’s time to get some much needed rest and sort my race head out. Not that I expect to do a lot of racing .. 🙂 Completing is the main goal, under 40 hours would be good .. any time with a ‘3’ in the front would make my day(s!). I have 46 hours to finish, as long as I make the cut-off times at each check-point as well, but I really prefer not to be out there for the whole 46 hours .. that would make for a very long day out.
I’ve borrowed Bernard’s magic sticks .. I was told my tiny Raidlight folding poles might be too flimsy for the mighty Mont Blanc .. who am I to argue? The only elevation I get here is the minuscule Bukit Timah Hill at 174m high .. and my weekly showdown with the hill program on the treadmill at the gym. Time to get some practice in then!

View from my balcony

It’s been a couple of glorious days here in Chamonix so far .. the sun’s been shining and it feels like a proper summer here … and the shops are chock full of tempting technical gear … looks like my credit card’s in for an ultramarathon as well! 🙂

The town itself is chocolate-box quaint .. I was last here for a brief visit about a decade ago so it’s nice to have the time to explore at my leisure.

Went out for a short run this evening to see how cold it would be .. the race starts at 6.30pm .. it’s not freezing, but when the sun goes in I reckon I’ll get pretty cold. My ears and fingers were definitely feeling a nip despite running uphill for an hour. … And they’d just put up the start gantry, which I ran under .. just for the cheap thrill of being the first runner though! 🙂 I did notice that I’m feeling very parched all the time and my breathing felt laboured very early on. I’m blaming the altitude as my legs felt fine so hopefully all will be back to normal in a few days.

On my way home I ran past a store which had the new Salomon XT Advanced Skin 12 pack … but they were closed and I’ll have to go back tomorrow. I couldn’t fit all the mandatory kit into the XT 5 pack, so I had to use my XA 10+3 pack instead. This could be a great find as I love the fit of the XT 5 .. just needed more carrying capacity for this event.

Mont Blanc itself is stunning. It’s breathtaking and I’m finding it hard not to keep gawking at it. I’ve taking a grand total of 25 pictures since I got here and 22 were of the mountain. You just can’t help it.

Off for a much longer run tomorrow and a little more acclimatisation. The countdown begins! 

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