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  #61  
Old 27.08.2009, 15:52
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Re: Running Races 2009

Checkout this blog link to get an idea of what you are in for

http://musingsofabittergirl.wordpres...uilles-rouges/

My running is still too hit and miss this year for this one for me, i think it's a harder race than the longer Davos K78 judging by the time cut offs and knowing the terrain.

Best of luck and look forward to reading more of your race adventures.
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  #62  
Old 27.08.2009, 16:24
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Re: Running Races 2009

Thanks a LOT Sylvain ,
Up to this point it works, I paid the fees, and this is what my payment confirmation email reads:
"Documents ŕ envoyer (avec votre numéro de dossier)pour vous inscrire.
- Votre certificat médical"

I presume it means they will confirm my registration only if they receive my medical certificate before 600 others.

Now to find a doc* who will certify me soon . The rest is easy, accommodation, travel etc seem quite simple. p.s. I would stay in ChamoniX in case someone is looking for an English speaking running buddy.

So dear EF friends, coaches, mentors, sport icons and supporters, please wish me luck that I will find a place in this event
And I will take a walk in Zurich/Zug in the evening looking for a doctor but please let me know asap in case you know someone "nice"


*How ironical, I was hoping to get away without ever seeing a doctor, but now I have search for a doctor and wait in line for my turn and pay 100 chf or whatever they ask, just so I can participate in an activity that was to prevent me from visiting doctors in the first place
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Old 02.09.2009, 22:45
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Re: Running Races 2009

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Checkout this blog link to get an idea of what you are in for

http://musingsofabittergirl.wordpres...uilles-rouges/
Ms Kate, thanks for posting the link! That was a very useful read (though the writer needs one of those tees from One More Mile that reads "Running is cheaper than therapy", haha!) Trail des Aiguilles Rouges looks like a good ~50km run and possibly a great prep for the Ultra Trail Tour du Mont Blanc. She also pointed out that runners need qualifying credits for the Ultra Trail Tour du Mont Blanc...such as the Trail des Aiguilles Rouges (stuff that is good to know!).

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Old 02.09.2009, 23:23
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Re: Running Races 2009

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Ms Kate, thanks for posting the link! That was a very useful read (though the writer needs one of those tees from One More Mile that reads "Running is cheaper than therapy", haha!) Trail des Aiguilles Rouges looks like a good ~50km run and possibly a great prep for the Ultra Trail Tour du Mont Blanc. She also pointed out that runners need qualifying credits for the Ultra Trail Tour du Mont Blanc...such as the Trail des Aiguilles Rouges (stuff that is good to know!).

Extremely useful indeed!

One thing I did not understand is the author's comment about recovery time. She refers to D D Sherpa, last year's winner, as having "obviously very good recovery" since he had done the UTMB "only" a month earlier. I am not disputing her knowledge, just as a newcomer I was a bit surprised. I think most people would say a couple of days should be adequate, so even factor in the extremeness of the North Face runs, 1-2 weeks should be ample time for recovery even for normal persons

And why did Jeff, an experienced runner who surely knows the nuances, choose to do his training run just 2-3 weeks prior to the actual UTMB Am I missing something here? Or is it like, a practice run is not so exerting as the real run

And a correction: the author says Aiguilles Rouges fetches 2 out of 3 points needed for UTMB, actually the 2009 edition fetches 1 out of 4 points required for UTMB 2010. Seems like these things change every year.

Last edited by Niranjan; 11.09.2009 at 15:01. Reason: Corrected the UTMB points part
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  #65  
Old 02.09.2009, 23:39
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Re: Running Races 2009

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Extremely useful indeed!

One thing I did not understand is the author's comment about recovery time. She refers to D D Sherpa, last year's winner, as having "obviously very good recovery" since he had done the UTMB "only" a month earlier. I am not disputing her knowledge, just as a newcomer I was a bit surprised. I think most people would say a couple of days should be adequate, so even factor in the extremeness of the North Face runs, 1-2 weeks should be ample time for recovery even for normal persons
Recovery is an individual thing. Different people recover at different rates, but after something like a UTMB race a few days will certainly not be enough recovery. Even a normal marathon for many people will take a good few days to recover properly from, something like an Ultra marathon could take weeks.

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And why did Jeff, an experienced runner who surely knows the nuances, choose to do his training run just 2-3 weeks prior to the actual UTMB Am I missing something here? Or is it like, a practice run is not so exerting as the real run
From what I have seen of the pictures of his training run I gather he did it as a long weekends training. His training load would have probably been increasing up to that point and it was probably one of the last really big sessions before he started to taper. Also as far as I understand he slept during the recce run and since it was not the actual race he probably didn't push as hard as he did during the race. (I could be wrong with this, I'm reading between the lines and have not actually spoken to him lately so maybe when he recovers enough to type he might answer this himself.)
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Old 02.09.2009, 23:59
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Re: Running Races 2009

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This one is next on my agenda. But I find it terribly stressful/confusing to navigate the bureaucratic hurdles, language barriers, not even sure if I qualify to participate
I agree that navigating the extra bureaucratic hurdles in French is confusing and slightly aggravating. It is probably harder to run "bandit" in these races, so messing up the paperwork means you lose out on not just the race goodies, but also the run experience.

This may be a dumb question, but did you email the RD (Race Director)? 600 runners is a big field for a trail run, so the RD may be too busy to answer questions (especially in a different language). I do that a lot for ultras in the States...and I got a nice response from the RD on the Aigle-Leysin run...but your mileage may vary.
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Old 03.09.2009, 00:07
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Re: Running Races 2009

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Or is it like, a practice run is not so exerting as the real run
I had thought as much. But my query is a little finer, and the answer should help people to decide when to time their previous Big Run.

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Recovery is an individual thing. Different people recover at different rates, but after something like a UTMB race a few days will certainly not be enough recovery. Even a normal marathon for many people will take a good few days to recover properly from, something like an Ultra marathon could take weeks.
Sure, I agree. But if a former champion's revovery of 4 weeks is considered "obviously very good", then the average folks will be 6 weeks? Does Jeff, who is the only ultra runner i have read reasonably well, have faster recovery than Sherpa? Because....

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From what I have seen of the pictures of his training run I gather he did it as a long weekends training. His training load would have probably been increasing up to that point and it was probably one of the last really big sessions before he started to taper. Also as far as I understand he slept during the recce run and since it was not the actual race he probably didn't push as hard as he did during the race. (I could be wrong with this, I'm reading between the lines and have not actually spoken to him lately so maybe when he recovers enough to type he might answer this himself.)
while this is true, he did run Davos k78 on 31 July, right? and that was competitive (unless he took it as a practice run too). My question is, UTMB was obviously his biggest run this year, something he knew since last year perhaps, so why did he intentionally schedule his big runs so close?
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Old 03.09.2009, 00:15
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Re: Running Races 2009

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I agree that navigating the extra bureaucratic hurdles in French is confusing and slightly aggravating. It is probably harder to run "bandit" in these races, so messing up the paperwork means you lose out on not just the race goodies, but also the run experience.

This may be a dumb question, but did you email the RD (Race Director)? 600 runners is a big field for a trail run, so the RD may be too busy to answer questions (especially in a different language). I do that a lot for ultras in the States...and I got a nice response from the RD on the Aigle-Leysin run...but your mileage may vary.
Thankfully I have found a few very helfpul folks on EF who are answering all my even dumber questions
I am planning to visit the trail site, buy the race specified gear and talk to people at Chamonix region.

My previous query of timing was just for future reference, not my immediate concern. I have decided to play very safe and attempt only the first half of the Aiguilles Rogues trail for my "practice run"
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  #69  
Old 03.09.2009, 00:26
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Re: Running Races 2009

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I had thought as much. But my query is a little finer, and the answer should help people to decide when to time their previous Big Run.


Sure, I agree. But if a former champion's revovery of 4 weeks is considered "obviously very good", then the average folks will be 6 weeks? Does Jeff, who is the only ultra runner i have read reasonably well, have faster recovery than Sherpa? Because....



while this is true, he did run Davos k78 on 31 July, right? and that was competitive (unless he took it as a practice run too). My question is, UTMB was obviously his biggest run this year, something he knew since last year perhaps, so why did he intentionally schedule his big runs so close?
Training is a bit like a pyramid. You need to do huge amounts of base level training. The more base level you do and the better base fitness you have the higher you can build the pyramid. The height of your pyramid is how well you can perform. A tall narrow pyramid is unstable and with training if you try to cut out the long base level stuff this equates to easier injury etc.

People who run Ultras and stuff like that will have years of training behind them. Remember that the person you are talking about has done multiple iron man competitions and the Marathon de Sables as well as things like the Inferno. He has a huge background in endurance sport over the last 10 years or so and there for a very large base to the pyramid.

If you are preparing for a particular event in the early season you will do a lot of slow easy but quite long work to ensure that the base level is there. As you get closer to the event the intensity will increase. High intensity sessions will come in the pre-competitive phase. So everything builds up to a few weeks before the event and then the taper starts so that you arrive at the event just perfectly recovered from your intensive sessions. Its a fine balance between going into an event undertrained or underrested, but someone with a lot of experience in endurance sport and a good coach will have a fairly good understanding of this. I'm guessing that things like the recce run of UTMB and the K78 in Graubunden were training sessions aimed at pushing the top level of fitness for the event. I would also imagine the training sessions directly after these events were specifically designed around recovery. In my opintion the timing was actually quite good. He had a marathon every few weeks for a while before UMTB (There was Graubunden and Malbun before the k78). He was training his body to perform and recover. From what I can gather he had a very detailed and thought out training programme and knowing Jeff nothing was left to chance.

Again I am generalising and reading between the lines. The man himself is the only one who can answer the question properly in this case. Sorry if I am being too presumptuous with the answers.

If you read Paula Radcliffes book you will see an interesting case where in my opinion she didn't get the balance right and arrived to some of the biggest events of her career overtrained and then performed below par.
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Old 03.09.2009, 00:26
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Re: Running Races 2009

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Recovery is an individual thing. Different people recover at different rates, but after something like a UTMB race a few days will certainly not be enough recovery. Even a normal marathon for many people will take a good few days to recover properly from, something like an Ultra marathon could take weeks.

From what I have seen of the pictures of his training run I gather he did it as a long weekends training. His training load would have probably been increasing up to that point and it was probably one of the last really big sessions before he started to taper. Also as far as I understand he slept during the recce run and since it was not the actual race he probably didn't push as hard as he did during the race. (I could be wrong with this, I'm reading between the lines and have not actually spoken to him lately so maybe when he recovers enough to type he might answer this himself.)
I very much agree that recovery is an individual thing. Depends on the intent of the race (training, social, pacer, looking for a PR, etc) and the type of race. I may run an easy 50k just to set up for a longer race a week or two out. And I might run a "recovery" race the week after a hard ultra - pacing a slower runner. Keeping in mind that 166km is a LONG run (!), if you pick up a slight injury running the course the week before, that is going to be a serious nagging injury by the time the race is over.
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Old 03.09.2009, 03:47
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Re: Running Races 2009

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I had thought as much. But my query is a little finer, and the answer should help people to decide when to time their previous Big Run.
Hard question, Niranjan. There are many variables at play. I have seen guidance saying one day of recovery for every mile of racing. That seems like a lot of time...and does not take into account running effort (how much you emptied you "fuel tank" - exhausted yourself). If you race to exhaustion - yeah, that is going to take a long time to bounce back from...so I think most runners avoid this.

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Sure, I agree. But if a former champion's revovery of 4 weeks is considered "obviously very good", then the average folks will be 6 weeks? Does Jeff, who is the only ultra runner i have read reasonably well, have faster recovery than Sherpa? Because....
The elite runners consume less fuel, water, minerals, etc. because they are lighter and more efficient; so it is really hard to make a time comparison without knowing more about how they stressed themselves.
What is your time horizon? Big race in one month? 3 months? 100 mile ultra in a year? 2 years? The Rocky Mtn Grand Slam? I say this because you not only need to work out a reasonable recovery rate, but you may also have to teach your body to recover - by stressing it properly. And for the long ultras that could take a few repeats.

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while this is true, he did run Davos k78 on 31 July, right? and that was competitive (unless he took it as a practice run too). My question is, UTMB was obviously his biggest run this year, something he knew since last year perhaps, so why did he intentionally schedule his big runs so close?
I use to wonder about scheduling too. A close runner friend of mine just runs a lot of races. Some races are faster than others. When she has expended too much energy the previous week her times are slower, but she is consistently getting faster. At first I thought it was nuts but it works for her. So as they say, your mileage may vary
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  #72  
Old 07.09.2009, 23:30
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Re: Running Races 2009

Greetings from Recovery Land, where the muscles and tendons are throwing party after party to celebrate the down time and the mind is making an all-out attempt to break out of Recovery Jail and start the body running again!

I'll share a quick update on my UTMB recovery and reply to the other topics in a bit. By the way, thanks very much for the interest and support!

I've just about wrapped up my race report, which will go on the Hillseeker blog this week. Lots about the race experience in that report -- as for the recovery though, it's gone better than I expected. The real trick now will be not to push too hard too soon as I actually feel great (but I know there's gotta be some deep damage that needs time to heal -- at least that's what Kate tells me!).

For the first week, I had some serious fatigue, especially in the four days immediately after the race. I just couldn't get enough sleep during that time and often found myself exhausted mid-day and in a bit of the same fog as I was during the second night of running on no sleep. My legs and feet were quite swollen for a few days, but rest and double-ice bath days took care of that. Surprisingly I had no blisters or feet damage to deal with after the race. I got two tiny blisters during the race and those were gone within a couple days. The only other damage was a hand and leg scrape from a fall I had about 22 hours in -- when I may have fallen asleep running (I was in a major fog when it happened). Hand still hurts a bit, but the scrapes have healed. I'm actually shocked that there isn't more superficial damage -- I expected to lose toenails and more skin (like after Marathon des Sables), but all is intact. Maybe I didn't push it hard enough! :-)

As for active recovery, I did a couple hour-long walks (days 4 and 6 after the race) and then ran an easy hour on the 7th day. I could tell on the run that I wasn't fully recovered, but it sure felt nice to run again after taking a week off. It also felt great to run without my feet hurting like they did during the last 8 hours or so of UTMB. Until the adrenaline kicked in for the final kilometers of the race, my feet hurt immensely with every step of downhill or flat running for the last 30km or so. I suppose even with loads of training, it's to be expected that your feet will hurt after running on them for 37 hours!

I have another light week planned, but it will be active recovery, so I'm planning a couple bike rides, an easy run, and perhaps some hiking over the weekend. I won't be training intensely for the 4 weeks after the race, but I'll gradually bring the volume and intensity back up and stay active so as not to lose the benefits of training the past 4 months. Will likely go for a fast road marathon in late November (maybe Florence Marathon) before switching to a novice season of ski mountaineering racing.

To Eire's point on background & pre-race recovery, I should mention that I put in over 260 hours of training and racing from late April this year to the start of UTMB and that was on top of a substantial base over the winter and endurance racing since 1996. I did the UTMB reccy run just a week after the Davos race with essentially no recovery in between. I was surprised that I was able to recover so quickly and surprised that I could recover when I slept short nights at huts in the reccy run. My pace during the reccy run wasn't that different than the race. I climbed harder in the reccy run, but I think I descended faster in the race. The overall time was similar. I also did a 5 hour Friday night run, followed by big cycling weekend just 2 weeks before UTMB. It was a HUGE period of overload, but it worked because I had built up to it gradually and sufficiently. I never felt like I was short on endurance at UTMB or that I was getting an overuse injury. The only thing I wanted from my running was more speed, especially late in the race. Much of that is tied to nutrition though -- which I'll touch on in the race report. The bulk of the rest is tied to experience racing mountain ultras.

Ok, back to Recovery Land for a bit at least!
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Old 08.09.2009, 04:16
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Re: Running Races 2009

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Greetings from Recovery Land,...

... it sure felt nice to run again after taking a week off. It also felt great to run without my feet hurting like they did during the last 8 hours or so of UTMB. Until the adrenaline kicked in for the final kilometers of the race, my feet hurt immensely with every step of downhill or flat running for the last 30km or so. I suppose even with loads of training, it's to be expected that your feet will hurt after running on them for 37 hours!

...
Congratulations on a great finish of the UTMB! Awesome effort!!

I had to chuckle at your comment about foot pain. That is one my big points of agony on the long ultras, too - especially on the technical ultras, which I presume the UTMB falls into that category. I seem to have adapted a bit, but I don't know whether my feet have gotten tougher or I have gotten better at picking a good line that does not beat the heck out my feet!

I'm looking forward to the race report!
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Old 08.09.2009, 11:55
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Re: Running Races 2009

Does anyone know of some long distance trail running races or multisport events from October to December? I would like to do a couple before a big multi sport event I have in December.
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Old 08.09.2009, 12:56
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Re: Running Races 2009

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Does anyone know of some long distance trail running races or multisport events from October to December? I would like to do a couple before a big multi sport event I have in December.
The UTMB site has a failry comprehensive list

I did not see long trail races in CH happening in the coming months but you can search for bordering countries.

For shorter trails, more local events e.g. Uetliberglauf and many ***seelauf-s you can subscribe to www.datasport.ch who send regular updates.
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Old 08.09.2009, 12:59
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Re: Running Races 2009

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Does anyone know of some long distance trail running races or multisport events from October to December? I would like to do a couple before a big multi sport event I have in December.
Here's a link (in German) to a good calendar for European ultras or mountain runs in the fall: http://www.steppenhahn.de/ultramarathon/umlauf.html

There's a surprising number of races, although many require a bit of a haul to the not-so-close parts of Germany or Italy. Maybe you can find a good fit from this list -- if so, let me know! Another option is that we just invent a local race -- may be more fun to do that anyway!
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Old 09.09.2009, 00:45
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Re: Running Races 2009

UTMB 2009 Race Report Part 1 "The Parade" is online now! Please feel free to check it out.
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Old 15.09.2009, 17:51
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Re: Running Races 2009

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Here's a link (in German) to a good calendar for European ultras or mountain runs in the fall: http://www.steppenhahn.de/ultramarathon/umlauf.html

There's a surprising number of races, although many require a bit of a haul to the not-so-close parts of Germany or Italy. Maybe you can find a good fit from this list -- if so, let me know! Another option is that we just invent a local race -- may be more fun to do that anyway!
Or Marocco http://www.raidcourriersud.com/page.php 1-9th Nov
and www.toubkaltrail.com 6-11 Oct and the slightly closer tirol http://www.tourdetirol.com/tour_de_t...de_tirol0.html 9-11 Oct
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Old 21.09.2009, 20:25
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Re: Running Races 2009

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UTMB 2009 Race Report Part 1 "The Parade" is online now! Please feel free to check it out.
Full UTMB story (parts 1-3) is up now, including "Imaginary dragons & stampeding cows: the hallucination-filled closing".

The UTMB was an amazing experience -- highly recommended if you want a big goal race. I also recommend the shorter (but still heavy) courses associated with the same event. I think the CCC (98km) would make an awesome and somewhat more reasonable ultra that would involve only one night out on the course. I really want to go back and hike some of the parts of the course that I've only seen in the dark or bad weather. Just stunning out there.
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Old 24.09.2009, 22:25
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Re: Running Races 2009

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UTMB 2009 Race Report Part 1 "The Parade" is online now! Please feel free to check it out.
Awesome report, advntur! I'm amazed at how many racers the UTMB fields. That is great participation in a very tough race. Your description of a "trail runner's bliss of flying down a mountain" is good stuff A couple my runner colleagues in the States write race reports...I don't know you'all how do it. I have to take pics as I go, otherwise it is a giant blur from the start to finish, lol!
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