Last update before the race which is now in less than 24 hours (about time!). The weather forecast has turned to something very positive (but weather is still unpredictable anyway!). It’s going to be rather hot for French standards which is going to be just fine by California standards. I think we are really going to be able to enjoy the views and hopefully the night won’t be too cold. It’s been a while that the UTMB hasn’t been run in optimal conditions so it should be a lot of fun! A lot of pain and hard too – definitely should expect that. People around the race have a tendency to turn it into a myth. Check out the iRunFar interview of Anton Krupicka if you think some drama should be taken out of it!
Today I went early to the race HQ to get my bib and have my gear checked. I thought I was early but there was still a big line! It took about an hour to get through and have my drop bag. Waiting wasn’t to much of an ordeal because I met a guy from Minnesota who was here the CCC. Then the volunteers are pretty nice and it was a breeze to get the gear checked (they can’t check everything so they pick three random items). The volunteer checking my gear was impressed by my packing technique (clothing is all in zip lock bags to keep them dry) but also told me that sometimes people have stinky dirty clothes in there!
Back to the hotel for a nap and back in town to meet my friend Rich Graziano from California (he’s a mountain guide and I highly recommend him!). His first time in Chamonix so he was in heaven! He is going on the Haute Route solo on Friday!Have fun Rich! Good seeing you. I might see him on the trail around Trient on Sunday morning if I finish around that time.
We pottered around the highly energized Chamonix center for a while. It seems to me that the atmosphere surrounding ultra running here in France is closer to Ironman type atmosphere than the low key laid back energy found around California races. I know the UTMB is the queen of races but I like the low key atmosphere of races like Miwok 100k. No frills – just running. I guess I’ll enjoy the UTMB anyway! It is a dream come true.
Today the TDS finishers were getting in – I haven’t looked at the results but I heard that there was quite a high rate of DNFs (Did Not Finish). This morning I heard about a guy to had to stop because of hypothermia for drinking water that was too cold – I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the only cause of hypothermia in his case. Regrettable nonetheless. Getting a DNF on those prestigious races can be crushing for the ego but it’s better to stay safe than having no ego left to crush! Arnaud (!) Julia Bonnati won the TDS.
One last delicious diner at the hotel (I’m pampered with really good traditional cooking here – fattening up!), one big night of sleep, sleeping late and start is at 16:30 French time tomorrow – 07:30 PST – progress can be followed at utmb.livetrail.net – just enter “Kroner” in the search box. It would be a dream to cover the course in less than 30 hours but at the same time I don’t want it to be over too soon! I can’t linger too much either because there are cut off times. I’m feeling rested and ready, I’ve done the training, many people are supporting me with all their heart and I’m looking forward to go around the roof of Europe! Let the adventure begin! Next time I’ll write it will be a race report!