Shortly after finishing my first 100-mile race in Leadville I decided that I would run a few more, and so I put together a bucket list by adding three more races. Last year I was able to check Western States off the list, and this year it will be Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB).
UTMB is a 168-km race that follows the long-distance Tour du Mont Blanc hiking trail through the Alps. As a hike it takes 7-10 days, while as a race it has a cutoff of 46 hours. The route starts and finishes in the town of Chamonix in France, crossing into Italy and Switzerland before returning to Chamonix. It features 9,600 metres of ascent.
Living in Melbourne in the months leading up to the race I wasn’t able to put in the huge trail-specific training I managed while travelling around California in the lead-up to Western States last year. But I put together the best training plan I could manage, spent many weekends running up and down the 600-metre high Mount Dandenong, and completed the most intensive quality sessions I have included for an ultra marathon.
On Friday 29th August at 17:30 (CET) the race will start. A lot of training and planning went into getting here. Now all that is left to do is to run.