Tuesday, August 8, 2017

UTMB 2014

With all the excitement of UTMB happening in about 3 weeks I can't help but reminisce about my first 100 miler (actually it was really 106 miles). I wasn't ready for it due to injuries that I had the entire year but, I got it done!

 The race started around 6pm on Friday. It was raining at the start and continued to rain all through the night. The rain made everything so muddy and added another level of difficulty descending the mountains especially in the beginning when we were coming down a ski-resort hill...people were slipping and falling all over the place. It was actually kind of funny to watch!

A little before sunrise, while I was on top of a beautiful mountain ridge, the rain stopped. As the sun rose, I was so grateful to be where I was...it was beautiful! I reached Courmayeur, Italy a few hours later on Saturday morning, it was the second checkpoint where you could get assistance from your crew. I changed out of my soaking wet clothes and then continued up the next climb. At this point, I was beginning to feel a lot of pain in my feet. The injuries I had leading up to the race were really starting to bother me. I tried finding ice at some of the checkpoints but didn't have any luck. Since these checkpoints were up in the mountains, they were not fully stocked with aid. I continued on throughout the day and at some point in the afternoon I entered Switzerland. Since the race started in the evening I didn't get much rest prior to the start so as the afternoon turned to night I had already been awake for 36hours. I realized that if I were going to continue racing I would need a quick rest so at Champex Lac/24 hours into the race, I took a nap. About 1.5 hours later my crew woke me and it took all I had to regain the motivation to continue on. But once I got moving again, I felt like a new person!it was incredible, I couldn't believe how good I felt!  I was able to run again and was passing headlamp after headlamp. The night went on with lots of climbing and descending in the mountains. 

As the sun rose again on Sunday morning I began my final big climb up Flegere. As I reached the top, I saw an amazing sight...a bright orange North Face tent with volunteers checking bibs and Mont Blanc across the valley with the sun hitting the Mont Blanc Massif. I was so happy to have made it that far and knew that all of the hard parts were over. The next (however) many miles would be easy in comparison to the past 2 days. The finish line was so close I could taste it...it all started to sink in as I was descending (still several miles out) and people were congratulating me. It was surreal, the cheers of encouragement had turned to cheers of congratulations even though I hadn't crossed the finish line yet. As I entered the town, my amazing crew met me and we all ran in together. I crossed the finish line in 41:00:40 hours. I'm so happy I stuck with it and completed this adventure. My time wasn't anything to write home about but all of the memories I have are unforgettable! 

I can't wait to be back there to run it again! Until then, I'll be cheering on all my friends who are running it :) good luck to all of you :)

Here's a little video of my adventure. It's not professional by any means but it does have some real photoage and some nice shots of the trail and mountains. https://youtu.be/Jd4_4kh6QGo 


Trail Plodder said...

Great writeup (but you forgot the pinecones :)

Dreama Jean said...

Ha ha this was just a short account of what happened...if you want to read the full (x-rated version) you'll have to go back to my original race report ;)