Yeah that's it, self supported self navigated, nearly 80,000 feet of climb
Looks bloody hard. You will get some practice at the spine
Need a few more years running/walking the hills before that one. Having said that I watched the video for it from 2012 DVD and it looked kinda fun if your not trying to win. I think I'd happily go up and down hills and navigate all day if no urgency. One bit featured a group who stopped at a high refuge (Croix du Bonhomme I think), on a nice sunny looking day and were having a quick leffe
By mentioning this I'm not trying to detract from fact its probably the hardest terrain event of the 4, but it does have benefits of a less strict timetable. I guess the self management of rest, refreshments locations in a foriegn and unknown infrastructure could be the trickiet bit and would require lots of prep.
With it being a non-marked route I guess its just more like a british trail ultra (no wonder we won this year!)
I'd be very surprised if you weren't eminently suited to this one DE, from what I've read of your race history/training you'd be more than capable of it.
For me the points above recommend the race rather than detract from it, whilst the UTMB was very special the fact is I deliberately started at the back intending to avoid the mad start and then make my way through the field looking for around the 35 hour finish. Then I fell over. But up to that point I was never out of sight of another runner and most of the time I was within touching distance.
The PTL seems far more personal, it isn't a race so there's no 'winning' not that that would or could ever concern me, it's just about the team challenge of managing your journey across huge distances and climbs
PTL...that's one I've been umm'ing and err'ing about ever since I saw it. I reckon the appeal described by GKD is spot on...even (relatively) near the front of the TDS there were few moments of splendid isolation. I reckon the challenge of getting a team across the distances and climbs, with less regard for the clock and position, would be a zen-like race experience (no I'm not a hippy).
Not done the UTMB (yet) but as I understand it only the team leader has to have that stamp. Maybe next year.
And just to come out of the closet, I used poles on the TDS...bought them 10 days before, had no practice, but they were great on the climbs. Sorry!
For anyone interested, or just looking for something else to read at work, I got round to finishing my TDS write up - it's here.
Hi LR, read a bit of your report, so far so good (brilliant effort by the way - I feel just about qualified to say as one who tried and failed on my initial TDS attempt). Can also say Isolation is lesser still in the UTMB, certainly in first half. Doesn't take too much away from the glory of the surroundings, but you don't get as alone as you would doing say.... the end of a long Hardmoors event (where there are less than 200 starters), but that doesn't quite match up in the manner that you always feel closer to some kind of civilisation in the NYM.
PTL is a definate long range plan for me, but next year I think I'm going to stay domestic and enjoy some of the places nearer to home I've sadly overlooked. I might find that odd moment of splendid isolation along the way. Most alone I've felt was doing the seemingly not that remote Wolds way in one go starting overnight a few years ago, kinda lovely not to see anybody for about 8 hours, and weird things like not seeing an open shop for 70 miles. Enjoyed strange experiances like seeing a super-bright light for about an hour in the murk of the drizzly night, wondering what the hell it was as the route zig-zagged towards it to find it was a kind of beacon uplight in a farm near a village bathing the place in eerie white/green light (I thought I was about to be abducted ).
LR, that's a really good blog /race report- enjoyed it thanks.
The part about the trekking poles was amusing , I guess they arnt the easiet thing to test pre-race really..could go testing them whilst shopping in Tesco I suppose at the risk of kneecapping old ladies whilst practising folding and unfolding them
agree absolutely about the French style toilets at 95km being the last kind of manoeuvre you want to attemp at that point !
LR - enjoyed your report, especially as I got a mention! I was the Brit you chatted to in Bourg St Moritz, then briefly after as you overtook me as I was taking a sneaky breather on the climb afterwards. I remember the guy coming down the hill as I had a few words with him; he was Spanish and said he just couldn't face it once he'd seen how steep it was!
I didn't have a particulary good race, and finished a couple of hours after you. Being in 36th place at the first checkpoint probably indicates why I struggled later on. However I loved it and will almost certainly do it again. Having done 5 UTMBs (3 finishes), I'd say that mile for mile it's a little harder.
Doing the Abingdon marathon next weekend. Will be a good sign as to how much 5 ultras this summer have taken out of me.
Who is throwing their name into the hat for 2014?
I will be again for CCC.
Not me! I finally cracked it (UTMB) this year in perfect conditions and that's quite enough. I'll live with those memories because I don't think they can be topped.
Anyway it's too tough to go back a fourth time. I don't know how anyone can complete that PTL monster. Mucho respecto.
Thanks all...Dan that is a pretty quick start you had! I remember seeing you on the path after BSM as well, that climb was something else...
Jury's still out for the 2014 entry. It is a fantastic event, the TDS course was a blast and I'd like to have a crack at the UTMB at some point, but I'd also like to have a go at the GUCR, and 1 long run is enough for me per year (so says my Mrs...). So if I don't get a GUCR spot then maybe I'll sign up. Or maybe I'll do something really dumb like Ben and take on the Swiss IronTrail.
Would anyone mind giving me an estimate on how much the UTMB costs - this includes travel, accommodation, food etc as well as entry? Please.
I'm hoping to go for points next year with entry in 2015, but it would be nice to have a ball-park figure to budget on.
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