From a runners point of view it's logistically a very easy way to attempt such a distance. From a race organisers point of view it's 3k for a weekend's work, it's not something I think I'll ever be interested in but he only needs to find 30 people who are and it's mission acomplished.
For me the Irontrail distances mean it will never be as popular as UTMB, 200k is a serious undertaking in that environment and 140k is just a bit awkward. 100k and 100m are classic distances which will always draw people in.
Very nice write up Dill and congrats on the run, a good show of character and proof that if you want it enough then you can make it happen. I'm hoping you get through the WS draw just so we get another quality write up!
There's no hiding the fact Chamonix is an expensive place to stay, but the whole vibe around the town is something you just don't get with UK ultras and really adds to the experience. I remember finishing CCC and thinking 'how the hell do people manage UTMB', and inevitably this has only made me want it more!
Good question. I think there are two main reasons:
- it starts on a Wednesday
- it doesn't neatly fit into a distance bracket
UTMB has a certain prestige and is about 100 miles, CCC is about 100k and shares a good chunk of the UTMB course. TDS is somewhere between the two and as far as I know a large part of it is off the UTMB course. Given its difficulty I don't think you'd look at it as a stepping stone to UTMB in the same way you might with CCC.
That said, with the popularity of the series and ultra running in general, I wouldn't be surprised if next years TDS requires a draw, I think it was pretty close this year.