Andrew Thomas, I am the complete opposite to you. I labour up hills (I do a lot of hillwork though, and am definitely improving) but I fly down them at a dangerous pace. I do a lot of overtaking downhill in races. The way I see it, it's free speed!
It says non navigational and that it has "shocking inclines that ALMOST have you on your hands and knees" so no climbing either, although if the ground underfoot is particularly icy or snowy, I'm guessing you'd have a bit of scrambling to do.
Is Costo-Sternal syndrome similar to costochondritis do you know? I had a touch of that a few years back. It didn't last too long and luckily, hasn't returned.
It's the challenge, simple as that. It's harder than running the same distance point to point or in a loop because it takes a hell of a lot of mental power to keep turning round and going back up the hill. Fair enough, it doesn't appeal to me either, but that doesn't mean I don't see the point.
Also, if you think that's a crazy race, you should check out this:
Another good report Dill. Nice blog too, just read through your other reports, interesting reading.
If I only ever got to do one more race, UTMB would be the one I'd choose. the expense, distance and terrain all frighten me to death though so whether or not I ever will, who knows. It won't be any time soon, that's for sure.