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Discussion Forum - Events - Ultra Tour of Mont Blanc/CCC


Author: Amanda Wigens
Posted: Mon 20th Sep 2010, 19:33
Joined: 1986
Local Group: Essex & Herts
Hi Steve
I believe the UTMB is always held on the last full weekend of August. I do not think the French have the bank holiday as we do so am not sure what happens if the Sunday is the 31st, although we have until 2014 to find out.
Entry for 2010 was 40% oversubscribed and it may be worse this year if some priority is given to those 2010 entrants as you may have heard the race was stopped after just 12 miles due to 24hrs of bad weather.
The only good for me that came of it was that with walking alone I was going to make the first cut-off with ease.
At least I have my entry qualification already sorted with consecutive Fellsmans.
Regards
John
Author: Steve Platt
Posted: Wed 25th Aug 2010, 22:29
Joined: 2005
Local Group: London
Good luck to all 2010 entrants. Are the dates fixed for 2011, does anyone know? Is it always held over the August bank holiday?
Author: Amanda Wigens
Posted: Tue 17th Aug 2010, 20:30
Joined: 1986
Local Group: Essex & Herts
Author: Jeff Campbell
Posted: Sun 15th Aug 2010, 17:11
Joined: 1984
Local Group: Surrey
Author: Amanda Wigens
Posted: Sat 14th Aug 2010, 21:30
Joined: 1986
Local Group: Essex & Herts
I think you're in a different league from me. It could be a tortoise and hare syndrome. Any time under 46 hrs is fine by me.
I have been walking LDWA events for the past 25 years and will regularly aim to finish among the joggers doing events like this years 27 mile Harden Hard'un in 6hr 44, and qualified with couple of slowish Fellsman crossings mainly due to the grouping system and having to cross Middle Tongue in the dark.

So in that respect like Jamie's posting from last year, I recon the average pace is possible for a strong walker who is good on the ups, and if the gradient is such, a jog on the downs is not out of the question here.
The first cut-off allows requires 3.14mph average to 19miles with 4767ft of climb after that the required average goes steadily down to 2.25mph. My concern after speaking to a past competitor could be queueing at some early checks and losing time, he suggested doing it the French way, with robust use of elbows!

The weather in Chamonix is amazing in how it changes. We were there walking over the bank holiday last year - 4 days in shorts, T-shirts and sunscreen and then 2 days walking in the snow! Hopefully it will stay fine for us.

We fly out from City airport on the Wednesday so any UNITE strikes should not affect us.
Hoping you arrive safely also and look forward to seeing your finishing times.

John
Author: Paul Miller
Posted: Sun 1st Aug 2010, 19:55
Joined: 1986
I'll be there, now in less than 4 weeks on the start line in Chamonix for the UTMB. There are 3 from my running club going over, one who did it in 2008 but wants to do it justice this year and is aiming for sub 30 hours. The other is a very strong runner (sub 14 hour Fellsman), and although he's done the Bob Graham Round last year, the distance is far beyond anything he has done.

Myself, well I'm hoping that my experience of having done 12 LDWA Hundreds (distance) and the Bob Graham 2 years ago (climbing) will see me through. The aim is to walk the uphills and jog the level and less steep downhills. I'll be taking things fairly easily early on as I want to reach Courmayeur (just short of half way) still feeling reasonably fresh. Then see how it goes in the second half of the course.

Mixed feelings of anticipation and trepidation, which will no doubt increase as the days pass by,

I'll look out for you on the start line :)

Cheers

Paul
Author: Amanda Wigens
Posted: Sun 11th Jul 2010, 18:20
Joined: 1986
Local Group: Essex & Herts
With just 7 weeks to go now before this years trials in the Alps, are there any LDWA members who share my pre-event butterflys?

John Wigens
Posted: Thu 26th Feb 2009, 16:18
Joined: 2008
Thanks for the information Jeff. I will see how I get on with the Wessex at the end of May, which will be my first 100.
Author: Jeff Campbell
Posted: Thu 26th Feb 2009, 0:21
Joined: 1984
Local Group: Surrey
Jamie:

I think you'd be hard pushed to walk the UTMB in the available time. I finished it safely last year, running wherever I could but I was slow on the uphill sections (and - with 9500m of ascent - there is the odd climb or two!). With ideal conditions, good checkpoint discipline and a very fast walking pace you could probably do it. Some sections are so steep and so long that no normal people run them anyway, so if you capitalise on your strengths (uphill or whatever) you should just scrape in. Perhaps you could enjoy a walking holiday there and time yourself over a few sections. Just remember you'll have 2 nights without sleep and it is completely weather dependant, but the crowd support and camaraderie work wonders on a tired body! Without doubt it's one of the highlights of my running career and if you have a reasonable chance of finishing within the time you really should do it! Don't forget the shorter CCC - that was my first event in the Alps, and with just the one night (and only 100km or so) it is an excellent taster for the main event.

Jeff
Posted: Thu 12th Feb 2009, 9:38
Joined: 2008
Hello, I'm curious. Does one need to run in order to meet the time limits for this event or can a fast walker complete the event successfully? This event excites my psyche but I'm no runner. Thanks in advance. Jamie
Author: Julie Gardner
Posted: Tue 3rd Feb 2009, 18:27
Joined: 2000
Local Group: High Peak
Author: Jeff Campbell
Posted: Sun 7th Dec 2008, 22:23
Joined: 1984
Local Group: Surrey
Author: Fiona Cameron
Posted: Fri 26th Sep 2008, 9:47
Joined: 2003
Local Group: Surrey
Jeff Campbell, John Cunnane, Fabrice Leistner & Matt Neale all finished, so huge congratulations to them. Julian Brown and his team complete the Petite Trot de Leon (the long route). Jo Miles retired at Champex, and Dave Whitehead and I (separately) had to pull out at Courmayeur.

I felt fine leaving the cp at Les Chapiuex but about half way up the climb to the Col de la Seigne I started being sick and had no energy. I got down to the cp at Lac Combal eventually and tried to eat and drink something but could feel that it hadn't settled and I hadn't gone far up the climb up the Mont Favre Arete before I was throwing up again. By that time it was getting very hot, and there is no shade, so I was getting very dehydrated. I was going glacially slowly, and I had pretty much reconciled myself to being timed out at Courmayeur so I was surprised to get there with 15minutes to spare. However, it wasn't really enough time to recover, especially knowing that there is a pig of a climb straight out of the town. So, my event finished with a trip back through the Mt Blanc tunnel to Chamonix and I was back in my hotel in time to hear the cheers as the winner - Killian Jornet - finished in just under 22hrs. I spent most of the Sunday down in the square in Chamonix watching runners coming in - fantastic atmosphere and great scenes.

The entry for next year is all by ballot but I do have enough qualification points, so my name will be in the hat for another go.
Author: Tony Deall
Posted: Tue 16th Sep 2008, 18:26
Joined: 1985
Local Group: Cumbria
Any reports or stories from those who participated?
Author: Fiona Cameron
Posted: Sat 23rd Aug 2008, 9:58
Joined: 2003
Local Group: Surrey
For those heading to Chamonix this week to participate in any of the races, there is a meet up of some of the Brits on Thursday around 8pm-ish in the bar of the HOtel Gustavia in Chamonix. The hotel is opposite the railway station on the RH corner of Av Michel Croz, as you face the station. It;s a big white-washed building. The bar entrnce is on the Av side of the corner.

All welcome for a session of communal fretting and bragging about how little training we've done. Hope to see some of you there.
Author: Dennis Gilbert
Posted: Sun 10th Aug 2008, 11:31
Joined: 2003
Local Group: Bristol & West
Having just returned from walking the TMB I was most interested to read the comments of LDWA members who are attempting the Ultra Tour. We had ten days of wonderful walking in ideal conditions and the most spectacular scenery and en route we met many runners who were obviously traing for the UTMB. I have great admiration for all those who attempt this challenge and I wish our members every success.
Author: Tony Deall
Posted: Tue 29th Jul 2008, 22:43
Joined: 1985
Local Group: Cumbria
Author: John Patrick Cunnane
Posted: Sun 27th Jul 2008, 22:08
Joined: 1998
Local Group: South Wales
Hi Fiona,

It's good to pre-walk the route. I will do that from 13/17 August then rest before the event.
It's vital to set out at the start at a solid but modest pace. The event is successfully completed by keeping your strength up and saving energy for the second half, deliberately avoiding blowing it early on.
The main aim for me at least being to get through the key time-limited checkpoints with enough time to feel comfortable.
That is impossible if you run like a mad thing on the first section to Les Houches - let the others get on with that if it's what they want - they reach Les Houches 10/15 minutes faster, and you can then take many of them in the following 158km because they've knackered themselves.
The Col de Voza isn't the worst climb in my view - it's just the first really hard one but, if you keep steady, you have the descent to St Gervais to relax a bit.
The Bonhommes are hard and the descent to Les Chapieux is treacherous. Treat this as a danger zone - you will certainly fall, probably several times, and you need to avoid serious injury so go slow here.
My main concern is the new climb to the Tete aux Vents above Flegere, near the end. This is a cruel extra section devised by masochists and needs careful planning. We all must keep lots of energy in reserve to tackle the extremely steep & long climb up there.
Best training I feel (apart from walking the route in advance or similar in the Alps)is lots of longer hilly LDWA walks where you can run parts of the event. Also some running off-road - although this for many is only needed to speed you over those limited parts of the route where you can actually run/jog, to reach the checkpoints ahead of closing times.

Keep up the good training! And see you in Chamonix.

John.
Author: Fiona Cameron
Posted: Sun 27th Jul 2008, 14:09
Joined: 2003
Local Group: Surrey
Just back from walking the TMB - over 2 weeks, rather than 46 hours. Went with Sherpa (highly recommended) as holiday/recce for the UTMB.

We did the UTMB route except for 2 days sections - from Trient we went over the Col de Balme to Argentiere, and UTMB goes over Catogne to Vallorcine then up to the Col de Montets; and we took the high level route from Chamonix to Les Houches via Le Brevent, rather than the riverside route; and from the Col de Voza we went via the Col du Tricot to Les Contamines instead of the UTMB route via La Charme & St Gervais.

The scenery is outstanding - I have so many photos of Mt Blanc! Apart from getting in some good hill training, it has been really helpful to get the geography and orientation of the route sorted.

I know a lot depends on the weather (and we only had one wet day, at the start) but I found the hardest climb to be the one up to the Col de Voza, which will be the first. Just a horrid gravel landrover track for 3-4km at about 20% gradient. I ended up doing it at the end of the 2 weeks, when I should have been fit, but I thought I was going to die! And it wasn't helped when a gaggle of leggy locals - all muscle and sinew - power-walked past me looking very casual. Even the guy they dropped from the pede-ton passed me as I huffed and puffed my way to the top.

How's everyone else's training going?
Posted: Wed 13th Feb 2008, 21:45
Joined: 2007
Hi Fiona,

I'm doing the UTMB this year. I did it and finished last year. It's an excellent course with fantastic organisation. Looks like next year will be a draw for everyone. Apparently all the places were gone in minutes this year. I had to pull out with hypothermia in 2006 so concentrated on getting round last year. Happy to join in the discussion for this years event.
Author: Matt Neale
Posted: Tue 29th Jan 2008, 17:21
Joined: 2005
Local Group: Lakeland
Hi Fiona

If you want to exchange info over the coming months on email, rather than the open discussion forum, my email is matt dot ranger at btinternet dot com.

matt
Author: Fiona Cameron
Posted: Mon 28th Jan 2008, 16:34
Joined: 2003
Local Group: Surrey
It's only the first 5 home in each team whose times count in the team challenge, so anyone who wants to go for glory can do so. I am just hoping to get round intact, and inside 40 hours would be nice. I just thought it might be a good way of giving the LDWA a bit of a profile boost.

What's everyone doing about accommodation, and travel, and how long are you planning on staying before/after? Are you going en famille, or travelling alone?
Author: Matt Neale
Posted: Sun 27th Jan 2008, 21:36
Joined: 2005
Local Group: Lakeland
Hi

I got an entry through the final ballot.

Never done the event before and trying to gather \ share info about the event and organisation. I'm happy joining up with others , but a bit concerned about being part of a 'time aware' team, as i might be too slow. I'll be happy to finish this one!


Matt (not affiliated to a group), Garsdale Head, York Dales.
Author: Matt Neale
Posted: Sun 27th Jan 2008, 21:34
Joined: 2005
Local Group: Lakeland
Author: Matt Neale
Posted: Sun 27th Jan 2008, 21:32
Joined: 2005
Local Group: Lakeland
Author: Janet Hill
Posted: Sun 27th Jan 2008, 19:20
Joined: 1988
Local Group: West Yorkshire
I've got in thro the Main Entry, would be happy to join a team . My first time -so no experience to share.

Ian H
Author: Tony Willey
Posted: Thu 24th Jan 2008, 9:08
Joined: 1989
Local Group: Lakeland
John,
Sorry about that. I have had the same problem of long submissions "timing out". My solution was to write the item in Word then paste it into the forum. We will take a look at the problem.
Tony
Author: John Patrick Cunnane
Posted: Wed 23rd Jan 2008, 23:12
Joined: 1998
Local Group: South Wales
Hi Fiona,

I've just drafted a long reply to you on this thread but it was wiped by the LDWA website forum page when I tried to "preview" it.

In case the same happens I won't risk a redraft - but have had experience of the UTMB so happy if you send me an e-mail.

See you soon - are you doing the Welly Boot?

Regards,

John.
Author: Fiona Cameron
Posted: Wed 23rd Jan 2008, 20:03
Joined: 2003
Local Group: Surrey
Who else is in?

I got in via the ballot, as did Pete Simpson. Jeff Campbell got in through the main entry.

This year there is a team challenge - register team of individuals from the same club/company/association and the top 5 finishers score for the team. The team with the lowest number of points comes top. Are there enough of us to make an LDWA team?

Are there any words of advice and encouragement from those who have done this before?

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