By Darren Roberts
It's hard not to feel very jealous of the folks starting the race today. The UTMB is possibly one of the biggest physical and mental experiences of your life. It was awesome last year. 106 miles with 28000 feet of ascent, passing through 3 countries - France > Italy > Switzerland > France. Jaw-dropping scenery.
My thoughts go out to 5 people today: Alex Bamford - my team-mate on The Jungle Marathon, Nick Wright - a fellow-runner from The Namibian 24-hour Ultra, Andrew 'Bullet' James - an old Army buddy, Tracy Garneau and Mike Wolfe - fellow runners on The Jungle Marathon, who also race for The North Face. All top, top people.
2 hours + ago, they all started the UTMB 2010. Mike and Tracy spoke about the race on a bit of content that The North Face published. Click here to view the video
My thoughts however linger on Alex and Bullet. Alex texted me today to say that he had woken up this morning with some sort of fever and didn't feel at all well. Didn't sound good but could just be 'race fever' I guess. Whatever it is - 106 miles with the flu is shite - he's hard though - hope he's still going..
The other is Bullet. He's nails. He's also a proper old school gent and a bit of a loon. He came 1st in the Lakeland 50 this year in a quite stunning time of 7hrs 46mins (or something like that anyway - awesome). He went to Chamonix a few weeks ago to 'test' the route out - and ended up pulling a muscle or something. He's gone dark since and I have no idea if he started today... but his aim is to beat the British record of 24 hours or something.
Who knows.... we will in 30-20 hours or so.... I remember last years race, thinking "I've been running for 2 days and folks back home have got up, done a days of stuff and gone to bed twice"
They'll start the race to this Conquest of Paradise