Sunday, 29 August 2010

UTMB - as it finished

Been following a few mates all weekend - they did an incredible job. From a selection of people en route tweeting/blogging, here's what happened in the midst of all the confusion (as far as I can tell anyway):

The full race (166km/103miles) was cancelled at Col de la Seigne due to severe weather and landslide http://bit.ly/bpzE3U Everyone was bused back to Chamonix and 1300 selected to run a mini-UTMB the following day at 10am - starting from Cormayeur. http://bit.ly/9G9jTe

A lot of unhappy people but generally recognised that safety comes first. A few of the North Face guys properly upset from disappointment http://bit.ly/9lEFM1 (Check the muscle strapping - amazing) The weather was grim. One lead runner of the CCC rolled in with mild hypothermia! Here's a video of the organisers explaining why the race was cancelled http://bit.ly/9lpKlE

The restart route course followed that of the CCC, which happens every year in addition to the full course and starts at Cormayeur. It is 98km (60miles). The weather at the start was pretty good, sun was out, but in patches throughout the day it continued to be uber-shite. Here's a vid of the start http://bit.ly/cVex4o Check out the cloud level and snow in the background. Reports of snow down as low as 2000-2500 metres during the night looked to be true.

Some of the elite runners, such as Killian Journet, who won the full route last year - opted not to run the shorter route. In the end, Jez Bragg won in 10:30:37, 8 minutes ahead of Mike Wolfe (fellow runner from the jungle). Lizzie Hawker won for the 3rd time - making it a double Brit win (11:47:30). Ace. Here's Jez's pre-race interview http://bit.ly/JezBraggUTMB. Here's mid-race video http://bit.ly/c7SZiz and here's a video of Mike & Jez at the end http://bit.ly/a0SCdl (Incredible effort Mike!) As you can see - the end of this race is unbelievable in terms of spectator support - it's also like that for the normal people amongst us too. You've got to experience it - its amazing.

So, here's how Alex and Nick faired on their first trip to the best race in the world:

Nick 'I have a permanent smile' Wright, and a mate called Joe Gale ran together and finished together. Results put these guys across the finish line in 18:18:17 & 18:18:18 - 434th and 435th. Damned excellent effort Nick. Here's a breakdown of your race http://utmb.livetrail.net/coureur.php?type=dossard&rech=3944

As for Mr Alex 'the student who runs like a horse' Bamford, he had a cracker too. He got to the 1st checkpoint in 568th position. He finished in 208th and 101st in his category (23-39yrs). Supreme effort. He crossed the line in 16:06:34. Here's your journey http://utmb.livetrail.net/coureur.php?type=dossard&rech=4160 Brilliant.

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