Thursday, March 6, 2014

UT4M vs UTMB

I've wanted to participate in the Mont Blanc Ultra Trail (100 miles, 33'000 feet elevation) since hearing about it in 2006. Every year, something got in the way of being able to register... Most recently it was my DNF at the Traces des Ducs de Savoie (TDS) race that prevented me from getting the necessary qualifying points. But as luck has it, a new race has now been organized with the same mileage and elevation in Grenoble, France, and takes place only a week before: the UT4M.



I have David at Running Planet Genève to thank for this great discovery, the answer to my dilemma...

Not only could I register immediately, but there are at least three times fewer participants. The UTMB as it was in its first years? The UT4M promises to be more technical, therefore perhaps more challenging even, but at least it starts on a Friday morning at 5.30 am, rather than 6pm like the UTMB which forces most people to run through two nights... And though the Mont Blanc won't be there as a backdrop, the region around Grenoble (where the 1968 Winter Olympics were held) will certainly be spectacular.

I'm excited. Not sure I even want to compete in the UTMB anymore. Too much hype, too many people. Now I just need to train... As in the past, I am hoping to raise money for charity - so stay "posted".


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