Sunday, 5 September 2010

What a difference a day makes......

Last weekend should have a once in a lifetime experience for many trail runners, who had spent months training for and dreaming about the Mont Blanc Ultra Trail. Sadly, atrocious weather led the organisers to call off the event after just a few hours. A shorter race was put on next day, but many runners were not aware of this and had already gone home. Whilst the decision to cancel was totally understandable, this must have come as a devastating blow to those who had stood on the startline, listened to the race music, and set off on this fabulous adventure, only to have their dreams dashed soon after. As someone who has had the great good fortune to finish this race twice, I understand and sympathise with their extreme disappointment.

My Tour du Mont Blanc trek started on the Sunday in reasonable weather, but Monday was rainy, cold, foggy and fairly unpleasant. We plodded our way around in deep mud and a smattering of snow. Luckily there were a couple of very welcome caf├ęs en route.

However, from Tuesday onwards we enjoyed superb conditions - clear skies, non-stop sunshine, crystal clear views...really as good as it gets. If only the Ultra Trail would have been this weekend, instead of last.

Of course, people don't always realise how lucky they are......but anyone who wasn't blown away by the beauty of the mountains this week is certainly missing something. And we had 5 days to stand and stare as the TMB route rarely takes you away from these vistas. Occasionally I think people miss the point and concentrate on the insignificant messy details of routine life - a cold shower, a tired afternoon, not quite the meal you were hoping for - but really in these conditions all you had to do was lift up your eyes and marvel at those mountains. I'm sure those thwarted UTMB runners would have sold their souls for such conditions!
Here ends my lesson for this week!!