Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Mont Blanc Ultra Trail 2008 - to finish is to win!

Lots of people told me not to do it again, but I ignored them and ran the Mont Blanc Ultra Trail last weekend. It proved to be a success, but what a tough event!!
This race goes around the Mont Blanc massif, taking the trail of the famous Tour du Mont Blanc long distance hike. Generally walked in about 10 days, runners in the event have 46 hours to complete it. 166kms and 9400m of up and the same down - not to be underestimated!!

We left Chamonix at 6.30pm Friday evening and ran through two nights and one day. The weather was very hot which was good for the nights but hard for the days.

Many people abandoned (largely due to the heat I imagine).

I battled on and arrived back in Chamonix at 9.09am.

I suffered badly from blisters in the last 8 hours but was thrilled to succceed in this my second and last time on this race.

The winner was a young Spaniard who blitzed the course in just over 20 hours!! Lizzy Hawker from the UK was the first woman in something over 25 hours.

Many famous names dropped out - who knows why - but to all the folks who reached the finish line, Well Done!!

What a good summer!!

It's been a great summer for Trekking in the Alps. I had wonderful groups and we were rewarded with almost perfect weather.

The treks have gone really well ranging from the Tour of the Jungfrau Region, which is always so spectacular and certainly did not disappoint this time, to the Gran Paradiso where we successfully climbed Italy's highest mountain to the Tour of the Matterhorn with a fabulous ascent of the Breithorn.

Then there was the remote Tour of Mont Ruan where we battled rain for a couple of days but had sunshine for the rest and a fast climb up the Dents du Midi.

Not to mention our annual trekking and wine tasting week which came up with the goods on both counts. We based in Italy's Aosta valley and after some days hiking there we made our way over the glaciated Theodule Glacier to reach Zermatt for a couple of fine days at the end of the trip.

So now I am off to Corsica with a group of regulars which should be excellent.

It's time to think about next winter so check out the Snowshoeing calendar on my website: