In less than 24 hours, I will be at the starting line for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc.
This is a 168 km running race held at altitude over rough mountain trails in the alps of France, Italy and Switzerland. The course has 9.6 km of vertical gain (32,000 feet) and the equivalent in loss. Much of the course is over 8000 feet and the current weather forecast is for rain, snow, sleet and down to -10 celcius with high winds.
The enormity of this race has sunk in after the last number of days running sections of the trail and driving to some of the aid stations. The amount of climbing and the type of terrain is hard to explain.
I sat down this evening for dinner with my crew and discussed how they will manage the high mountain roads with the forecast of snow and subzero temperatures. I have never looked for snow chains in August before.
I feel very prepared and I am looking forward to the run. If you are interested in following this event, there are some online resources at:
Televised at http://www.ultratrail.tv/en/
Follow me on twitter @runningthenorth
Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jeff.hunter.9822
Live runner tracking
http://utmb.livetrail.net/nexxtep.php?course=utmb Runner number 3182
and http://www.nexxtep.fr/UTMB/FR/Reperages/UTMB/ Runnber number 3182
I’d really like to thank Falcon Drilling and Queensway Autoworld for their support with UTMB and the 2012 racing season. There is no way I could be here without them.