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Welcome to my blog which I hope to develop with some interesting material on ultra running both on the trails and road including reports on races and interesting training runs, views on kit and equipment as well as anything else I find of interest. I love running for adventure, opportunity and well being. Enjoy!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc - 166km - 9400m +/-

I’ve now discovered the measure of a bad race; not being able to face the blog write-up for a week…….

My UTMB run was a massive personal disappointment; I finished way off target in 38th place, in a time of 27hours 28 minutes. I had high hopes this year, and for some reason, it just didn’t quite come together. To start with the heat was a big factor. My core body temperature was above what it should have been before the start, and then the humid early evening conditions had me suffering far too early on in the race. The sweat was pouring off on the first climb up Col de Voza, and I simply couldn’t get enough fluids and salts back into my body to keep everything working as it should do. Coupled with the heat my stomach was bad and simply wasn’t playing ball. It is a long standing problem which causes me trouble even when I’m not running, and it was just unfortunate that my recent bad patch coincided with the race. In the end it took nine hours – until Lac Combal – for me to settle down into the race properly, feel as though I was in control and to start running with some purpose.

In and out of Cormayeur I felt great, and at that point I actually felt it wasn’t too late to pull back enough time for a respectable finish. My climb up to Refuge Bertone was strong, and all the way up Val Ferret I was a new man, but perhaps not surprisingly, my troubles returned on the way up to Grand Col de Ferret to the extent that I was just getting plain frustrated. From there I was starting to lose time again when I desperately needed to be pushing on, and so followed a painfully slow down hill to Praz du Fort followed by a crawl up to Champex. There I met my fabulous support crew who tracked me right through to the end including Caroline and members of her family. They provided massive psychological support and dragged me through the final ups and downs of the race to ensure I did see it through. Without them the outcome would have been much worse, that’s for sure.

Without wanting to dwell too much on my personal disappointment, the UTMB race itself is undoubtedly going from strength to strength. It was great to be involved in what has to be the world’s biggest and best 100 miler - what other race comes close? Once again Chamonix had a special buzz from the race being in town and the support, organisation and strength of the field all matched the race's world class status. No doubt the bar will be raised even higher next year and even more people will want to be part of it.


John Kynaston said...

Thanks for writing up was obviously a tough race for you.

I hope you recover well and I look forward to reading about your future challenges.

John Kynaston

Vicky Little said...

Well done Jez.
You can take satisfaction from finishing the race even though you felt terrible.
I'm sure you'll have some more positive races soon.

Vicky Little

WHW Runner said...

Jez - I'm sure it is no consolation at the moment but you have run some incredible races this year, particularly the Fling and the Devil O. Maybe your body was just not ready for yet another performance of that magnitude? Although it wasn't what you wanted you still achieved a fabulous finish and I have no doubts you will be back even stronger. Hopefully we'll catch up at one of the WHW races next year. All the best Ian

Subversive Runner said...

Well done, Jez. Sorry you didn't achieve what you were definitely capable of but a fantastic achievement nonetheless.

Ellen said...


Your a class runner, you did great to keep going.


Hippo said...

Don't feel too bad Jez - it was still a fantastic effort and I see there were some notable DNF's again from both top UK and international runners.

Brian Mc said...

Next time, next time ... :-)

Anonymous said...

Well done Jez, You have to have bad races to have good races, see you soon mate, Bri cole