2 Weeks to the UTMB.
I had arrived in the Vercors with Rachel two weeks prior to the UTMB and took advantage of living at just over 1000m Altitude. The first day was a fast run down the valley to Autran at a very quick pace. Everything felt great and later on that day I did another 9km with Rachel up to about 1300m. It was a good first day especially after flying etc and I was out running in hot conditions.
|Running up to 1300m on a good forrest track|
|Me and Rachel plodding on|
The next day we did a 21km trip out, climbing up to 1440m and again running on solid forrest tracks in the baking sun, with some of the tree canopy offering some protection from the Sun.
Our next trip out after a day off was from Villard-des- Lans from about 1150m following a mixture of ski routes up to the Col des Deax Soeurs at 2056m. On the return we got caught out in a quick thunderstorm which soon cleared, and after leaving our pine tree shelter, we carried on the descent back to the Start. About 18km done and over 1000m of ascent.
My last run in this area was to go out on my own and do the same route as a few days ago, but to power all the way up to the col (2056m), and descend by slightly a different and longer route completing a 21km run and again over 1000m of climbing in a good time of 2h:41mins without breaking myself.
|The 2000m plus peaks|
|enjoying the warmth at 2020m|
We then moved to the area of Peisey Nancroix near Bourg St Maurice, now staying up at 1440m there was good scope to get a good run in here.
Maybe I got carried away, but this was going to be my last long run before the UTMB which was only days away.
The only problem was My Garmin Fenix which was still struggling to add the total amount of ascent up. This resulted in me emailing Garmin. This resulted in their reply of a major reset and updating the software on the unit. Did this work, well the pressure altimeter had settled down and seem to be working again, but watch this space!
I did this run once more followed by a steady jog along the UTMB route to Chamonix and back. It is worth saying at this stage I saw this distinct runner on several occasions and sure it was Anton Kupricka, or a lookalike. This was the last bit of running before the main event. The rest of the time was spent going round the UTMB salon and chatting to other runners and looking at lots and lots of kit for sale, wow, I have never seen so much running kit.
|the view from about 1600m looking down the Chamonix valley|
|At last 6 days before the race and I can feel the atmosphere in Chamonix :)|
This is easy as I could run in shorts and light T shirt, on the longer 30km run I wore my compression shorts and calf socks. The Salomon Hat kept the sun off my head together with the excellent Sportech S'Track glasses, they do a good job of not steaming up, keeping the sun out of my eyes and they are so light they are un noticeable on my head and no pressure points from the frame. I ran with a mixture of my 15l Omm pack and my Salomon Slab 12l pack. The Salomon will be used on the UTMB. The trainers I used were Salomon Ultras and Mizuno Wave Harrier 3, with Salomon shoes been the choice of my race shoe.
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