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@utmbmontblanc 29:28:19 - 148th place, 31st in age category Words can’t describe this race, the mountains to that for themselves. Incredible experience, an eye opener to what the UTMB race is. The amazing mountains we get to climb & the steep descending felt endless at times. Knowing it would be the downhills that would do the damage I was conscious of how I was controlling my leg turn over. Besides the period at night where I was suffering altitude sickness, i felt mostly in control and was ok climbing, the Europeans were efficient with the poles, I held steadily on the climbs, from the daylight and about 100km into the race. I found a group that we were all around each other and pretty much regrouping at the next checkpoints. So was good to have some familiar faces. Even though no words weee needed. We all were in the same pain cave.

Arriving into Switzerland the temperature heated up and running through the towns, there were water fountains, taking advantage of the water, dunking my hat and buff to try and cool my body down. There were enough aid stations to get through with just 1 litre of fluids, found I was getting through enough Tailwind each sections. But only having Nicole @ Champex-Lac and Trient, meant I had to use Naak for electrolytes I read of tailwind, besides my drop bag at Courmayer.

Overall Nutrition was good, 1 litre of fluid at each checkpoint, 3 cliff bars and 1 Naak bar, 4 packs of Cliff blocks, about 24 anti fatigue tabs from Hammer nutrition. These are for managing magnesium and potassium in the muscles to prevent muscle breakdown and fatiguing. Did not get one cramp the entire race, felt a couple of twinges if I tripped on a rock or something but everything felt spot on. At each checkpoint I grabbed an extra drink of water. I only had a cup of coke at Vallorcine. I didn’t have much caffeine the entire race, as Naak didn’t have caffeine and the 4 bottles of Tailwind I had from Nicole were caffeinated, so didn’t rely on caffeine during the 29 hrs.

I had kept Nicole waiting most of the day and hadn’t seen her since an hour before the start of the race. She was stuff in traffic on the bus to Saint Gervais and Les Contamines so missed her at the first checkpoint. Knowing it was going to be a long night day for her. I was about 3 hrs off schedule by the time arriving at Champex-Lac, mostly the time I lost through the night heading to Courmayer. She had been there since 9:30am, and I think I was there at 1pm. Oops. Was special to see her and to let her know how I was tracking. How I had felt towards the start of the race. I had thoughts, doubts of getting through this at Les Contamines and into Courmayer. So was probably a blessing that it had been all day, helping me push through to get to see Nicole. That 21k from Grand Col Ferrett, felt likely forever trying to get to Nicole. But wow what a climb that was out of Courmayer!!

Pushing on and I only felt stronger on the climbs, quads were getting beat up on the descent’s but still ok, think it was more subconscious of the pain in my Quads that prevented me from letting Myself go down the hills at times, had to try and motivate myself to let go. Leaving Trient, Home stretch out of Switzerland. Nicole wasn’t going to met me at Vallorcine as not to risk missing the finish. We climbed up and out to Les Tseppes, another long climb Reaching 30k to to go, 3 Aussies battling it out, Henri and Luke, coming into Vallorcine decided to work together and we pushed each other up to La Flegere.

With the change of course due to a rock fall the course had changed and the final climb was more difficult than usual. The sun had just set as we started the climb, so was good to have company in the night. Hiking through and up to Le Flegere, I could feel myself struggling again, with a headache and lightness in the head, but having Luke in front and Henri behind held me push through the altitude and reached the top, we regrouped and no more Climbing !! A long descent d back into Chamonix ! Making our way down, was steep at first and this was the only time I had soreness in my feet, the entire day my shoes weee great, the S/Lab Genesis no rubbing on my toes, no blisters or hot spots. I had only now just started to feel the balls of my feet from all the rocks pounding the descent into Chamonix. 2-3k from th finish we broke off to soak in our own finishes and celebrate the achievement, which in turn ended in a shoey because 4 Aussies crosses line after each other What a finish line though, you exit out of the trails and into the road into town, which I ended up turning the wrong way and had to back track, missed a flag before realising and had to run back and saw the other two runners now ahead.

But running through town, even at 11pm at night, lots of cheers as you weaved through the streets getting to take it all in and running down that blue carpet to the finish race !! Seeing Nicole’s there was special and thanks to Dan for meeting at the final turn and videoing me finishing. Thanks to everyone that has been a part of the journey, SNL team have been the foundations and the family that makes these crazy adventures so much fun. Nicole I love you Now you can have your European holiday To the team that came over. Well done so proud of you. We trained the best we could with what we have in Australia and or costed to us in Newcastle. But there is nothing close to what we experienced out there. The mental strength was there though and I think you can all say you were there mentally and have the race of your life’s. Giving it you best shot and leaving no regrets !!! That is all you can ask of yourself.

A bucket race done, may years of watching and before knowing what this race was and only thinking of how crazy it was. To have now finished UTMB. Wo Words can’t describe or explain that course and those Mountains. You are found out there, you can’t go there with half a hope of getting around, you have to be fit and able to get through that courses!! Would say the descending will be your undoing for most of it.


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