Wow, imagine lining up for the biggest event of your life and having it canceled 20k into the race due to a landslide in Italy..the mental let down and disappointment was unmeasurable.
As I entered the Saint-Gervais aid station (20k) there where runners everywhere on their phones standing around in the pouring rain? I went weaving through the runners to leave the aid station and was stopped to learn race over, time immediately slowed down as I stood there in the pouring rain stunned in disbelief. I began searching for my team mates Cory Johnson and Jodie Chase to figure out what was next, the dream was over.
So we picked our chins off the ground and took trains back to Chamonix to watch the CCC runners finish from a local pub. After several pints of beer with Cory and my crew who drove from Germany to help with the race, Gus and Lindsey, I received a text from my old team mate Bryon Powell (2:45 a.m.), make up race bus leaves for Coumayeur, Italy at 6:30 a.m. My first thought was I’m mentally spent, there is no way I can get myself back up for another race with two hours sleep and beer for breakfast. Despite the obvious I talked Cory to get out of bed put on our wet shoes and go try again.
So we go to Coumayeur to start the race and the TDS runners were there with fresher legs and a normal night sleep? In fact I didn’t even know how the long the race was at this point until Mike Wolfe (2nd place) told me were running the last part of the UTMB, a 100k. off we went, the first 20 miles really stunk and then my pole broke, so I sucked it up in the rain and mud pushed on with one pole and passed dozens of people all day to complete the toughest 100k run ever in 16.5 hours? It’s really hard to tell how well we did with two groups of runners all combined in one result..?
Anyways, game over.
Hats off to the UTMB Race Staff for pulling together the second race..I’ll be back !