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Thread: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc 2008

  1. #31

    Re: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

    In reply to: the_only_way_is_up
    Well done for going for it and getting an entry. One of the best races I've ever done, i'm sure you'll enjoy it.
    This race does seem to take most of the year to get ready for. I've got an entry again this year and the way that I view it is that my training starts now - Yikes!.
    I've started to plan long races - not that I'll be racing hard but to ensure I get the miles and climbing in - the runfurther (www.runfurther.com) series is quite good for this. I also found the fellsman (or another event of this length) to be excellent training. Also some night time running is great (the first night is very long and unless you're really quick you'll probably see the next one!)- some BG support maybe. A group of us also recce'd the route over 4 days and this I'm sure we'll definitely do this again.
    I didn't use poles last year - but I'm tempted to use them this year as everyone who used them I spoke to thought it was worth it. But I'll need to practice and get my technique right.
    I noticed that the winner (marco Olmo) used road shoes last year but I prefer trail shoes (was a bit slippy going down to Les Chapieux) - montrail for me.
    If you have any questions for the "run like a girl team" let me know as I know them quite well.

  2. #32
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    Re: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

    Raidlight poles seem to be widely rcommended. They are the lighest on the market and collapsable but not adjustable although available in two lengths. www.likeys.com have them with 5% discount at the moment.

  3. #33
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    Re: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

    thank you all for the advice. I'll dust off my poles.

    I think one of the main difficulties for me will be deciding what pace to set off at and what (if any) objective to set myself at the start other than just finishing. And then how to be flexible with that objective and still enjoy the experience if things don't go as well as i'd hoped.

    I know what fitness I need for a Bob Graham Round. How do people think the fitness required for the UTMB differs from that ? My guess is that the UTMB is a lot more runnable but harder underfoot.

    Cheers

    Jo

  4. #34
    Senior Member saz's Avatar
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    Re: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

    according to friends who have done both the BG is easier - I have yet to attempt that so can not comment.

    But, the ground is trails, in the latter stages it at times is rockier and requires a bit of clambering

    the other major difference is the length of the hills - the BG has 42 peaks, the TMB a lot less so longer and often less steep climbs and descents

  5. #35
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    Re: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

    I've done the Paddy Buckley and am expecting this to be far harder. It's a similar climb, but 30-40 miles longer, Ok on trails and less clambering, but still I reckon it will be significantly harder.

    I also think not having support, well people you know with you, loads of change of clothes/shoes options, and possibly 2 nights out, means its also harder for those reasons.

    we'll see...

  6. #36
    Senior Member Full Moon Addict's Avatar
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    Re: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

    the main difference apart from the length is the size of the climbs and descents. in the Uk you generally go up a bit and down a bit. On the UTMB its up for 10 miles, down 10 miles, etc. Don't underestimate the effect of that. Also I find running on the level difficult after all those miles. Up I can cope with, down too, but the levels are the hardest in my view. Picking up your legs when they are stiff and tired isn't easy. The start time doesn't suit me either. You hang around for hours and really just want to get on with it, but by the time you actually start you're almost straight in to the night and then tired to start with.

    Do avail yourself of the massage available. Its great!


  7. #37
    Member MarkR's Avatar
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    Re: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

    I'm not sure if there is one standard approach, but here's my take.
    I didn't use poles (in 2006) and saw only one other runner making effective use of them; if you do use them, make sure you've got lots of practice first.
    Start eating early and continue throughout - there's a checkpoint every 5 miles or so - but there is so much food available you need to know what works best for you, and only pick what you need; by halfway I'd settled into a feeding routine involving a bread roll dunked into the soup, together with coffee and coke.
    Shoes - I used Inov-8 Flyrocs; they were great on all the surfaces - ice, rock, mud, road, trail.
    I got injured earlier in the year, and missed out a lot of my planned training; my longest training run/race was only 30 miles. As a result I kept the pace low at the start not wanting to encourage the injury to reappear, but later on I overtook loads of others - most were walking by that stage. I think my cautious start ensured that I paced myself better.
    Finally, given a reasonable fitness base, I believe that your mental preparation will have more effect on your performance than physical. It is awesome looking upwards from the base of the Col Gd Ferret to the top, and you need deep reserves of positive mental resolve to keep you going. You can't start working out your coping stratgies soon enough.
    It's a great race, and you'll have a lot of fun.

  8. #38
    Master IainR's Avatar
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    Re: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

    Not sure about all those who entered on the 9th, but us in the early entry had to send our Passports and proof of qualifying race through by the 31st of this month. Still about a week to go anyway. Done mine and had confirmation.

  9. #39

    Re: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

    Just had email from organiser saying they hadn't received my passport details even although I emailed them on the 14th of January to the [email protected] address. Email says I've got until 5th to send it (I've sent j-pegs and pdf's to make sure this time). Might be worth checking your emails folks incase they haven't received yours either!!

  10. #40
    Senior Member Alan Lucker's Avatar
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    Wink Re: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

    Quote Originally Posted by The_only_way_is_up View Post
    thank you all for the advice. I'll dust off my poles.

    I think one of the main difficulties for me will be deciding what pace to set off at and what (if any) objective to set myself at the start other than just finishing. And then how to be flexible with that objective and still enjoy the experience if things don't go as well as i'd hoped.

    I know what fitness I need for a Bob Graham Round. How do people think the fitness required for the UTMB differs from that ? My guess is that the UTMB is a lot more runnable but harder underfoot.

    Cheers

    Jo
    If you have the firness for a BG you will be fine. I did the TMB in 2005 then the BG last year. I think the main difference between the 2 is not the fitness levels require, (these are fairly similar) but the fact that you have to carrry your own privisions all the way around. Other differences include :

    1) The lack of familiarity of the terain, although navigation isnt such a problem as the tape is easy to follow. Generally it is easier underfoot than a BG.(mainly trails over passes, rather than rough summits.)
    2) For the most part not having control of the food you will eat. But it sounds like it has improved since I did it.
    3) The chance of blisters due to the flatter less forgiving trails.

    On the speed issue I would set off conservatively and build your way into it. You can always go quicker towards the end. But it would ruin the exerience doing it the other way around. On the map the 2nd half does not look it, but it is tougher than the 1st. For 2 reasons, Bovine and that general area is a pig and unless you are fast you will be doing this in the dark, and the 2nd night out is mentaly tough.

    Good luck to all those taking part.
    I will see you at the start line of, probably, the best foot race on earth.
    Lancslad

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