Tuesday, 11 September 2012

CCC ultramarathon...

... was everything I hoped it would be and more.

The 100 km CCC is the little brother in the UTMB family of races, with the UTMB being the Daddy (or Mumma, depending on your viewpoint) at 160km.  And 100 km was more that enough for me!  I was lucky that Jon & Andy had succumbed to my persuations back last winter and also signed up.  Not only did that mean they had sorted a proper posh apartment right in the middle of Chamonix, but they had also come with Kate and Cath who were fantastic in their support, but it also meant that I had equally nervous company on the start line.

From CCC UTMB August 2012

The weather on the day was bad enough for the organisers cut two of the high passes out and shortened the route from 100 km to 90 km.  With pretty constant rain and snow all day it was the right decision, and I was glad to have all the mandatory kit (thanks to the Holtons, Elias and Mozza for the borrowed bits and bobs).

Since I have zero tolerance for race reports in blogs that go on for multiple pages and list 'and then I ran uphill, and felt tired etc' so I'll keep this pretty brief...

The highs outnumbered the lows to a ratio of about 4:1.  But the lows were pretty low, this was halfway, I'd  bonked by accident and just realised how far left there was.  It's pretty safe to describe it as a low...

From CCC UTMB August 2012

From CCC UTMB August 2012

This was belting down a 10 km alpine singletrack in the snow.  A high...

From CCC UTMB August 2012

As was finishing...

From CCC UTMB August 2012

About 1900 people started, of which about 1600 finished. The winner (a 40 year old Spanish bloke) blazed round in just under 9 hours.  I dragged myself round in 13:20 in 119th place, where he found those 4 hours and 20 minutes I'm not sure, but the sense of wonder I have at how fast he must have run up and down those mountains is one the best bits of the whole weekend for me.

There was so much that I learnt, and most of it had bog-all to do with ultramarathons.  The power of a good-old mantra was one ("choices" seemed to work for me, thanks to Prof Tim Noakes and his Central Governor theory of fatigue for that one - listen here) as well as the importance of a photo of something important to look at when you fancy stopping:

From Charlie June, Pat, top barn tri and 2010 sixth form leavers dinner

Nothing gets you through the dark and rain like thinking about how you'd explain to your son why you gave up when you were 'a bit wet and cold...'

Yes - I am going back next year.