Welp, let’s just chase this cat out of the bag! Columbia Sportswear has done it again — they have come up with a crazy idea, pulled all the details together, and made three trail runners feel very special! On Sunday morning I boarded a plane in Denver bound for Geneva, Switzerland. And that’s where I am…in Switzerland! Well, actually France, now. But they didn’t just send me here to sit around alone. No, of course not!
I am here to run the OCC race, a shorter sister to the famed UTMB 100 mile foot race. And I’ll be running with Landon and Colin, two trail runners that will be schooling me on the technical, mountainous terrain that the Alps are known for.
We’ve just barely arrived and oh.my.goodness! I am going to take a quick second to brag on Switzerland and France in general — the train stations are calm, the people have been very helpful with my tourist ways, and even though rain clouds have been covering the mountains since we arrived…wow! These are some legit mountains! This race is going to be tough!
I went out for a tester run with Landon and Colin this morning — we covered about 3.5 miles in just over an hour. The ups definitely affected our pace but the constant “ooh, the clouds moved more!” stops to take photos slowed us down ever more. How do you not keep taking photos of mountains like this…?!
So far, Switzerland and France have been pretty surreal. I’m in a town surrounded by strong, trained athletes…serious athletes who are truly competing in these races. That is insane! Just walking through town has me amazed by how strong these people look. I can only images how strong they will be on the trails.
We start our race on Thursday morning and even though my legs may feel broken I am really excited to be down in the streets watching the racers start CCC and UTMB. It’s going to be insane! Even better…the final hours of UTMB before the cutoff! I am so excited to see the intensity and emotion that plays out at the end of the 100!
But, for now we’re just soaking it all in with tester runs, city wanderings and food. So much food! I’m getting nervous about the race — it’s a lot of climbing and technical descending and I’ll be running along side two guys who have legitimate trail skills. Luckily we’re here for the experience and while it may be a hardcore race for me, they’ll be out there enjoying themselves! That’s my purpose in life — being the slow one so they can enjoy it more. I play that role very seriously!
Want to follow the crazy? Check out Instagram or Twitter for some photo over sharing or be my friend on Snapchat [search “heidikumm”] for an excessive amount of random photos + videos for the rest of the week!
[note: I am NOT a sponsored Columbia athlete — I am simply a member of their #OmniTen team, meaning I am a gear tester with a social media presence and lots of opinions. They are providing us with all the gear we need to run + enjoy our lives in Chamonix and the flight/accommodations, but everything I’m experiencing + saying about the trip are my very own opinions!]