Starting the Tour du Mont Blanc Trek

When the Columbia crew left Chamonix on Saturday afternoon I packed up my Ultimate Direction Fastpack, stowed away my big Columbia duffle and headed for the train station where I hopped on a train to Vallorcine and immediately hit the trail following the Tour du Mont Blanc trail. I spent my Saturday afternoon/evening hiking against the flow of UTMB 170km racers doling out “great job” and “keep it up” along with many claps + smiles that I hope were encouraging. I was headed to Trient, the 120km check point of the UTMB where I hoped to crash at a hostel after catching Amy [the Runner’s Roost MUT Team coordinator + a major, level-headed enabler for my first ultras] as she came through.
(more…)

#OmniTen Adventures: The UTMB Experience

Earlier this year when I got an email from Columbia asking about my interest in running the UTMB race I got crazy excited. Of course I was interested! It was an ultra, in the Alps! Who wouldn’t be excited!? I said yes and asked questions later.

When we got the confirmed details that we would be running the OCC, the 53K baby sister of the full UTMB ultra, rather than the 170K/110M, I was less let down than you’d think. You see, I’d still be in France and Switzerland for a week but I wouldn’t have a 100+ mile race through intensely steep mountains looming over my head the entire time. Instead, I’d go to Europe, run my race in a day and take in the energy throughout the rest of the week. That’s exactly what we all did.
(more…)

#OmniTen Adventures: The OCC Recap

occ-race-recap

utmbs-occ-race

The days leading up to the Thursday morning start of the OCC, a trail race that took us through the Alps from Switzerland to France, I was a bit of a sandbagging mess. The original plan called for the group of Columbia runners to stick together. I was cool with that, yay friends! Then I met Colin and Landon and realized just how massive their calves and quads were. Um. Yea. I couldn’t keep up with those mountain legs! Even with a summer dedicated to running instead of studying it’d be a gamble. So I freaked out. Hourly. Until they finally told me I could run my own race. They say it was to calm me down, but I think they were just terrified of having to put up with me for 10 hours!
(more…)

#OmniTen Adventures: Running the OCC

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!
(more…)

0