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.
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I’m Not Going Home, Yet.

As my Instagram feed suggests — I did not return to the States with the rest of the Columbia crew. When Columbia first threw out the possibility of running one of the UTMB trail races I was excited about a week in France, then I spent two weeks in Chile and realized that was nowhere near enough time to really explore an area. I opted to extend my stay a few weeks…and then a few months. In Switzerland you can stay in the country on a visitor’s visa for up to 90 days over a 180 day period and that is exactly what I plan on doing.
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#OmniTen Adventures: The OCC Recap

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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!
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#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!
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