Live from Chamonix, France: Preview-Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc

I can tell you that the lobby of the Hotel Alpina in Chamonix, France, is very nice, though the internet connection from www.swisscom.com was pricey.  No photos yet, but we are here for the Ultra Trail Tour de Mont Blanc, one of the most spectacular ultra-marathon trail running races in the world. The UTMB will be Deb’s first true trail running test at the 100+ mile distance. The race begins at 6:30 P.M. (Chamonix time) on Friday evening. 2200 competitors will be lined up. Less than 8% are reported to be women. Many top Americans are here to race the men’s and women’s races. Notably, on the men’s side: Karl Meltzer, Hal Koerner, Scott Jurek, and Topher Gaylord. Nikki Kimball should be favored on the women’s side. I don’t know who the top European runners are…yet, but I’m sure to find out.

I’m playing an interesting role. I have dual responsibilities to look after our son, while crewing for Deb. I have coined the term: Sherpa Dad. It aptly describes the role that results in sore muscles from lugging gear around. I will be getting support from Buddy Teaster and his family. The Teaster’s are spending a year abroad, based in Spain. Buddy blogs about their adventures.

The map of the course, shows all the challenges ahead for these runners/hikers.

Tomorrow is all about race preparation. The runners will be resting and fueling up for the 163km event. The crews will be planning the logistics involved with following the runners on the course. The runners are wearing two chips each and a cool SMS system allows anyone with text messaging on their phones to track their favorite competitors. I plan to be tracking Deb. Her race number is 2383. The website can also be used to track runners, though it is a challenge to navigate. Look for the British flag if you want to have a chance at translating the technical French.

That is all for now. A report on our afternoon in Geneva, Switzerland, and other adventures will be forthcoming. Now, back to the race preparation.

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Little D passed her second of three #taekwondo #blackbelt tests. The third, and biggest, is in October. #tkd #sunset #md90 🌞✈️ #echoamphitheater #carsonnationalforest #newmexico Stopping to stretch our legs and use the potty was the best $2 I've spent in a while. I even borrowed a nickel from @trailrunningmom and got rid of the 95 cents in my pocket. Amazing #durango #colorado trails. These are the #HorseGulchTrails near @fortlewiscollege which has an amazing #cycling culture. When I raced collegiates @bcclubcycling & @bucycling in the early 90's, it wasn't anything like what's happening with the powerhouse @flccycling team. What an amazing backyard. Imagine rolling out of your dorm and onto this landscape. I would never go to class! Don't tell my kids I said that! #mountainbiking #cyclocross #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #horstspikes 🚵‍♀️ @trailrunningmom finished in 41 hours and 1 minute. #hr100 #hardrock100 #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports #trailrunning #ultrarunning #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom left the Chapman Aid Station at 2:10 P.M. I paced her from Ouray (56.6 miles) to Chapman (82.2 miles). @ultramarathondan will take her to the finish of the @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 Most importantly, she is in good spirits and despite the altitude, is moving OK on the climbs, albeit slowly. As for the descents, her legs are trashed but she is still bombing them. Finish could be in the 40-42 hour range if all goes well. Who knows? Lots of variables! Fingers crossed. I have tons of photos to go through, so I selected one of our crew with Deb as she headed out for the final 18 miles. #trailrunning #ultrarunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports We finally reconnected with @trailrunningmom She arrived at Grouse Gulch, 42.2 miles at 8:33pm and departed at 8:50pm. She was soaked to the bone after climbing her first ever 14,000 foot peak. Handies had lots of hail and rain. She changed every piece of clothing and shoes and felt much better. The drive to/from was white knuckle insanity with our rental. @ultramarathondan is with her now. It will be a long night. I'll see her in Ouray. Our kids  have been awesome. Mom just wants to finish, but a long way to go. @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 #trailrunning #ultrarunning 🏃🏻⛰

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