Like Bill Murray waking up over and over again on the same day - Groundhog Day - in the eponymous film about Puxatawny Phil, I have woken up in 2013 1 day away from the UTMB, much the same as I woke up in 2012 at the same time. I have similarly done all the training, although the journey this year has been very different. I haven't done nearly as many races, or indeed dedicated almost every aspect of my life to the race as I did last year. I have in fact carried on pretty much as normal, eschewing sleep for training and just muddling through. Whereas last year I arrived only to be bitterly disappointed that the weather interrupted my attempt at the full Tour de Mont Blanc, it appears to be - so far at least - a little milder in the high Alps. I am a little heavier than last year, although my mind appears to be in the right place I think, and the family are coming too this year. We'll see what the next 48 hrs have in store but all being well I'll be taking the start line of the 11th UTMB on Friday afternoon at 4.30pm. If you are so inclined, you can follow me - bib 905 - and other runners here http://utmb.livetrail.net/parcours.php?course=utmb
Life has recently been getting in the way of my postings. The family had a week's holiday - a road trip - to Luxembourg for a 40th birthday party, via Annecy, and Dijon on the way there, and via Geneva on the way home. All but 2 of the nights away were spent on various sofas, spare beds, air beds and so on, with the kids being troopers and camping in the garden on more than one occasion. However, this meant that we were either socialising or driving, although I did manage to stick to the pre UTMB Mad Dog training scheme, including doing a marathon distance run in Geneva and 18km in Dijon, with various smaller runs in other places. We literally came back for 4 or 5 nights, during which time Mrs R's sister and family arrived for a holiday (staying with us) and we left for the UK spending 3 nights with my folks in Kent, and 2 nights in an apartment in London whilst I did some marketing and the kids enjoyed the delights of Primark and Top Shop, neither of which are available in the South of France. During this time, I managed 52km in Kent, and 25km of hill sprints (sort of) to and fro across Westminster Bridge.
All the travelling means that I have had some very interesting and varied terrain to run across, and have seen some amazing sights including otters in the wild, and perhaps even more outlandish some of the people on the loose in London. It has however been pretty poor from a diet perspective - too much food, too much of the wrong food, way too much to drink and...well, you get the picture. As a result, I have probably made this year's UTMB even harder for myself. But I am still determined to grace the start line at the very least, with the plan to start slow and probably get slower, stamina and determination undiminished! In the meantime, the holiday snaps collection has grown exponentially, as you can see below! And in the last photo of Lake Geneva, you can just make out Mont Blanc in the background. Just over a week to go....
Ben Rolfe, married, father of 3 gorgeous girls, English, living in the South of France, working in Finance
Ramblings of a running nature
I will be posting on an ad hoc basis my thoughts, adventures and challenges on here. I welcome anybody's thoughts and constructive criticisms, but generally I am not interested in contacts requiring me to give over my passport and bank account details in order to transfer €10 million to my account.