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truck

UTMB/CCC Trail races

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Following on from FP's comment in the training today post, anyone done UTMB or the other races associated with it like the CCC on here?  Been looking at these for a while - being naive as to how hard it must be is probably part of the ongoing interest.  Did wonder if its a case of being a sprint triathlete having done nothing longer than 500/20/5 deciding to enter IM🙄.  So any comments/advice? Do have some experience from Celtman (2000m climbing/descending mostly offroad) and Norseman (1800m of climbing but mainly on-road) so not a complete newbie.

Have 2x50km trail races coming up but looking at the 100k Alpine challenge in Vic in Nov which gives 4pts so would need to do another one of them to get the 8pts required.

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The good thing about UTMB or similar is the qualifying events must give you an idea of what is involved, i.e. you can't front up and race without planning at least 18 months in advance.

From people I've spoken to, the majority of UTMB isn't actually runable unless you're FOP.

Also interestingly the good trail athletes measure their training week in vert metres rather than in total km.

Good luck - I'd love to do a euro ultra one day. My brother did an Italian 125km from Bologna to Florence last weekend, 125km with 4500 vert.

 

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I’m glad this has sparked some interest, I’m a bit lost as to what I’m doing haha. I’m aiming for CCC which is the mid range distance. The full monty UTMB seems unfathomoable to me.

The things I’ve learned so far ( not saying they are accurate):

Time on your feet seems more importance than pace or distance covered.

You have to be completely at one with your gear, reaching into vest pockets whilst on the move etc.

Traill descending is a definite skill that has to be practiced.

There will be huge single track bottle necks at multiple points and you may have to change pace to keep up, or be forced to slow down. There is little than can be done.

IM athletes might not have the ultra running experience but are used to moving forwards for in excess of 12 hrs. The mental edge is a big help regarding this.

The UTMB points system sucks. You may take 3yrs to get drawn but your qualy points only last for two. Boo

Mandatory kit for 2.5 waterproof jackets and trousers can push the costs up.

you will poop in the woods at some point.:lol:

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Agree, time on your feet is key & if you think you'll be walking, include walking in your training so you can be smooth & efficient & know its part of the race strategy when you do walk. 

Mandatory gear can be expensive but you'll have it for all the other races you can do. You probably need to buy a fold up trowel as well 🙄

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Interesting also that the points system to qualify for these races is based simply on completion within the maximum allowed time which, assuming nothing has gone wrong and you're reasonably well prepared, seems doable.  In that sense they're a bit like the extreme triathlon series that's now come together - no qualifying but just a lottery to get in so the field on the day is much more mixed in terms of capability than, for example, Kona would be.

Luckily i have all the gear already with Celtman being extremely strict on the survival gear that needed to be carried by both the competitor and their support runner.  Biggest change to the way I've approached trail runs this year is to learn that walking/hiking up the steep/long climbs is ok whereas I'd always thought it was a failure not to run it in the past. That has seen my overall pace materially quicken up across the whole run.

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Yeah all good points you make there Truck.  I know in ultra circles there have been muttering about some of the ‘easy’ qualification races. I’m pretty sure the ones I’m doing are amongst these. I think Race to the King has less than 4,000 vert, which isn’t much compared to CCC.

The more I read about UTMB the more it seems to be mirroring where triathlon vs Ironman headed. There are trail runners that actively avoid UTMB because of the commercial circus it has become. I think the rival brand is Skyrunner or whatever it’s called.  Some of these Euro ultras are incredibly hard to get into.

I make no illusions about the races I’ve chosen. They are commercialised over catered, well signed and very well supported events. They are expensive and not well received by the trail purists.

However, at my age (54) it will be my one shot at UTMB points and given my lack of experience in trail racing ( except for falling over!) I’m taking the easy option all day long for my first adventures. I figure if I don’t like the easy ones, I sure as shit won’t like hard ones. :lol:

Edited by FatPom
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On 20/04/2019 at 2:29 PM, truck said:

Biggest change to the way I've approached trail runs this year is to learn that walking/hiking up the steep/long climbs is ok whereas I'd always thought it was a failure not to run it in the past. That has seen my overall pace materially quicken up across the whole run.

I feel this is one area where there is more self awareness in Ultras or that it's more acceptable.

The natural instinct of a triathlon/shorter running event spectator/competitor when they see someone walking is to try to get them to run.

In an ultra scenario there seems to be more understanding that there are many ways to crack an egg and walking is a perfectly acceptable and often preferable method.

There's less judgement on how you get from A to B.

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