"Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense."
- David Blaikie

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Over the Alps

The visibility was spectacular on the flight from Amsterdam to Milan giving us some amazing views of the Alps. According to our pilot, Mont-Blanc is out there somewhere in this picture.

The Ultra-trail Du Mont-Blanc is run here, a 103 mile ultra with over 30,000 feet of elevation gain. Just for kicks I checked out the UTMB entry process for 2009 here.

Qualification requires a demonstration of success in trail ultras with significant elevation gains. They have an interesting point system whereby the difficulty of your qualifying runs is estimated by adding together the distance in km and the elevation gain in meters divided by 100. For example, Bighorn 100 was 161k and 5334 meters of elevation gain: 161 + 5334/100 = 214.

Qualifying runs have to score above 65 and present a significant altitude gain and/or a sufficiently technical course. Races are worth 1 point for an estimate effort between 65 and 89, 2 points for 90-129, 3 points 130-179 and 4 points beyond that. A total of 4 points is needed to qualify, which can be accumulated with multiple runs (e.g. four 1 pointers, one 4 point run, etc. I *think*), So, looks like Bighorn 100 works as a qualifier for 2009 and 2010.

After seeing it from the plane UTMB is definitely on my 5 year wish list along with Western States, Wasatch, and Hardrock!

1 comment:

flame said...

Did I tell you? I will get to to chat with Mike Mason in a couple weeks, he's doing le Tour du Mont Blanc in 6 weeks (same weekend as CCC100)! Beautiful- on the wish list indeed!