Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ultra Trail Mont Blanc - I Just Can't Get Enough

There’ve been no updates in a while and it’s because I really haven’t had any interesting trips or races. Until recently.

Since taking most of the last two years off from running (and completing CFA Levels I and II), I’ve slowly gotten back into running shape. Last winter, I signed up for UTMB, which is now a week away. I’m not really in “ultrarunning shape", but I do intend to start and give it my best. It would be my 4th finish there.

I really enjoy UTMB and the atmosphere of the Alps. Tiff will be with me, but the kids start school on Monday and won’t be going. Their school district is notoriously punitive for “unexcused absences”, despite there really not being much going on in the first week of school anyway and the great experience missed by not going to Europe.

Training has been predictably tough here in Dallas with the summer heat. My normal training route on the trails around Lake Lewisville has been submerged all summer after we had historic rainfall in the spring. As a result, I’ve spent a lot of time on my treadmill in a 100+ fahrenheit garage. I’m so used to the heat, in the nonexistent chance there’re 100 degree temperatures in the Alps next week, I predict I’ll win (but in the slowest time ever recorded).

My flights lately have taken me to Hong Kong. We operate what is reported to be the 8th longest

Mui Lo and Discovery Bay (distant)
from Sunset Peak, Lantau Island
flight in the world to get there. Hong Kong airport sits on Lantau Island, which is adjacent to Hong Kong and about a 30 minute drive away. After 5 trips there in the past several months, I haven’t actually been into Hong Kong. The reason - Lantau Island is a trail runner's paradise.

I’ll blog more on this later, but there’re are over 100 miles of trail on the island and some insanely steep climbs. The jungle is replete with giant spiders, cobras, and other interesting critters (as well as Disneyland, I've heard). It’s non-stop excitement and sweating in the subtropical humidity out there, but it has begun to  get me back into trail running shape.
Golden Orb - they love climbing on
me after I walk through their webs