Last Friday I received a mysterious email:
Bonjour Brendan Trimboli,
Le tirage au sort a été effectué et nous avons le plaisir de confirmer votre inscription à la course UTMB!
There were some other words too, but I ignored them. Now I can’t claim to be fluent in French, but I have been known to crack a few cryptograms. In this case I was most intrigued by the final four letters: “U” “T” “M” and “B,” followed by a rather conspicuous “!”.
What did this mean? Was I in trouble? Should I be prepared to explain myself when some French agents show up at my door? Or it was a scam: “Dear Brendan, I have fallen ill and would like to bequeath upon you my inheritance. Please send me all your UTMB!”
Then I scrolled down to the English translation (doh):
Dear Brendan Trimboli,
The draw has taken place and we have the pleasure of confirming your registration for the UTMB race!
This is big. How big? Well rather then try and explain it with words, I’ll let a few pictures summarize it more consiely. Assuming I can get my logistics together and finance the trip, on August 31, 2013, I will be here:
Without hesitation, I navigated to the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc website, confirmed my entry, and bade another couple hundred dollars goodbye. But this will be totally worth it. A complete circumnavigation of the Mont Blanc massif — over a hundred miles and thirty thousand feet of climbing? Three countries? An excuse to wander around the Alps for a few weeks?! Hell yeah!!
After being denied entry to Hardrock for the second year now, my admission to the UTMB is an awesome alternative, and sets the stage for some sweet international travel — something I’d been wanting to do this year anyway. According to iRunFar, a few of my friends will be making the trip as well: Dylan Bowman, Eric Lee and Adam Lint, among others.
With that, I am trying my best to remain near-sighted (It’s still snowshoe season!) When the snow grows soft and I begin training for a few specific, “goal” races this year, here’s what I’ll be focused on:
- Eugene Marathon (April 28, 2013) – I don’t particularly enjoy road races, but I have obligated myself to one marathon per year just to remind myself what “speed work” is for. Goal: Finish the race under 2:40 — that way if I decide to retire from road running I won’t feel so bad about it.
- Bighorn 100 (June 15-16, 2013) – During my first two seasons training for hundreds I felt rather burnt out by late June, which is a real shame considering my races weren’t until late August or early September. My hope is that by starting my training later (February instead of January), focusing on a “shorter” road race first, and racing my first hundred early, I will go into Bighorn better rested and poised for better results. Goal: Podium finish would be awesome — which will probably require a sub 20-hour finish.
- UTMB 100 (August 30-31, 2013) – The course has been altered or the race canceled altogether several times over the past few years. I’ll prepare for (and expect) awful weather, but we’re due for a nice year, right? Goal: Finish the damn race — that would be more than a lot of other Americans who’ve attempted it can say.
Here’s to a healthy, hell-of-a-good-time 2013!