Friday, August 26, 2011

UTMB RACE DAY-Weather Delay


The view from the alley.
After another near perfect morning you could tell something was brewing.  The winds had picked up overnight and as morning went on the dark clouds were moving in.  A couple of emails from friends warned of the race delay although still no official word has come from the organization.  The forecast calls for the first storm to hit late this afternoon with the usual rain, thunder and lightning but then another is supposed to hit around midnight with heavy rain, wind, thunder, falling temps and higher elevation snows, yipee!  Always and adventure!  The later start may have us starting in the pouring rain but it may avoid us running in the mountain snow until daybreak.  And by morning, the storm should have passed.  This is all speculation so we will see.  In any event, the race has been delayed so a full day in store for rest and relaxation.

Yesterday was also a day of rest.  It started with a trip to the local pastry shop where I got a pain du chocolate which I even ordered speaking it in French.  After breakfast Grettel and Birger, my hostel mates and I had gone out for a couple of easy miles running around town and in the forest to burn off some anxiety.  Afterwards it was lunch, rest and planning our pre-race pasta dinner.  We ventured up to the local market and did our best trying to understand the local methods.  Cheese you order in wedges, meats are by the kilograms.  You can also buy beer, wine and liquor at the local market.  After a successful shopping trip it was time for more rest.  Before dinner, we decided to visit the local drinking establishment.  About 30 meters from the hostel is the Savoy Bar.  Perfect for an afternoon local draft.  Meanwhile Oliver was back at the hostel preparing the coals for grilling dinner.

The Savoy Bar

Grettel, Birger and I enjoyed the sites along the Rue as we sipped the local draft before heading back to the hostel.  Dinner consisted of of course pasta but with grilled legumes mixed in as well as Ricotta cheese.  Along with the pasta was grilled chicken, ribs, salad, bread and cheese.  Bread and cheese goes with every meal here.  Afterwards we enjoyed Toberlone chocolate.  We all filled up in anticipation of the 6:30 PM race start figuring that was our last full meal.  Later in evening I received some emails from friends warning of the nasty weather approaching and a possible delay or re-route.  Prior to bed I finally got myself organized for the race.  This race is a little more challenging as you have one pack you are allowed to carry throughout with many obligatory items.  In addition, there is only one place to drop a bag so if you have any special need items, you need to carry them for at least half the race before you get your bag.  And I'm not quite sure what they will have at the aid stations.  Nick mentioned wine and beer but not sure if I will indulge in that during the race, we'll have to see how I feel.  Finally by 1:00 AM I had done enough and was off to bed.

Friday Morning- Race Day:  I checked the early morning weather report.  It still looked nasty with no major changes.  I received a couple of emails from friends finally confirming the race delay until 11:30 PM.  After a nice breakfast and some more organizing for the race I decided to get in a couple of easy miles touring around the town and the rec path along the river.

Rec path

The river along the rec path

After that it was back to the hostel for lunch and more relaxation waiting for the 11:30 PM race start.

Hopefully there will be no more delays and we'll be off and running on an adventure in the mountains next!


Martin Philip said...


Congratulations on the race-with so much U.S. carnage I was elated to see that you had survived.

I saw you back in 2009 at the VT100 and was inspired by your performance.

Best of luck, continued success and safe travels back to the States!

Martin in WRJ

Digger said...

I agree with Martin;
Congratulations,Jack. You make us 50+ guys proud!

Mike L. said...

Jack, congrats on an amazing finish, look forward to reading your words detailing the race. Mike L.

Mike L. said...

Jack, congrats on finishing the UTMB, look forward to reading your details of the race.