Full write up to come, but for now my impressions of this years CCC.
This years Ultra Trail CCC brought about a few changes, being 12km longer (making it 98km) and having an extra 1,000m of ascent. Ten of the extra Km were near the beginning (If that makes any difference ?!) but most of the extra ascent was at the end – and this does make a difference !
As the length and ascent had been increased they gave us an extra 2hrs to finish. Before the start I thought this was marginal to say the least, but given that the first placed took 2 hours longer than last year I think it was no where near enough extra time. My Dentist (Who finished in 26hr 6mn) told me that at Champex around midnight there where over 300 people who where about to miss the cut off – they where all eventually given an extra 30 minutes – a good call by the organisers I thought.
The course was a lot harder but also much more interesting. Less road sections – the descent to La Fouly now being on single tracks. They also removed one of the refreshment stop just to make it a little tougher and of course started an hour earlier, at 11am.
Now for that final 800m of ascent, right at the very end. I cursed it the whole way up, and muttered “They are having a laugh” on numerous occasions, but it is magnificent running in front of the whole Mt Blanc range, and so much better than the tedious section from the col de Montets down through Argentierre that so wore me down last year.
All in all, a brilliant new course, superbly organised as usual, and they had even made the bus trip over to Courmayeur supper smooth and efficient this year (a big relief!)