Mar 15, 2010

Steve's Bucket List: Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc

This is part of a series of posts where I discuss items on my "bucket list." the introduction to the series is here.

Ultra Trail Do Mont Blanc is a 166KM (~103 miles) mountain ultra that encircles Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe.

The race's loop course takes runners through France, Italy, and Switzerland, and has about 9400M of elevation gain.

Generally speaking, in order to qualify to enter the race, an American hopeful would have to complete a difficult mountain 100-mile race, or at the very least a 100-mile race and a 50-mile race. Depending on the races you use to qualify, even that might not be sufficient.

If these photographs remind you of Hardrock, another item in my bucket list, that is not a coincidence.

People ask me a lot if I ever want to run asphalt races like Badwater. I'm sorry, 135 miles of asphalt just doesn't appeal to me as a runner (though I'm really excited to be on a Badwater crew this year.)

No, what really appeals to me are the mountains, and the unique challenges and scenery they offer. And if the mountains are in a place I'm unfamiliar with, like Europe, all the better. As of right now, this is the only item on my bucket list that is not in the United States, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if that changes.

(These photos were shot by flickr user mako10, who was kind enough to put a creative commons license on his photographs:

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