Aug 30 2012


TDS (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®) TDS (Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie) 

Cormayeur, Italy over the Alps to France


Thursday August 30, 2012 


The Mt Blanc TDS race was the most extreme, exhilarating and adrenaline flowing event I've ever experienced. It was also the most dangerous thing I've done in my life. After a while it was not about running, but survival. Finishers of the 103 mile UTMB said it was easy in comparison to TDS. My 175 mile TransAlpine run seemed like a 10km road race in comparison to TDS. But i still loved it, hanging on for dear life, going down vertical cliffs in the rain and darkness like going down a mine shaft, holding onto ropes and sharp jagged rocks. Soaked, wet and cold and windy . It did not bother me. I did not quit. 497people quit at just one checkpoint saying it wasn't safe or worth the miserable conditions. Crossing full rushing Rivers, seeing them falling in the 6 hours of mud dozens of times in the dark, it was like nothing else. I fell a few times, There were not trails, it was slogging your way through down the mountains. I kept going on even along a 1 ft wide cliff that went down at least a thousand feet.  I believe I was pulled out with a couple others at 2:30 in the morning. I wanted to go on, but complied. [Post race, I have come to understand there was a language barrier misunderstanding – French – they probably thought I intended to quit, but this was not a cut off checkpoint for time, I had 3 hours to go the next 12km and am certain I would have. Nearly everyone at this point in the race was quitting, they probably thought I was too. 

So maybe it seems like another excuse or a DNF, but with the majority of the 1,400 runners not finishing, it was a proud experience, especially getting that far after being frozen for 16 of the 20 hours I was out there. I was NEVER passed while climbing, at one point passing 200 people on a 6,000 ft climb. Total horizontal distance was 46-49 miles, 15,000 vertical climb, 15,000 ft decent. 

I will never do TDS route again, but maybe CCC and def UTMB main race. Haven't met anyone who wanted to do TDS again especially in those conditions. 


Once again, no blisters, not too much pain, soreness in the quads, but cant wait for the next adventure, just not this life threatening. Massive congrats to those few who did get through and finish the whole thing!





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