Greetings from Madrid!
Simon and I have successfully finished UTMB last weekend. From all accounts (blog, internet, news, etc.), it is by far the most competitive 100-mile mountain race with elite ultrarunners from all over the world. The 2011 edition is also the hardest so far due to nasty weather, added weight of mandatory gear, terrain, etc. (However, I think that even with good weather it would still be a hard race). Some called it "a race of four seasons". It was 170kms with 9,500m plus of vertical gain due to re-routing. Irunfar.com (a blog hosted by Byron Powell) said that this year's UTMB has only 47% (1126 of 2369) rate of finishers (you will also get to read many UTMB tidbits from his blog). If there is no contrary evidence, it is also the first for Pinoys to have finished the UTMB. This race is by far the most memorable in terms of difficulty, challenge, weather, terrain, stunning view, organization and support of the local communities of French, Swiss and Italian. More on these later.
Simon and I are thankful that we crossed the finish line in one piece (it was fun to spend with Simon the days leading to the race. They became bearable). There were precarious moments, at least in my case, during the race which I will try to document in my full race report. Right now, I am very thankful for the support of my family (it wasn't easy to train when you have a full time job, a wife and 4 kids to take care of), relatives (who during some of their occasions like birthdays I had to abandon or leave early), friends and a few sponsors. They were there to help make running UTMB a little bearable. As mentioned in my last post, I would make sure that my sacrifices would all be worth it. Perhaps, I deserve after all this recovery time in Madrid, limping and all :)
Jon (finished in 44 hours and 57 seconds which will again elicit a comment from Rick G. :)