UltrAspire ambassador Becky Nixon recaps her European adventure and UTMB race-
Stoked! After missing out last year, I got pulled out of the draw for the 2016 Ultra Trail Mt Blanc. I decided to make the most of it, and went over to Europe a month early to get some serious training in.
A friend of mine Adam Keen, who I’d done a fair bit of training around Queenstown, decided to join me for a European Alps running mission over the 6 weeks and to crew me for during UTMB.
We hit the trails in Grindelwald Switzerland first. Running various sections of the Eiger Ultra Trail, and heading out for a big day over the Oberland country. This was definitely some of the most beautiful views of my trip. Feeling pretty strong after a few big days in the mountains., we decided to hit the Dolomites in northern Italy.
Becky training around Grindelwald, Switzerland.
We rocked up to Cortina, and the information center had maps with the course routes of various mountain races in the area. The Laverado Trail was a must, having heard amazing things about this trail, so after running Croda de Lago trail, we decided to run sections of the Laverado trail. WOAH! Truly amazing run with pretty sweet views.
After a couple of big weeks, we headed away from the mountains for a few days of rest and recovery, exploring Rome.
I was dying to get out on the UTMB course so after a couple of days off, we headed to the Alps and Courmayeur, in Italy, which is pretty much the half way mark at UTMB. We set up camp at Morgex in the Aeosta Valley. Courmayeur is a quick drive from there…. We had a few missions on the course, which gave me a lot of confidence for race day.
I always like getting to know sections of a race course and find it really helps me on race day, more mentally as I know what’s coming next. It was now a week before UTMB, so we head over to Chamonix…..
BOOM! CHAMOINX, I love this place, and it is even better when it’s UTMB week, with runners everywhere and heaps of pre-race hype. I managed to find the Altra Running tent at the expo and was very privileged to meet up with other Altra athletes Jason Schlarb and Callum Neff. Even saw Anton Krupicka fly by on his bike. Stoked!
Race day……. No matter how much I paint the picture, you’ll never understand what it’s like to line up at that start line of UTMB, until you do it yourself.
I have never experienced anything like it before, it’s intense, it’s pretty mind blowing and it doesn’t stop…. The support is unreal and the atmosphere is crazy.
I hit a lot of walls during the race but the highs stick in mind more, the sunsets and sunrises are always a highlight and give me an adrenaline rush. My support crew rocked it too, it would’ve been a different race without them, they made it fun.
And I’m stoked with my race - 170k with 10000+D , in 36hr51mins and I was the 27th woman overall. Living the dream guys 😁
Becky used the UltrAspire Velocity Vest for training and during UTMB.