The mountains are calling and I must go: CCC 2014

Some of you already know. But then some of you don’t so, once more: I’m running CCC (short for Courmayeur, Italy – Champex, Switzerland – Chamonix, France) this summer! And even though it might just be “the baby brother” of the UTMB, with its 101k and about 6100m of positive altitude, it’s not exactly a walk through the park. It’s fair to say I’m pretty nervous about the whole thing.

However, the point system the organisation uses (you have to “prove” you are actually up for the challenge by running a few similar, be it less long & heavy, races before you can enter) should give me some ease of mind I guess. And the Austria training camp, finishing Crêtes the Spa, La Bouillonnante and – maybe even more representative when talking long & heavy trails – the Ardennes Megatrail gave me enough confidence to believe I can actually do it and just go out there and run.


A glance on what awaits me

However, CCC is not AMT. Just as an indication, there are the sheer numbers: With it’s 101km, it’s 8km longer than AMT. And the 6100m of positive altitude is about 1300m more than AMT’s 4800m. Not exactly in proportion.

And the numbers don’t even tell the whole story. Even though the French Ardennes had climbs that were considerably longer than the ones I’m used to, the Alps are in a different league altogether. The first climb is about 10km long. Promising. Scary too.

So I’m putting in a lot of distance lately, combined with some interval workouts and some treadmill runs. Not spending too much attention to the treadmill though. I think it was more important in preparation for the Loop van Vlaanderen, where I wanted to run every climb I ran into. This time, I’ll probably be walking most, if not all of them. I guess I should train walking uphill, but that never happens here.

I’ll be heading out a week early and do some minor hiking & running. Nothing crazy since I don’t want to show up at the starting line all exhausted and with heavy legs of course. All this made the gear list for my CCC adventure, which was expensive enough on its own due to the obligatory gear list they have, just a bit more expensive: A lightweight tent, a decent backpack, a powerbank… Oh well, knowing that I’ll have lots of fun with all this gear for years to come soothes my mind. Starting next year, with UTMB 2015… But let’s first see how CCC goes.

Either way, expensive as it all may be, I genuinely love every piece of gear I bought. The Salmon shoes and hydration pack are just splendid, as can be expected from Salomon I guess. The Skins Compression pants & top seemed a bit tight at first, but since, I’ve fallen in love with them and wear them A LOT, even in hot weather. The Montane jacket is one of the most amazing jackets I’ve ever owned. It’s just so lightweight and both waterproof & breathable… Both brands are less common in the trail world I guess, but the quality is simply amazing.

Whoever likes to will be able to follow me online. On the UTMB website, there’s a page that allows you to see the last supply station I checked into and at what time. No link available just yet, so I’ll post it here when it’s available!

 

2 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    August 9, 2014
    Reply

    When you are there a week in advance… train on the technical downhills (large rocks, snow, steep descents, everything above 2.200m…). There is a LOT of time to be lost or gained on those descents.

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