UTMB 2017 Race Report part 4/6
Courmayeur was the Mile 50 aid station and where you could get your drop bag. Lauren was there, and she helped put a smile on my face. But I was starting to suffer and knew that I was going to start struggling. I recharged my watch, switched iPods, drank a Red Bull, and ate a huge plate of pasta (when in Italy…). I should have reapplied my lube earlier. I waited to get to the aid station to reapply and by then the ass chaffing was painful. Oh well, the pain helped keep me awake. Off I went up another big climb. This is where the wheels came off the train. My legs started feeling weak, not tired, but lifeless. I was moving, but without much purpose and for the first time in the race was getting passed. At Bertone I was so tired. I had some easier miles ahead of me and couldn't get into any sort of positive rhythm. I just forced myself to keep moving forward and played with negative scenarios in my head. I attempted to turn it around multiple times, however, none of my mental tricks worked and I just sank deeper into the darkness. At Mile 60 it started raining hard and was very cold. Flurries of hail and snow came and went. I had a 2-mile, mostly downhill section to the aid station, so I figured I'd push through and change gear in the comfort of a warm tent. I was cold and wet when I entered Arnouvaz aid station. I had a big climb ahead of me and judging by the weather it would be very cold. I put on my long-sleeved thermal shirt, rain jacket, beanie, buff, and got out my warm water-resistant gloves. I then went to eat. As I grabbed some baguettes, I was told that we had to put our waterproof pants on as well or couldn't continue the race. Apparently, conditions were so extreme at Col Ferret they wanted us wearing everything. I started worrying they might delay us leaving, or worse, cancel the race, and so I got out of there fast. This was a huge mistake as I didn't take in enough calories and, in hindsight, was already operating at a deficit. About 400’ into the climb, the snow started and did not stop until I was on the other side at the bottom. It took me 4 hours to go 9 miles.
To be continued...