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Training Log Archive: 'Bent

In the 7 days ending Sep 9, 2017:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Running4 33:11:05 108.62(18:20) 174.81(11:23) 10705
  Hiking1 1:00:00
  Total5 34:11:05 108.62 174.81 10705
  [1-5]5 34:07:34

» now

Saturday Sep 9, 2017 #

5 AM

Running race 8:25:29 intensity: (3:03 @0) + (1:35:44 @1) + (5:55:45 @2) + (50:57 @3) 45.58 km (11:05 / km) +2761m 8:31 / km
ahr:135 max:157 shoes: Brooks Caldera blue

High Res 11 minute video link:

Ultra Tour Monte Rosa 2017 from Richard Ehrlich on Vimeo.

Last day! Forecast wasn't great, rain later in the day.
Today had one big climb to start, with a technical descent then an up-down second half.

I started further up the field today, and felt really good on the climb. I was able to move steadily up, and passed Shinkansen and HongKongStrong (Ukai and Sam) before the first aid station below the summit. Tom climbed up with me there. Past the AS it was cold, windy and socked in. The last part of the climb is tricky, with wires, ropes and some logs bolted to the rock, and it was snowing. I loved it! I also had a ton of fun on the technical descent, as I passed a big nervous group and could hop down the rocks at my own pace. I had a good run all the way along the lake and back up into Sas Fee, where I had moved up to 29 overall. I got some soup down and some canned peaches, but my stomach felt a bit off after that.

The next section had no epic climbs, but went up and down on the side of the cliff, with lots of technical sections that were harder in the drizzling rain. Some tunnels, some cables, some big exposure with 1000m drops below. We were back in cloud and fog for most of it. Ukai caught up on the road out of the last CP but was having a tough day behind me, and I recovered a bit in the slow technical bits. Again, really interesting trail, even without views.

We got to the final aid station at Hannigalp for a drink, then galloped off down the switchback road to the finish. Felt great to be cruising down, until the bouncing started to mess up my stomach and I backed off while the Shinkansen criused on by.
Great to finally finish, just behind Ukai. Sam came in a bit later and introduced me to his buddy Stone, who won the 170k in 30 hours (7 longer than UTMB). The whole group from Hong Kong were amazing- some of them did CCC or UTMB last week as a "taper".

I moved back down to 37th overall on the day, and still 6 in my cat. Felt a bit off for a couple of hours stomach-wise after the finish but not too bad later when I saw Bash finish strong with time to spare. She finished in dumping rain, which made the technical sections much worse.

So, my stomach was a little queasy at the end of the hard days, but I think the stages were just short enough that I was never sick, and for the most part I felt great. Stage racing is fantastic, and this one was really epic. Toughest terrain we've ever raced, but spectacular and a well run race. Met a great bunch of people and made some new friends.

Friday Sep 8, 2017 #

6 AM

Running race 8:52:21 intensity: (11 @0) + (56:41 @1) + (7:21:10 @2) + (34:19 @3) 48.77 km (10:55 / km) +3057m 8:19 / km
ahr:137 max:155 shoes: Hoka Stinson ATR 4

Day 3. Even bigger than yesterday.

Started in cloud, and took it fairly easy up the first huge climb. Aid station was indoors at a ski chalet! Felt good on the steep descent, but it was easy to get lost in thick fog.
I made the second aid station deep in the valley in good time, and was able to have some coffee and a bite of cake. I met up with Ukai there again but he took off. The next climb was gradual but very long, and I felt strong going up, moving up well in the field. I caught Ukai there. Again, pea-soup fog at the pass, and a long run down.

Sam AKA Hong Kong Strong caught us on the descent, despite doing CCC last week as his "taper". I had to switch to French when I ran with Charlotte for the last 10k. We ended with 4K of road, Ukai the bullet train passed me on the final short climb, but we all finished within minutes, to much high-fiving.

More climb, more distance but felt a bit easier and I moved up to 40th overall on the day. 6th in my category. Still pretty tired by the end. Stomach was just starting to grumble, and took a few hours before I could eat some great Pizza with Bash.

Thursday Sep 7, 2017 #

6 AM

Running race 8:33:59 intensity: (17 @0) + (47:42 @1) + (4:56:12 @2) + (2:46:50 @3) + (2:58 @4) 43.22 km (11:54 / km) +2770m 9:00 / km
ahr:143 max:177 shoes: Hoka Stinson ATR 4

Day 2. Our wedding anniversary! Coffee in bed for Bash.
This was the day that started with the monster climb out of Zermatt and over the highest pass of the race. I felt surprisingly good as we chugged up through low cloud for 2 hours. Once we popped out it was a spectacular bluebird day under the Matterhorn. I continued to feel strong on the climb, and moved up through the field, probably thanks to the days we spent here before the race. We crossed the glacier and I met Ukai ( the strong Japanese runner we saw at breakfast) up on the high pass.

Down into Italy and the main CP for the day, where I was able to eat 2 pieces of cake. Ukai took off as I searched for the WC. Some barren glaciated areas, then over a lower pass into a lush alpine wonderland with jaw-dropping views. I met up with Tom, an American who lives here and climbs like a mountain goat. The 3rd CP at Rifugio Ferraro was astounding, with a patio over a massive drop commanding the valley, in a lush forest with a creek. Magical views of villages crammed in narrow valleys, waterfalls, forest... Hard to leave- It would be fantastic to stay there on a hike some day.
This would be a tight cut-off for some runners, but I had 2 hours so could relax after.

Good thing, as I started to feel the day and the heat, so I backed off , dunked my head and took some more video. The final pass was a tough haul, and Tom caught up again after I had lost him on the descent.

I made it into town after a solid day, and staggered up with my bag to our hotel to clean up and practice my Italian before Bash arrived.
I met Bash with Anniversary apple strudel at the finish, and we had the best meal of the race for dinner.

Big day, really tiring. Ukai met me at the finish- he'd been in for about 10 min, and Tom came in a bit later. I'd moved up to the top 1/3 overall, to my surprise.

Wednesday Sep 6, 2017 #

6 AM

Running race 7:19:16 intensity: (16:26 @1) + (3:42:36 @2) + (3:08:15 @3) + (11:59 @4) 37.24 km (11:48 / km) +2116m 9:11 / km
ahr:146 max:174 shoes: Brooks Caldera blue

UTMR day 1.
Started dark and early. Plan was to start easy then back it off, and feel good all day.
My stomach wasn't 100% but a detour to a fortuitously placed WC put me in dead last but feeling much better.
Caught up with Bash, and met Wolfgang from Italy who set an excellent conservative pace. Between my German and his English, we did best in Italian. Kept HR really low, and had some amazing views as we ran above the clouds. Some really mysterious bits in fog and Lord-of-the-Rings terrain.
Some long technical stretches that had a lot of nervous runners jamming up traffic, but no rush. Got some great footage on the GoPro.
We crossed the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world, around 0.5km, which saved some nasty descending and climbing.
I eventually left Wolfgang and that part of the pack, and ran the easy descent gently by myself for around an hour.
Some avalanche slopes had concrete shelters and bunkers. Finished up running with Dora the Dutch neurosurgeon on a cruise to the finish. Probably bottom 1/3 or so.
Felt great 100% of the day- maybe being in the back of the pack is the way to go!
Saw Bash finish strong.

Tuesday Sep 5, 2017 #


UTMR starts tomorrow.

I am racer #533, and Barb is 518 in the 4-stage race.

For the dot watchers, you can track us at :

1. Official race timing from Racematix -

2. via GPS tracker -

Monday Sep 4, 2017 #

Hiking 1:00:00 [1]
shoes: Brooks Caldera blue

Clear bluebird day! We went up to Kleine Matterhorn glacier paradise via cable car to breathe some thin air and scout out the route a bit.

We also did a bit of hiking part way down, where we could see the start of stage 2

... and the pass over to Italy around the 15 km mark

Back in time for coffee on the balcony.

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