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.