The fun running blog: Journey to the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB)

Gail Edmans
mont blan 300x225 The fun running blog: Journey to the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB)

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My name is Gail Edmans, I am 46 and I work as a Solutions Sales Manager. I am also a ‘fun runner’ with one steady pace, reasonable stamina and a lot of stubborn determination. A perfect combination for ultra marathons – which is classed as anything over the standard 26.2 mile marathon distance. Whilst there are loads of very talented ultra runners out there, it is also possible for someone like me with a keen interest, little natural talent but a willingness to put in the training to enter this weird world of lycra and chafe cream.

It wasn’t exactly a mid-life crises, however at the age of 40 I decided to see if I could tick a box and complete an ironman triathlon – a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run and yes, it is the same distance for men and women, as I’m often asked.  Although it was a big investment of time and money, I found it so addictive I went on to complete six, then last year decided on a different adventure, entering the iconic Marathon des Sables, a 155 mile, seven-day, self-sufficient race across the Sahara.

In training for the MdS I entered a couple of ultras and it’s  now my latest obsession. This year I have entered what’s known as ‘the race of all superlatives’ the North Face Ultra Trail Mont Blanc or UTMB for short. It will be my toughest challenge yet and I have between now and the end of August to clock up the miles of training needed. This weekend I am running the Pilgrim Challenge North Downs Multistage Ultra or The Grim as I refer to it; 64 miles over 2 days along part of the North Downs Way which is in southern England and runs from Farnham to Dover.  I will blog next week to let you know how I get on.

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