Update from Nina’s race – starting in Courmeyer, Italy through Champex, Switzerland and finishing in Chamonix, France.

General Stats:Distance: 98.3km (61 miles)
Elevation gain: 5,505 meters of up hill. (18 061 feet)

number of racers:
2033 people started the race (1745 men and 288 women)
only 1318 finished.
only 1241 finished before the official cut off time (26hrs) The cut off time was extended to allow all to finish

Result– (first and foremost goal was to finish)

10th place for women overall out of 288 women total
8th place for senior women age category
139th place overall out of 2033 runners

Weather– Hot (30 degrees at start –about 86f)

Time– 18hrs:20 minutes (Start at 11am Fri and finished 5:20 am sat)

Here a few pictures from the race and events leading up, including the boys after The Mini CCC-600 meters of trail running-

Food– majority was gels and Cliff shot blocks, pasta- bouillon soup w/ noodles- coke and water, water, water- lots of it. I tried to eat something every ½ hr. it was important to eat plenty of salt/ sodium to avoid cramping and dehydration

Support team here in the Alps – Thank you! There are special zones along the course where you can change gear- refuel etc. There were about 8 stations throughout the 98kms. You are not allowed to have support (i.e. Take gels or food) from anyone outside these refule zones.

Michael, Birken and Mom met and cheered in Val Ferret Italy before climbing up Col du Val Ferret-Here I refueled w/ soup and sports drink-and water.

Lyndsay and Kari first saw me just before the climb up to Champex (cheering next to the Swiss Cows). In Champex I ate some pasta at 7:40 and changed to long sleeve shirt and head lamp. I did not turn on until about 9pm. Still hot); In Trient, I switched to brighter Petzl ultra light Headlamp- amazing for down hills; In Vallorcine (Lynds and Kari still cheering- God only knew what time it was- sometime in the middle of th night and Kari had just flown over from the States and was running on no sleep and Red Bull), then Col des Montets (last big and toughest climb of the course before a tough descent into Chamonix) At this point I was only able to digest Coca Cola. It pretty much got me through to the finish in Chamonix.

Michael, Lynds and Kari welcomed me to the finish in Cham at 5:20 am Saturday the 30th. Yay!
Mom looking after kids at home. Thanks to so many of you who followed on the internet and texted me encouraging messages too!

Why did I do this race?

It’s funny, when I first moved here, I said I would never do this race when I saw hundreds of people limping around Chamonix on the sunday after the race. Even last year when I supported my friend Lynsday in it, I said I would never do it, but somewhere in a moment of weakness-or strenth, thinking it would be good training for ski mountaineering, I signed up through a lottery draw, managing to avoid the madness on January 1st when thousands of people sit in front of their computers waiting to get into this race- Both races filled up this year in 10 minutes! Why would so many people want to put them through that kind of suffering? I can’t explain.

It brings people together

50,000 people came to Chamonix, to either race, support their families or friends or volunteer. This race was impressive in the amount of manpower/women power it took to put on. On a large scale, there were people over 50 nations participating in the event -with in the Alps, it covered trails in 3 countries, 3 languages, bringing thousands of volunteers together in unity. On a smaller scale, there were over 60 people from my local running club in the event. On another scale- both global and familial, it was important for me to bring my own challenge to another level and help raise an awareness to those dear in my live who have suffered or are suffering from cancer. Doing this brought unity between friends and family from far away as we joined forces to help support finding a cure for this disease.

Throughout the entire 18hrs and 20 minutes my mind went through- highs and lows. I was more than honored to be running for those close to me who are challenged daily by cancer or have struggled with this disease. The Ultra Trail was in no way what these folks are enduring or have endured each day.

Thank you all for your support in other parts of the world in the effort to find a cure.

Please pass this blog update on to anyone who you think might want to unite to help search for a cure for cancer. My race is over, but our friends’ with cancer’s race is not. You can still join in unity to help find a cure.

Click on the link below to go to my fundraising page to donate to the American Cancer Society to help find a cure.


On another note, I lost a friend in the mountains less than a month ago. Her days ended too soon. She was passionate about the mountains in everyway- climbing, skiing and trail running. I also ran this race for Aurélie Lévèque who will always shine with us in the mountains.

If you would like to find out more details about the race-results, maps, and other interesting information- or if you are tempted to sign up for next year’s race in 2009 click on the below link.