Race: CCC 100k
Runner: Stephanie G
Race Date: 08/31/2018
Location: Chamonix, France
Results: 17:50:02, 26th female, 283rd overall
Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/1811088350/overview
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
- The atmosphere – wow, what a scene! Chamonix was packed for days and the whole thing felt like a giant running party (those are things, right?)
- The course – beautiful even when surrounded by clouds. I would love to see the whole thing in the light.
- Organization – a race that big needs to be organized, and they have everything down
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
Probably how big it is for a trail race!
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
- I ate and drank really well during the whole race. This has been an issue in previous longer races, so I was very happy with this. I think intentionally eating more during training really helped.
- I ended up positioning myself really well at the beginning of the race so that the part of the conga line I was in during the initial 6 mile/4500′ climb was moving at a great pace for me.
- I held out long enough during a down period for my energy to come back around and had a great last 1/3rd of the race.
- I steadily moved up in position throughout almost the entire race.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
- I should have looked at where the aid stations were prior to the race. There were longer gaps between some of them than I had anticipated, and sometimes I’d assume I was coming up on one, and it would turn out to just be a checkpoint. I never ran out of anything, but it played some mental tricks on me!
- Lots of steep climbing! But also, there is a lot of runnable trail. I was actually surprised at how much.
- I didn’t really notice anywhere to change at aid stations, so be prepared to strip in the tent if you want to put on new clothes for the night.
- No option for having drop bags at aid stations.
- Don’t get too comfy in those nice warm aid stations!
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
- I can eat cheese during races! And I can eat a lot of it.
- A lesson learned time and again – things rarely just keep getting worse. For quite a while during miles in the 30s I thought I was going to be relegated to a 2mph pace for the rest of the race. But, surprise! Things turned around and I felt pretty great for the last 20 or so miles.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
As mentioned, lots of climbing. Also lots of rocks. The last decent is also quite technical and I felt like I was going over a cliff at first!
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
Yes! And likely even prettier on a day with better weather.
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
I’d say so.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
They’ve done this a few times.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
Not as strong as the main event, but impressive nonetheless
Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.
You need to have enough points from other races to be entered in the lottery, and then be successful in the lottery. I found a place to stay just outside of town fairly easily, and while it wasn’t in the middle of all the fun, it was a great escape from the craziness in town.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
I think they were standard for European aid stations. The usual coke, chips, oranges, bananas, broth. Many snack products that I didn’t recognize, and also a ton of meat, cheese and bread.
Weather and typical race conditions
It seems to vary a lot, even within the race. We had a very nice start and then wind and rain. The rain thankfully eventually stopped.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
There’s a list of required gear. It can seem kind of overwhelming, but in the end it’s not that much stuff, and I think I used all the required clothing except for gloves. I’d definitely recommend poles.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
It didn’t seem like the easiest to navigate, but there were definitely lots of people everywhere!
How’s the Swag?
Short sleeve tech shirt and this year a finisher vest – both nice.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
All the stars. It was definitely a great experience!