Dacorum & Tring ultra runner Simon Bright, took on the ultimate long-distance challenge when he lined up for the legendary 80km du Mont Blanc.
Considered the Olympics of ultra running, the 80km du Mont Blanc is a grueling 80km trail run finishing at the top of the Planpraz peak, at 6,725 feet above sea level.
Unfortunately, Simon’s day didn’t go to plan, as he ended up being medically evacuated with altitude sickness just over a third of the way in.
“Not the result I’d planned for,” he said. “But I can live with it as I was forced to stop by events outside my control and I carried on for a couple of hours after I knew I was toast, just to convince myself I wasn’t wimping out.”
Of nearly 700 runners who started the event, only 471 crossed the finish line.
“It was a very tough run,” added Simon. “The first climb was up to Le Brevent was a constant climb for two hours.
“There was quite a lot of snow on the ground – coming down from Le Brevent on impacted snow was a memorable experience.
“The terrain was stunning and varied with lot of scrambling over rocks, and at one point we had an Ibex eating next to the path – completely oblivious to 700 runners hurtling past him.
“The best moment was when dawn broke and the mists cleared and we were surrounded by mountains.
“I was really impressed by the support of other runners – when I was in trouble one guy offered to stay with me”.
The disappointment on the day hasn’t put a dent in Simon’s racing schedule – he’ll be back to the Mont Blanc area next month for the 100km North Face Courmayeur Champex Chamonix (CCC) race, which goes through Italy, Switzerland and France.