I've just failed to get a place in the lottery for the 2020 CCC and the Eiger Ultra. I did the Ultra Dolomites in 2019 and the Transvulcania in 2018. I'm looking for something similarly challenging and inspirational for 2020 that doesn't attract so much interest that it's tough to get a place? I think I might have left it a bit late. Ideally no more than 100K or so, and involving a fair bit of ascent and descent. Full on mountain backdrop and technical sections a bonus. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
Old County Tops?
"only" 37 miles (if you get the line absolutely perfect) but plenty of ascent/descent and some technical stuff thrown in. You'll need to find a partner to run it with though.
Curiously, I was going to suggest OCT too. Certainly packs a lot in for 37 miles; particularly when the weather’s shite!!! Best t-shirt in the business too
Just get the impression the OP is perhaps looking for a more Euro alpine event.
Hi Mark. Nice one. That fits the bill. Thanks.
Thanks for all the great suggestions. I appreciate them all. Please keep them coming.
Grossglockner Ultra Trail?
In Northern Spain. 86km, 10,300m
You would likely be the only Brit.
We are in a similar situation. My wife has since entered the Matterhorn Ultracks and I’ve got an entry in the Trail du Besso. Neither required a ballot.
The Trail du Besso might be worth considering if you’re looking for technical terrain. There’s a good bit of scrambling, two glacier crossings and 5,300m of ascent over c55km. The view from the Grand Mountet hut of Dent Blanche and Obergabelhorn are unbeatable.
I’m just hoping to get to the end before the cutoff!
Yeah, fair play. I suffered from hypothermia the first time I did OCT. Second time wasn't much better coming up the Wythburn (is it ever good heading up the Wythburn?)
I can easily understand it's not everyone's bag. But then again, I'm from a MM background, so it feels a bit like home :p
There’s nothing redeeming about Wythburn; it’s the living end. ;o)
Bad luck on the lottery - I read this year there were 32000 entrants (I guess spread across all races) as opposed to 25000 last year. I got turned down for the UTMB unfortunately so in the middle of reorganising my goals for 2020.
I've now entered the Echappée Belle for the 149km version, but there's a shorter version open (Traversée Nord). It's a lottery as well though.
There's the UT4M (again, Grenoble area), which has loads of different permutations including a 100km version. A friend is running that one and I might too, unless I don't get into EB in which I'll go for the 160. There's no draw though and you can sign up now.
Does that mean you have guaranteed entry next year?
Great to see all the alternatives to the UTMB races!
> Does that mean you have guaranteed entry next year?
Afraid not. I did CCC in 2017, TDS in 2018 and applied for UTMB in 2019 but didn't get in. That meant I got an extra chance in the draw for 2020, but I still wasn't succesful. The only guaranteed way of getting a place is to pay for an entry to one of their affiliate events like Oman and complete that. It's pretty annoying because it means people can effectively shortcut their way in.
> Great to see all the alternatives to the UTMB races!
Yeah there's plenty out there. Despite the negatives of the UTMB, after having run two of their events I think there's nothing like it for an amateur - the crowds, support and overall setup are definitely worth experiencing.
I’ll try again for CCC next year although I think it has the lowest odds of getting in.
Thanks very much again for all the ideas. Loads to go at. I'll let you know what I end up entering.
I ended up going for the 105 km run that's part of the UTMB organised series in Val d'Aran. Looks like a fabulous region that I don't know well and you get guaranteed entry into the CCC next year if you finish. Tough choice given all the great suggestions. Thanks again.
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