OCC – UTMB Mont Blanc – Post Race review

OCC – UTMB Mont Blanc – Post Race review

OCC-UTMB Mont Blanc - Start at Orsieres
OCC – UTMB Mont Blanc: Start at Orsières (CH)

OCC – UTMB Mont Blanc : race information & review

The races are still in progress, but my race has already finished since Thursday afternoon. In fact, this year I took part in the OCC after my previous participations in the TDS (2015) and the CCC (2018).

Three times that I have taken part in this world trail week and three times that I have had the strength, the desire and above all the joy to be able to cross the last hundreds of meters in the wonderful setting of the public that is present in Chamonix.

It’s truly a unique emotion, whether you finish first or last.

OCC-UTMB Mont Blanc: my race

It was neither an easy race nor the best of my races from a sporting point of view.

I had already taken into account before arriving in Orsières. This year I have never been able to dedicate myself to running seriously for races lasting more than 3/4 hours and above all to rest, which would have been necessary between trips and injuries. Among the many have been added a plantar fasciitis that hasn’t given me a break since January and a dislocation of the mile in my left foot in July due to a domestic accident.

Therefore, I concentrated on just two objectives: having fun and getting to Chamonix.

I could divide the race in three stages.

Stage 1: Orsierès -> La Giete

At the start I met up with my friend Oli and we decided to try to do a few kilometers together. We set off at a much faster pace than we thought, but we were both calm and in good condition in the first kilometres. We took turns often, mainly me setting the pace uphill and Oli downhill.

Around 18km, just before the end of the climb to La Giete, my stomach started giving me trouble and I had to slow down, telling Oli to continue without waiting for me. I was counting on recovering some energy along the descent towards Trient.

Stage 2: La Giete -> Argentière

The descent helped me a bit and I arrived quite well and smiling at Trient where Agnese and Mathilde were waiting for me.

I filled up both water bottles and made a quick pass into the marquee where I ate mostly fruit (watermelon and orange). Then I left again exchanging a few words with the girls.

I started the next climb to Col de Balme with good leg, managing to jog the long slight slope after Trient. Then, as soon as the slope increased, all my energy instantly died.

My next 6 km were an ordeal, between difficulties in making even a few meters uphill and sitting breaks along the path, looking around (beautiful landscape) and figuring out whether to stop there, go back to Trient or crawl to the top of the Col. I was really demolished.

I motivated myself to continue slowly and once at the col (with a cold and annoying wind) I first lay down on a meadow and then sat down along the path to enjoy the view.

I looked at the profile of the race and the distances several times and I said to myself: “Let’s move and go at least till Argientere”.

After the first 3 km of descent, the crisis began to pass (but by now the condition was bad) and I kept at least a constant pace.

Stage 3: Argentière -> Chamonix

In Argentière I found Agnese and Mathilde again. I quickly passed the refreshment point and then a few meters later I stopped for a long time to chat with them.

It was clear that I wasn’t feeling well and so I wanted to reassure them on the one hand and try to eat something other than gels and bars on the other. I opted for a ham and cheese sandwich.

I also exchanged a pleasant chat and laughter with Enrico (organizer of Ultrabericus and Trans d’Havet races).

Then I checked the height difference again to go up to La Flegere and set off again.

It’s a climb that I know quite well and I was really sorry I didn’t have the strength to do it well. I especially like the part in the woods.

Once I arrived in La Flegere I promised myself at least to do well on the final descent in Chamonix. I left the refreshment point with my GPS showing the 8 hours of the race had just passed and I set myself the small goal of the day to arrive in Chamonix within 9 hours.

As I descended the heat increased but my running also improved. So, I tried to accelerate a little more especially once the technical part was over.

Once I crossed the footbridge less than 2km from the finish, I wanted to fully enjoy all the enthusiasm of the trail people gathered in Chamonix.

I enjoyed the cheers from Michele, Oli (his race was great), Markus and Bughi, and again from Agnese and Mathilde a few meters from the final line. Then I slowed down and walked the last tens of meters before passing that arch in the center of Chamonix once more.

Crazy atmosphere there and another beautiful roller-coaster day in trail-running for me.

OCC – UTMB Mont Blanc: detailed information & gpx

Official website: OCC – UTMB Mont Blanc – UTMB World Series Final

Personal Gps move (by Suunto 9 Baro): Andrea De Filippo ha corso in montagna per 53.5 km (suunto.com) (note that I never wear a Hearth Rate Monitor. The recorded bpm is on the wrist. Thus it’s not correct. Ditto for VO2 and calories)

Measured distance: 53,51 km

Measured Cumulative Gain +: 3186 m

Measured Cumulative Loss -: 3047 m

Measured max altitude: 2193 m

Start Date: 31/08/2023

Start Time: 08:15 a.m.

Start Point: Place Central, Orsières

Cost: 145 € (2,7 €/km)

Air Temperature (average): 19°C

Weather conditions: sunny, windy on the highest part of the race

Dominant Ground: trails, mule tracks and road (5%)

Ground Status: dry for most of the time

Technical Difficulties: few descents on paths with roots and stones

Refreshment Points: five (km 7,3; km 23.5; ca. km 31; ca. km 42; ca. km 47) (Note that, during the race I had two 500 ml soft flasks: one usually filled with additional electrolyte sports drink; the other one with sparkling water or coke in the last section of the race)

OCC – UTMB Mont Blanc: my equipment and results

Shoes Type: Hoka Mafate Speed 4 (Size: UK 9; EU 43 1/3; USA 9.5; JPN 27.5; Color: Navy Green)

Shoes usage at the start: 370 km; ca. 2700 D+ / ca. 2500 D-

Anklet: not used because I had two protective bandages on both ankles

Socks: Mico (Size: 43-46; Color: grey)

Calf Sleeves: Compressor (Color: Red)

Shorts: Raidlight (Size: M; Color: Blue)

Race Belt: Suunto / Salomon (Color: Black)

Undershirt: not used

T-Shirt: No Limits Team Academy (Size: M; Color: Red/Grey)

Arm Sleeves: not used

Gloves: not used

Wristband: Compressor Sport

GPS Clock: Suunto 9 Baro (Color: Black)

Backpack: Instinct X8 18L

Headwear: Raidlight Buff (first 40 km)

Glasses: Oakley

Trail Running Poles: not brought and not used (this was a personal test)

Headlamp: not used (but in my backpack)

Wind/Rain Jacket: La Sportiva (Color: Yellow) (used only in the windy sections)

First Aid Help: rescue blanket (not used, but in my backpack)

Official personal time: 8h42’38”

Official personal absolute position: 566

Official personal male position: 454

Additional information

If you want more information or technical details related to this event, please do not hesitate to contact me or comment below.

Other information about races, results and equipments at the following links: Trail & Running | EmigranTrailer.

Enjoy Running & Trail Running!

Andrea De Filippo

Original post in english language. For other languages, please open with a web browser (i.e. Chrome) and apply the automatic translation

Related projects and articles

Lavaredo 80K- Post race review
Is there a right age to run well at UTMB?
Author Image

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!