Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc -- What's It Like To Finish?

Ruff Rd. founder Tim McGargill explains the feeling of finishing UTMB and the rewards of undertaking such a herculean task.

“Here is how the majority of my 2017 training runs went: About 3 miles from the end of a run I start to visualize the town of Chamonix and running toward the UTMB finish line. I would picture myself running in strong with crowds you see in years past. This was my motivation through the frigid winter and the blistering summer.

“What actually happened was the exact opposite — and I could not have been anymore grateful. I was so exhausted that I walked into town, with my sister by side, and then greeted by just my parents at the finish.”

Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc -- What's It Like To Finish?

“This was a perfect reminder of why I chose to run. The experiences and life lessons learned are far worth any temporary physical pain. I will spare anyone the blow by blow account of what transpired during the race. The main goal of this post is to share what I learned and gratitude.”

“The whole cycle of this race showed me the value of persistence and leadership. Nothing went my way in getting my qualified races registered so I could apply.” (See the first UTMB post explaining this.)

“I had to register these races on behalf of the RD’s on my expense. After this 6 month process, I was then denied through the lottery where the odds were 50/50. Plan B then came into play with a donation for a solidarity bib making it possible to get to the starting line. These were roadblocks that would have delayed this goal into another year. I am grateful that everything panned out to allow me to start.

“Anyone will tell you that running your own race is critical for success. In a race with 2,300 people, you cannot be a follower. Even in a race where everyone has qualified with a prerequisite of experience.”

“I was able to settle in and enjoy the atmosphere once I let go of people passing me. Everyone has different styles of racing. Some are better climbers while others excel at technical descents. Understanding where my strengths are and being confident in them was a valuable lesson in demonstrating leadership and accomplishing this goal.

“After a few weeks of letting things settle, I can’t help to be grateful for all the support and experiences along the way. It was a truly an amazing Summer with great memories. Thank you to all those who helped, there are far too many to mention. I will look forward to many more memories ahead.”