It’s time to go back in time 5 weeks and glimpse back to the UTMB of 2018 one last time with September’s Blog Discovery! Trail Running 100 is written by Trena, an American mother of three who began running five years ago at the age of 48. Over the years, she first set out to finish a half marathon. Then a full marathon. After that, she ran a couple more marathons including the Atlanta Marathon. After a few more road marathons in early 2014, she took to the trails and fell in love with trail running. Distance running had become an enjoyable challenge for her and she entered and finished her first trail marathon in 2014. While before she hadn’t thought about running even a marathon, now she found herself entered in a 50k Ultra Marathon!
Trena had told herself to ’’always try something at least once’’ and this mentality has brought her from hiking to power hiking to trail running to running one hundred miles. Summer, her Italian Greyhound is her best running buddy, keeping her company on runs up to 30 miles and even in the occasional race!
Trena’s UTMB journey started in 2015 when she gained her first qualifying points (you need points to enter the UTMB lottery) by finishing the Georgia Death Race 100K. When I realized that Trena had gone from beginner to 100K finisher in two years, I was pretty amazed of what one can achieve when they really set out to just do it. True inspiration right here! However, Trena and her friend Stephanie got lucky and got chosen in the lottery out of thousands of participants to run in the UTMB as a team of two determined women.
After long training miles and hours of work on the trails over long months, it was time to pack up and head to Chamonix, France. The weather on race day took a turn to the worse and runners had to don their mandatory cold gear kits. 2 500 people were packed behind the starting line on the streets of Chamonix and the massive crowds were buzzing everywhere. I can only imagine what a surreal feeling it must’ve been when that gun went off!
Trena has written an in depth report of the whole experience which you can read here so I won’t go into that much detail of the race itself. However, since we are talking about the Ultra- Trail du Mont Blanc, this journey turned out to be just as brutal as it is for everyone running it. Cold and wet weather, cutoff times and the crushing climbs and treacherous descents of the course had Trena and Stephanie really fight and sometimes ride the struggle bus to the finish! They did it nevertheless and I cannot even begin to comprehend the sensation of finally arriving back in Chamonix and crossing the finish line hand in hand with her team mate Stephanie.
Trena has a very humble way of writing about her endeavors and highs and lows in racing and training. The love for enjoying the outdoors by running on the trails shines through in her writing and her open mindedness towards new things (try everything at least once) is a mindset to look up to. Not to mention the serious respect for her achievements! Trail Running 100 is a blog that will make you want to go out there yourself and do it too! At least that’s how it made me feel! I was having a bit of a low point in my training partly due to my strained hamstring that I’ve been healing up but scrolling through Trena’s blog gave me a slight kick in the butt and a spark for running again!