The "consolation" prize

My goal for the last couple of years has been to qualify for the UTMB.

It took me a while to out myself on this goal and when I did, I admitted to being fairly fearful about it. There was a good reason for that. It was a lofty one and in the end, it turned out I'd bitten off more than I could chew. I failed to finish my final qualifying race, so came up short.

I've been awarded a consolation prize though.

Through finishing Glasshouse Mountains 100ks and The North Face 100 within the qualifying period, I had enough points to register for the CCC (Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix). It's the "little sister" of the UTMB - a 101km option at the UTMB festival. It has 6100m of elevation and has to be completed in 26:30.

Despite this quite immense degree of difficulty, the race is oversubscribed and you have to enter a lottery to win a spot on the start line.

I found out last week that I was one of the 1,900 lucky ones. I was successful in the draw and on 26 August 2016, I'll toe the start line of this beast of an event.

When I registered for the draw, I have to admit I didn't really own it. I felt like I was buying tickets to a tribute band because I missed tickets going on sale for the sold out actual band.

Now that I'm in, it feels anything but a consolation prize. All of a sudden, it's real, and it's frightening.

I don't know whether I can cover that distance, with that much elevation, in that little time. I don't know whether I will be able to handle it if there is inclement weather. I don't know what to wear.

I don't know whether I'll lose my passion for my main goal, UTMB.

There are many unknowns and with unknowns come doubts and fear.

But with unknowns there are also new adventures.

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