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Planning the events of 2013

Busy weekend being on call both Saturday and now Sunday night. Well, that’s what’s fun with this job. The final month of a fabulous year is finally upon us. Up here in Norway, darkness settles earlier and earlier each day and the quicksilver in our thermometer stubbornly refuses to climb into the red zone, lounging down by the blue double digits. Winter is coming, for all of you Game Of Thrones-fellow nerds out there. The athletic pinnacle for us this year was without a shadow of a doubt the Trail du Verdon this summer. Our minds quickly suppressed the memories of pain, nausea and exhaustion following the race, and what is left is only a collection of sweet snapshots of an azure sky, warm sunlight and endless vistas of steep and wondrous canyon cliffs. Along with our ultra in France, New York marathon was supposed to have been another one of the peaks this past season (not counting the Olympics in London and the European Football Championship in Poland/Ukraine, but since the QAC qualified for neither of those…), but as you’ve read earlier on this blog, it wasn’t meant to be. We found a couple of other exciting challenges though, e.g. Nordmarkstravern whose race report launched this very blog, and Oslos Bratteste. A couple of awesome shorter and more intimate terrain races, each with its own particular virtues.

So what are we planning for next year? As you know, in order for our little Athletic Club to get interested, we initially need to perceive the event as next to impossible. Or something close to that. Not that it takes much to label something impossible. The missus frequently laments my inability to take out the trash/cook an edible meal/scrub the shower drain, calling it impossible tasks for me to accomplish properly. Yet I have done them all several times in the past year. Well, once or twice anyway. So it’s not really impossible at all, is it?

Doesn't this look SO cool?!?

Doesn’t this look SO cool?!?

The desert ultra Marathon des Sables (MdeS) is a formidable challenge, and in order for us to prepare properly, we will devote most of the coming winter and spring training for the race. MdeS is set for 5-15 April, starting the Friday after Easter. After this race, one imagines we will need a longer convalescence, with or without the need for intensive care, of at least a couple of weeks. During such a race, the muscles sustain microscopic injuries and small haemorrhages that need time to heal properly. Next up, in June or July, we plan to enter a qualifier for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) 2014 – either the 6666 Occitane in France (119 km and 6666 vertical metres) or the Ultra Trail di Corsica (105 km and 7600 vertical metres). You see, we earned 3 qualification points for the UTMB with Trail du Verdon, and it would be a shame to waste the points earned. Which is why we need another 4 points during 2013. The UTMB is probably Europe’s most famous ultra, taking the runners through seven valleys, 71 glaciers, 400 summits, 168 km of trails and a staggering 9600 vertical metres. Tempting? We’d like to think so…

Following this qualification race, I think we both will have earned a nice and long vacation.

And come November, we’ll give New York Marathon another shot. Yeay!

Around Mt Blanc through three countries

Around Mt Blanc through three countries

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