​Never underestimate the power of a planted seed……UTMB Part 1.


The morning of the 12th of January went something like this….

“Come on guys, get your shoes on, get your school bags, quick come on, its nearly 9am, get in the car, Ciara brush your hair, I said put on your shoes, everyone made their beds? Put
your plate in the dishwasher, Jesus, I said put on your shoes, right in the car, in the car, come on….” The four doors bang closed and off we go.

Check the clock, 9am, I throw Katie my phone and ask her to check my emails. Nothing. 
Part of me cares and part of me doesn’t care.

“Google UTMB Katie, go to the 2017 runners section, quick, we are nearly at school, punch in my name, see anything??!!”

“Eh….it just says TO PAY Mum”

Shit just got real.

I’m in.

I am always saying to the girls that for everything we do in life, our world opens up another bit, the people we meet, the experiences we have, the places we see. We are
constantly growing. Some of this is happenstance but so much more is engineered through our thoughts and wishes, our wants and dreams. A little bit of realising it is happening and a lot of subconscious stuff rattling around deep in our brains, those little seeds we plant through our thoughts.  

I’d love to…..

In a few years I might…..

Someday I am going to do that…….


The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc is a single stage 170km mountain trail race in the Alps, starting in Chamonix in France and follows the trail of the Tour du Mont Blanc through France,
Italy and Switzerland back to Chamonix.  There are 10,000 meters of climbing and a time limit of 46 and half hours to complete it. It is one of the biggest and most competitive trail races in the world with over 2300 runners taking part (only 9.4%
are women!). You need to run races that are qualifiers (127k Wicklow Way Solo in 2015, Wicklow Way 50 miles 2015 and Wicklow Way 100miles 2016 got me enough points for 2017) and then you apply through a lottery to get in.

I first heard about this race about 5 years ago after I happen to come across a clip of the female winner, Lizzy Hawker, being interviewed on one of the English day time TV chat shows. I was training for my first marathon at the time so I knew very little about ultra and nothing at all about trail ultra and I just watched
in awe at her and her description of the race and thought now that sounds amazing…….

And so the summer has been busy, the Wicklow Way Race in June where I took the guts of 5 weeks off any “focused” running to rest up and recover, two fantastic weeks away in the camper
with the girls, for the first time in my life I am way ahead of the back to school organisation as I’ll be away for Sarah and Ciara back to primary school. The bags are packed, the copy’s and books labelled and ready to go.

Training has been different, less but more is the only way I can describe it. Once a week longer speed session, long day out hiking up various mountains and once I week I went to the
gym and set the treadmill to max elevation and ran/hiked for an hour (it’s an amazing work out-sweat city-mind you I have still managed to put on half a stone since June!)

Katie is starting secondary school which is huge change for her. (The day I found out I got a place in UTMB I rang the school to find out what date the first years would start, there
are some things you can miss and there are some you just can’t!) She started last Friday and arrived out happy so I relaxed and decided it’s time to get thinking for France and have been working to a list (this was not on the list!) But I am nearly there……

Someone asked me last week, just how do you train for a race like that? And other than being up a gazillion mountain summits over the last 6 weeks I figured I have been training for it since I first saw Lizzy Hawker all those years ago. That seed was planted and hopefully by this time next week it will be fully grown!

The aim is to enjoy and finish.

Clare xxx




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