Brian Tinder, a Nathan athlete and member of the Adidas Trail Running Team who lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, has completed over 70 ultramarathons in his career. And this month-less than two weeks from now in fact-he will toe the line at the CCC, one of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc races (more commonly known as simply UTMB) in the Alps. The CCC, which stands for Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix, is a 101-kilomter mountain trail race that takes participants around the Mont Blanc Massif from Italy to Switzerland and at last, to the finish in the famous ski town of Chamonix, France. Here, Brian shares with us what the road has been like leading up to this big event that will take place on August 29:
Toward the end of the 2013 racing season, I started thinking about what I wanted to race in 2014. The amount of races I want to run is not only an overwhelming thought but also not possible in a single year. So, I prioritized my list. I thought about how my new French friends Sebastien and Sylvan Camus-whom I met at Colorado's TransRockies Six-Day Race-had raced the CCC. But, at the time, it seemed like there were too many logistics for me to figure out.And then ... the new Runner's World
magazine came out and the famed "Rave Run" section revealed a photo of a runner in Chamonix, France, on a trail where the CCC takes place. I realized in that moment I had
to race it! I entered the lottery for the CCC and, by a strike of luck, got in! Right away Sebastien offered to host me. It was meant to be!
With registration and lodging logistics in place, it was time to tackle training. Around May of this year I started to really focus on getting in as much vertical as I possibly could (aka running/hiking up and down as many steep trails as possible). I have a laborious day job (I own a landscaping company) and so my workdays are often extremely taxing. At times in May we collected up to 12 tons of mossy boulders in a single day, by hand. As you might imagine, it is difficult to get high mileage and "vert"¬ù while doing that kind of work ... not to mention the fact that I also have a wife and two babies. Ah, the training and life of a working, family and ultrarunning man.I am happy to report, though, that I have been able to squeeze in around 70 to 80 miles per week and around 12 to 19,000 feet of "vert"¬ù a week. I don't even want to know what my competition is doing, but I feel good about my training.The thought of being able to race in such a beautiful place and compete with some of the world's best trail runners is overwhelming. I am going into this with nothing to lose and everything to gain. I have put in the time, I have gained a purpose, I am anxious to compete and now, all I have left to do is to make sure my family is set while I am gone for nine days to compete.I am excited to be representing AdiUltra Team, Nathan Sports, Kahtoola and New Belgium Brewing when I race the CCC on August 29. Also, while In France I will be promoting my new running business, arizonarunningadventures.com
.[Editor's Note: Be sure to check back about Brian's new business venture as we'll be posting an interview with him in early September!]