It would not be hard to argue that Chamonix, France is the spiritual home of trail running and ultra-trail running, at least in Europe (though I would say that it is the global hub for trail running) and one of the strongest pieces of evidence for that, is that this tiny town, tucked in the bottom of a valley bang up against the foot of the Mont Blanc massif, with glaciers towering above it, is home to some of the greatest trail runners in the world: Killian Jornet, Lizzy Hawker, Sébastien Chaigneau… and me for a few months this year.
So I was not hugely surprised – but I was hugely delighted – to see none other than Anton Krupicka strolling into the café where I was having lunch today. I am afraid that I was not about to allow the chance to meet him slip by, so I introduced myself and we chatted for a few minutes about the up-coming UTMB race which will be the first time Krupicka has tested himself on this course.
He was charming, not at all annoyed to be accosted by a complete stranger and really happy to talk tactics (and amazingly about his concerns) for the UTMB. Anton, if you are reading this, I hope that the race goes really well and that your first foray onto this iconic course is a huge success.