By Mathias Eichler
A thought that popped into my head this weekend as I was following and covering UTMB this year:
What Chamonix and UTMB is to trail running, Yosemite Valley and El Capitan is to climbing.
The images that this race provides are unlike any others. The exhilaration and inspiration it creates reminds me of the hey days of 80’s rock climbing in Yosemite Valley. Yes, mountain climbing had existed in the Alps and the Himalayas long before the stone monkeys ascended to the Valley and did they crazy climbs. And as such, Western States will always be considered the cradle of ultra trail running, but just like Yosemite climbing culture redefined how we look at and what we think of mountain climbing, racing UTMB redefines running ultras. I am not trying to take away anything from other races, but these performances and these visuals of mountain runners we’ve experienced and seen this past week will define our sport for many years to come.
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