America's only certified Skyrace course. Race Beast of Big Creek on Mt. Ellinor in Hoodsport, WA on Aug 3rd, 2024.

America's only certified Skyrace course. Race Beast of Big Creek on Mt. Ellinor in Hoodsport, WA on Aug 3rd, 2024.

Via Strava (what a funny way to release this news, it’s on Instagram too):

As the HOKA UTMB Mont-Blanc approaches, we continue to strengthen our efforts to reduce the carbon footprint from the transportation of runners and their companions. In partnership with TGV Lyria, we are pleased to offer you an exceptional discount: book your Paris-Geneva journey for just €29*, the perfect way to start your adventure in a sustainable way.

With all the hubbub that’s been made about UTMB’s Dacia partnership what is getting lost a bit is that, given the immense size of the event, UTMB has a huge focus on letting people run their events without the need of personal vehicles for them or their crew. So Euro of them.

I was just talking to Katharina Hartmuth who’s racing Hardrock this year and hearing her challenges to figure the logistics of getting to Silverton, Colorado coming from a European mindset, where train travel and public transportation is the norm, seems almost insurmountable.

After listing to Ben Mead share his Cocodona story on Singletrack and hearing him talk about how his support crew had to endlessly car shuttle his pacers from aid station to aid station I’ve been trying to put this into words. Races like Cocodona (and other “ultra-max” events, but even Western States in many ways) are requiring an incredible amount of support effort to pull off. Well, maybe it’s not required, but certainly expected and the standard is being set that one is successful with an entire pit crew. And the human aspect of this is one thing. If you find friends to help you, more power to you, but the logistical aspect of it all is just incredible. How many cars, how many miles, how much back and forth to allow pacers to run a stretch and then get back to where they started, etc?

Not sure what the moral of the story here is, and I do understand the difference between individuals using their vehicles and big corporations greenwashing their image by sponsoring perceived ‘good events’, but I also think it’s worth pointing out that if folks who want to participate in an event, are actually encouraged, and the infrastructure is there to support such efforts, to forgo their cars and use public transportation than it’s something worth celebrating and commending the race organization for.

I’ll get to experience how this public transportation effort works in practice this summer when I’m heading to Chamonix, Eager to report back on all of it.