A very nice surprise was waiting for me in my inbox on one of those cold and gloomy January mornings:
From: UTMB GROUP
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2022 at 10:05
Subject: Your result of the 2022 UTMB Mont-Blanc lottery 🥁
To: Maciej Zgadzaj
We are very happy to announce that you were selected to participate in the 2022 OCC 2022
The whole UTMB® community is waiting for you to write the history of the 19th edition of the Sommet Mondial du Trail Running!
Very good news, especially considering that this year is the last year of validity of my ITRA points, and after getting selected and then having to withdraw from the last year's OCC due to the tibia fracture my points are going to expire soon.
So here is what is coming - a nice run from Orsieres Switzerland to Chamonix France:
The race starts from Orsières located southwest of the canton in the Val d’Entremont. This valley offers unique landscapes: ultimate peaks on the eastern flanks of the Mont Blanc drawing the franco-swiss frontier, hanging glaciers on polished rocks, fiery torrents… The layout of the OCC goes through that nature, in a charming atmosphere before reaching Champex and the last part just as magical at the UTMB® or the CCC®.
...with some 3.500 metres of climbing:
...all to be done in 14h30 max:
Fingers crossed that my tibia fracture history will not repeat itself this time.
And here it is, in all its fresh glory:
Catching night shuttle bus from Chamonix to Orsières:
Few hours left before the start spent in the church in Orsières:
Met Adelino, the old friend from Paris Trail Running Meetup group:
He suported me mentally in last stressful minutes before the start, when it turned out that my running compression short are breaking apart at the seam where you do not really want to show what's underneath. Fortunately a local sport shop was scheduled to - and did open just 15 minutes before the start of our wave, so I was able to get new overshorts to cover what needed to be covered.
In the dark, no pics here.
Well earned finisher's beer:
Finish line from the finisher's beer point of view:
And on the next - still quiet - morning:
OCC 2022 highlights:
UTMB 2022 highlights: