Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc festival, the world series of ultrarunning, starts in just two days and a crew of rabbitELITEtrail athletes are making the journey to Chamonix, France to tackle a few of the various race distances offered over the course of next week.
One racer is Riccardo Tortini, who earlier this year finished 2nd at the Canyons Endurance Runs 100k, is heading to the Alps with high hopes for his first attempt UTMB. We caught up with him briefly earlier this week before catching his flight to Europe.
So, are you ready for UTMB?
As ready as I’ll ever be! Kidding aside, I am excited to take part in what is arguably the most competitive ultra trail race in the world.
How has your season gone so far?
It’s been going quite well, thanks! After a deep bone bruise and torn lateral meniscus last summer, I was able to resume my training at the beginning of 2018. Canyons 100k earlier this year was again quite successful, and with a Western States qualifier under my belt I was able to focus on UTMB the entire summer.
Riccardo was 2nd at Canyons 2 years in a row
What were the last two months build up and taper like for you?
After Canyons, with my coach we decided to focus more on training time than total mileage or vertical. Meanwhile we also stepped up our game moving efficiently at altitude during long days up and down Mount Baldy in the San Gabriel Mountains. But the highlight was a weekend with friends in the Eastern Sierras to climb Mount Langley and Mount Whitney -- SoCal mountains are AWESOME!
The final month and half saw me based in Vancouver (Canada), which gave me access to mountainous terrain just minutes from the city. All ultra runners should come visit BC at some point. We wrapped my training up with a 130 mile/30,000 ft effort last week and the taper is in full effect now.
Just three American and two Italian boys at the highest point of the continental 48
What are you looking forward the most in Chamonix?
I am stoked to spend some time with family and friends from all over Europe, as well as to share the trails with fellow rabbitTRAILelites, like Chris Thomas.
Favorite piece of rabbit gear for UTBM & why?
With a pack filled with mandatory gear to carry, I believe I will wear the super soft and light ez tee. I am a huge fan of the best in show shorts, but for a long day in the mountains (actually, add a few more hours to that!) I am going to opt for extra protection. My hands will be busy with hiking poles and the new FKT 5” with its plethora of pockets is exactly what I need for race day.
Entering Michigan Bluff during Canyons 100k with fellow rabbitTRAILelite Kanoa King and three time Western States top-10 finisher Paul Giblin.