Much of the blogosphere has exploded in heated comments that appear to revolve around the rivalry between elite European ultra runners (or “real” mountain runners) and elite American ultra runners (or pseudo mountain runners). As far as Inside Trail is concerned, the paradigm shift we touched-on in a post over a week ago is not necessarily about the countries these runners represent. We were trying to point-out the role of the team in this sport and how that one particular team seems to be raising the stakes, out-thinking the rest of the field (American or otherwise). That was it.
The aforementioned post reflected on the previous weekend’s results (Pikes and Leadville) and tried to clarify a couple of points. One point concerns the questions raised by Matt Carpenter’s Pikes Peak Marathon win at the age of 47, and 41 year-old Dave Mackey’s CR win at Waldo 100k: how much longer can these legends dominate and who, I think it’s fair to ask, will fill their shoes (at least birth a little cousin to the consistency these stalwarts have shown through the years)? Again, I think it’s fair to ask, especially since the 41 year-old is now probably the favorite for UROY 2011.
Our second point reiterated the dominance of Salomon Running, which is fairly obvious and has continued to manifest since the running of last weekend’s UTMB. With Ryan Sandes’ Leadville win and the almost predictable Kilian Jornet win at UTMB, trail supremacy is unambiguous at the elite level. The only questions I think are the ones we should be sending telepathically and via snail and e-mail to other big merchandise brands in the ultra running/outdoor/adventure/lifestyle space: “When are you going to step-up and get involved? If you haven’t already heard, mountain and ultra running (and adventure racing, mountain climbing, etc.) are getting more and more popular because A) that’s just the way it is, perhaps due to people getting smarter and more health conscious (whatever you want to call it) and B) the world is getting smaller. How can you (large companies that already have some exposure to fitness/athletics merchandising) not want to invest in this lifestyle?” It goes without saying that our clearest and perhaps most persuasive message comes from our relentless pursuit of the trail.
To the bohemian types who wince at these ties to corporatization, it’s upon us already and actually, we might argue, helping, so long as the runner liaisons in charge effectively marshal funds to the benefit of races, athletes, fans and the health of the sport in general. In other words, we say embrace these corporate investments that can benefit the sport.
Salomon Running is helping lead the way with regards to product development and team organization, largely because of Salomon Sport’s committment. Since there has been so much talk of the team this past year (only intensifying the last few months), we thought sitting-down with one of the Salomon Running team captains would be perfect. What sort of insight might we extract from the brain of one partly responsible for designing the complete annihilation of American ultra running? Ha ha, just kidding! Keep in mind, too, that Salomon’s national team, though not getting much of the attention these days, is another bunch of kick ass trail runners.
To the point: Salomon Running and Adam Chase are anything but sinister. The team of Kilian, Karerra, Chorier, Wyatt, Sandes, Gates, Frost, Chase, et al., well, they’re just a bunch of killer athletes with big hearts (and VO2 Max) running for podiums all over the world, literally. Recently, we sat down with the Salomon Running Brand Ambassador and Team Captain (and co-author to The Ultimate Guide to Trail Running) and asked him a few questions. Here’s how it went. Enjoy!
Inside Trail: Adam, thanks so much for spending some time with Inside Trail. First of all, can you tell us a little about your running/athletic background and your role with Salomon Running?
Adam Chase: My athletic history of soccer to cross-country running to marathoning to triathlon to ultrarunning to adventure racing, and back to ultrarunning is probably not that unusual, but for the fact that I was just ahead of the curve and gave me some great opportunities. I’d have never won enough races to get in the position to have a team like Salomon sponsor me for what is now a decade, first through adventure racing and then trail running. My role has grown to be the US trail running brand ambassador and team captain/manager. I’m honored and grateful for the trust that Salomon has put in me and am most proud of our team members, who feel like siblings in one big happy family, on a global and national level (Check-out Salomon’s national team, which doesn’t get the same press as the Euro-dominant international squad).
IT: Is Salomon Running more of an individual company or very much integrated in with Salomon Sports?
AC: Salomon is an integrated company. Our different focuses on categories such as free-skiing, Nordic, and hiking, don’t always overlap with trail running and in those cases I think the company’s rich mountain heritage and passion for outdoor recreation is what becomes the common bond. We are also connected to related companies, as part of the Amer Group (Salomon, Wilson, Precor, Atomic, Suunto, Mavic, Arc’teryx) and there is a comfortable level of symbiosis that brings a real level of professionalism and international flavor to the table.
IT: Is your market primarily Europe, North America, truly global? Can you describe how you guys “see” your market?
AC: Truly global. While I’m the US Trail Running Brand Ambassador, when I meet with and correspond with my equivalent from, say, Spain, Germany, Austria, the UK, or Canada, we are equals and while we respect that different markets demand different types of products – the Fellcross, for example, was a product born in the UK – we sit at what you might call a round table, with no real head and have a conversation that is more supportive and collaborative than it is instructive. Granted, there is a King Arthur, Gregory Vollet, who I’ll talk about below, who has asked various knights to be seated, but the table remains round.
Our market is anyone who wants to play outside with the best of gear. We don’t discriminate and welcome anyone and everyone.
IT: Great to hear! Okay, Salomon Running results have been truly incredible this year. Help us out: is there a genuine marketing strategy going-on here (let’s send Miguel to the TNF50 San Fran, Kilian obviously to WS100, Julien would work best at HR100, Sandes LT100, etc.)? How do you decide which athlete to send to which race? In other words, are these results coincidence, or is it great athlete/race pairings (ala wine and cheese 🙂
AC: Salomon does not put pressure on its athletes. Rather, Salomon picks athletes who put pressure on themselves. And, by making arrangements for us to get together and support one another we, in turn, put a level of pride and momentum behind one another, the way Phil Villeneuve (my equivalent from Canada), Anna Frost, Josh Korn and I all jumped at the chance to pace Ryan Sandes during the Leadville 100. There was a group of almost 20 people down in Australia for the TNF 100km earlier this year. The men took all three podium spots and the women had two of the three positions; but everyone left the event feeling as though the “family” won, as a whole. There was just as much support for athletes who were injured and unable to start as there was for Kilian, who won the race.
When the brand ambassadors and global team members live and train together around events like “Advanced Week,” which is held each year – it was our fourth in a row last April – in the south of France, we talk about different events that are enticing because of the course, the competition, the weather, favorable courses, and the fun factor that may appeal to different athletes. There isn’t any unilateral “telling” going on but, rather, athletes can request certain races that suit their strengths and desires to travel to that location. We have athletes that excel at shorter races, those who are ultra-distance specialists, those who favor stage racing, and some who can do anything that is thrown at them.
I guess I’d have to say that the results aren’t coincidental but, rather, they are the orchestration of musicians who know how to harmonize by playing at their best with people they know and respect. Can you get a bad meal if you only pair delicious and nutritious courses?
IT: Well put. Can you describe how the current global team was formed?
AC: The race team was born out of Salomon’s adventure race heritage. We weren’t as combined on an international level, but different countries — France, Spain, the US, the UK, Sweden, etc. — had their own adventure race teams and when Salomon decided to throw itself fully behind the sport of trail running we already had the infrastructure in place.
IT: We saw a great picture of you pacing Ryan at LT100. Tell us about that whole race experience.
AC: I flew back to the States with Ryan on July 4 and within an hour of getting off the plane I had introduced him to some of the best athletes in the world – almost none of whom were Americans – at a party in Boulder. A few days later we were down in Silverton for the Hardrock 100 and he got to feel the thin air while he paced Julien (Julien Chorier, who went-on to win the race). From there, Ryan went directly to Leadville and spent six weeks training on the course and so his performance last weekend was merely the execution of his carefully-worked plans. I got to visit him about three weeks ago, when I first met his girlfriend Vanessa Haywood, to see that his effort was not a solo one. Vanessa was Ryan’s crew chief and she was totally dialed in to his every need, well ahead of the game. She had it all dialed and so did Ryan and running with him on the leg from Fish Hatchery to May Queen, over Hagerman Pass via Power Line, was a treat because he was essentially painting by numbers at that point in the game.
We had a good conversation while Ryan managed to keep a strong pace, even running some of Power Line, which is a real bear at mile 80! My nickname in the Salomon family is “Proton” because I’m said to be a ‘positively-charged Adam’ and I did my best to keep Ryan’s spirits high. He made it rather easy to do, and it became rather clear, when we looked back at the top of Hagerman’s and didn’t see anyone at the bottom, that Ryan had a victory coming to him barring any major mishap.
IT: What does Ryan’s future look like in terms of ultra/adventure racing?
AC: Ryan will go far.
IT: Any hints as to what the 2012 racing schedule looks like for some of your other athletes?
AC: I don’t know too much about next year’s agenda because I don’t think anyone does, beyond TNF 50 in December, when I am pretty sure Heras and Frost will return to defend their victories. There is talk of Kilian spending some of the summer in the Rockies but he’s got so much on his plate that it is hard to say and I don’t know if he can get into Hardrock, but I’d love to see him on that course because it really suits his personality and passion for beautiful and high mountains; much more than Western States, for sure.
IT: [I asked Adam about UTMB – this interview was pre-UTMB] Give us some behind the scenes insight about UTMB. Who do you like and why?
AC: Too hard to predict that one. I’m really sorry that Krupicka is injured and that my buddy Dave Mackey couldn’t make it over for it, especially after what he did at Waldo, because I was hoping that everyone would be there with their A-game, ready to play.
IT: Lastly, do you think what you guys are doing at Salomon with this team strategy will catch-on? What other brands/teams seem to be working along these same lines?
AC: What you see with the global team should be credited to Gregory Vollet, who is an outstanding athlete in his own right and raced mountain bikes professionally but then showed all the Salomon runners that he is just as quick on foot this season when he entered races and finished ahead of almost all the team members. Greg’s title is Global Outdoor Sports and Community Marketing Manager and he painted his vision to me when we met at the base of Mont Ventoux in early 2010 and has carried out that plan with impeccable precision and alacrity.
I’d say that Greg’s plans are the modern equivalent of those of Scott McCoubrey, who should be credited with putting the first successful trail running and ultra team together, Team Montrail (for which I raced several seasons), back in the mid and late 90s. Certainly many programs, including TNF, La Sportiva, Inov-8, Patagonia, and Pearl Izumi, are using the old Montrail model as a foundation and Greg’s version is maybe just the updated twist on that basic theme. Either way, I’m just thrilled to be a part of it!
IT: Thanks, Adam. Great stuff! Hopefully, we’ll see you at some races in the coming months. Either way, thanks for sharing and continued success out there on the trails!
22 thoughts on “Interview with Salomon Running’s Adam Chase”
You guys are rocking the Ultra news! A hearty thank you! Keep up the Excellent work. – Mark
Really great, non-biased, and fantastically well written articles. It’s what everyone is thinking but many other ultra blogs are a bit too close/friends with the community go hit some topics. Podcast please.
LOL @ ‘Positively Charged Adam’. Thats freaking great.
How much support do the Josh Cox, Ryan Hall, Galen Rupp, Meb Keflezighi, Dathan Ritzenhein and on down the list get for their running pursuits? Do you think the appearance fees and sponsorship monies in more traditional marathon and track and field far outweight trail and ultra running? Does it in a way prevent them from stepping over due to recovery times, risk of sacrificing performance at the few key events each year, etc.? There some tiny exceptions like Michael Wardian and one could argue Max King, but those guys seem to have Kilian-like recovery capabilities.
Imagine if any of those guys toed the line at an ultra/trail event.
What is the delta in support/appearance fees between track/field/marathon and trail/ultra over in Europe?
Brett – I think the top marathon guys (Meb, Hall, Ritz, Goucher) make an incredible amount more than any of the trail guys, possibly all of the trail guys combined. I remember reading that Ritz got six figures just to show up at NYC. After that top level the money must drop off quite a bit, but probably still significantly higher than what the trail guys make.
Brett–Major downfall of the Internet, I can’t tell if your inquiries are rhetorical or sincere, but I’ll take them seriously (and ignore the fact that you lumped Cox in with Hall, Rupp, Ritz, and Meb…K-Swiss’s marketing must be working).
To be clear, road/track running racing is a pitiful little sport compared to the TRULY big-time stuff like NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, PGA, FIFA, etc. But, the MUT scene is still even no more than a mere pimple compared to what’s going on in global athletics. This week the IAAF Track and Field World Championships have been going on. There, you win $60k for gold down to $4k for 8th place.
Every athlete’s shoe company contract has a HEFTY bonus written into it for a WC or Olympic medal. Usually in the $50k-100k range. And, a percentage of that bonus will then roll-over into your base salary next year. Jenny Simpson is super psyched to have won the 1500m last night.
The European Diamond League meets aren’t quite as flush, but if you win your event at every meet all season (very tough to do, but athletes do it) you get a share of $1mil. Normally no more than one or two athletes accomplish this, though, so it’s a big payday.
And then there are appearance fees. Jenny’s WC gold will be paying the mortgage faaaar into the future for her as her agent can now command a hefty appearance fee for her any time she races. A dude like Mike Aish was riding a more ghetto version of this gravy train for a year or two after he ran 2:13 to win Phoenix RnR a couple years back because lots of RDs would love to have a non-Kenyan marathon champ on their start line.
So, that’s sort of the lay of the land in global athletics. BUT, only the very very very best thrive. AND, all of the East African talent has left the track and headed to the roads. Why? MONEY. Rupp is a giant talent, but if all the East African talent were properly incentivized to be racing the WC 10K final, no way Rupp is 7th. Period.
The World Marathon Majors pays enormous (again, by running standards) prize money and appearance fees. Win the NYC Marathon (a WMM) and you get $130k. Break the CR and you get an extra $70k. And then the sponsor bonus for that kind of performance is as equally hefty as a WC or Olympic win. Races will often throw in a BMW or Mercedes or something just for kicks. The guys who are capable of winning those races command six-figure appearance fees w/o racing a step. Blonde-haired and blue-eyed and you don’t even have to have a chance of winning the race (Ritz got a quarter mil for his marathon debut at NYC a few years back, I believe.) Haile and Paula and Sammy were getting $500k to just show up. London buys its stacked field each year.
AND YET, somehow Meb–an Olympic silver medalist and NYC Champ…credentials don’t get much more sterling than that–is now running for Skechers of all companies! Which leads us to base salaries. I’m sure Nike wasn’t offering Meb the base salary he thought he deserved, so he went shopping and Skechers probably most closely matched Meb’s inflated sense of self-worth so he went with it. He had to, he’s at the end of his career, might as well try to make as much cash as possible while he can. Who knows what Meb was asking for, but Rupp is probably in the $300k range for base salary. He’s a Nike golden boy, All-American, that is DEFINITELY the very high end of the pro runner spectrum. Kara and Shalane make about the same–remember they’re both WC medalists as well and quite attractive by runner standards. I know a recent-ish CU grad who is getting ~$80k base from Nike. Apparently, Jeremy Wariner (400m runner) is who really blew things up in the shoe contract world. Before him basically no one was getting more than $100k. And that was only 5-6 years ago or so.
So, basically, the reason there is no cross-over btwn road/track and MUT is because it’s a giant waste of your time if you have the talent to compete on the road/track. Unfortunately, while Wardian and Max are indeed amazing runners, 2:15-20 marathons hold zippo sway in the road/track contract world. So they dabble around in the fun stuff–trails, mountains, etc.–because they’re not jeopardizing any money to do so.
Kilian is probably the only one in the business who is truly full-time. Scott has carved out a decent relationship w/ Brooks over the years but that dude has grinded it out for years and years and years and it’s nowhere near what Salomon is sinking into Kilian. His resume is jaw-dropping (as is Kilian’s obviously). Euro mountain races pay a little money–I think you get 2k Euro for winning Giir di Mont and 1500 swiss francs for SZ (so, almost $3k and $2k). Mt. Kinabalu Climbathon in Malaysia offers $4500 for the win. The overall Skyrunning Champ gets 10k Euro each year (so $14500 this year). TNF50 with $10k is a good chunk and the MUC series champ with $5K is enough as long as no other company steps up to challenge Montrail for the series.
Salomon’s main advantage is not necessarily the salaries they are paying but the eliminating of costs in preparation, the team support. If I do UTMB next year I’m going to want to go over 6 weeks beforehand so that I have everything competely dialed in before the race a la Sandes at Leadville this year (Sandes is also a full-time athlete, but he has support from a lot more than just Salomon–Red Bull, this SA mining company, etc). But, living in Chamonix ain’t cheap! And there most likely won’t be a New Balance trail running marketing manager over there to help me with logistics. 🙂
Damn, I’m a wordy bastard.
Wow,thought i knew alot about the behind the scenes workings of the running world,great post Anton.
Point taken Tony, how about if my excuse (re: Josh Cox) is just fast typing? 🙂 Although in my defense he is the 12th fastest American marathoner right now on the Olympics qualifying list. Maybe I lumped him in subconsciously because of the Powerbar/K-Swiss marketing and I assumed subconciously he was therefore making a good living at it. At least, thats my excuse. 🙂
Not sure why, but I’ve been picturing Meb running in a pair of ‘shape-ups’ all day. Thanks for that!
In reference to Tony’s post,
As Howard Cosell would say: “There it is, ladies and gentlemen”
And yes, you are a wordy bastard. I had to read that crap twice to digest it all. 🙂
Maybe this is relavant or maybe it isn’t.
Seems to me Matt Carpenter is probably the most purely talented trail runner of the past 20 or 30 years. I don’t think he’s poor, but he’s probably not rich either, despite his unGodly talent. Anyway, what I’m getting at is that timing is everything. What if Matt was now in his early 20s? Would he be looking at a lifestyle and a sponsorship like Kilian’s?
I second Wyatt’s questions and also ask: What is Matt up to lately other than running the PPM? Does he compete in any other races and if not how does he make a living?
Not just running the PPM but also WINNING it yet again.
One time I was at 13,000 feet on Pikes Peak and Matt came gliding past me. This was only two months after we moved to Colorado from Ohio, so stuff like Pikes was all new to me. I will never forget seeing Matt go up the Barr Trail to the summit, just dancing over the snowy sections. It was then that I realized that this guy isn’t freaking human (I say that as a compliment). His abilities are freakish at the most obscene levels. Matt C. at about 25 could have given Kilian a hell of a run at just about any race.
Wyatt — Matt had a very nice sponsorship deal (by mountain standards) with Fila as one of the initial SkyRunners from late 1993 (after his historic Pikes run that year) until about 2000 or so. Fila was sort of tossing money around back in the 90s like Salomon is today. He was probably the first truly professional trail racer the world ever knew. Matt, Ricardo Mejia and Bruno Brunod were probably the biggest names. I don’t know a whole lot about it except once on a run I asked Matt why he wasn’t sponsored (this was winter of ’06-’07 I think) and his response was that if he was going to run for someone and feel sponsorship pressure in his racing again it was going to have to be for a whole lot more than free shoes (contrary to what seems to be semi-popular belief, that’s basically all most trail company “sponsorships” are). I’m fairly certain he was getting a reasonably liveable salary. And traveling all over the world (Europe, Nepal, Africa, Mexico) running some truly awesome SkyRaces (Monte Rosa, Mt. Kenya, Ixtaccihuatl in Mexico, Everest Marathon–Matt has run a 2:52 marathon all above 14k’…just think about that!). And I know those races had a ton of prize money back in the 90s, too. Thousands of dollars, and Matt was winning basically all of them. Rumor is his BMW X5 was a prize from a Euro SkyRace back in the day, too, but who knows. I do know Matt is far too frugal (not a bad thing) to ever just buy a BMW and I’m sure he banked most of the money he was making back then, too. But, eventually Fila got out of the game, Buff took over the Sky Series in 2003 I want to say and now Vibram appears to be the title sponsor.
One of the points in the Euro vs. US runners discussion has been the lack of races with big crowds. The biggest ultra here in States isJ FK 50M with ~1000 runners, LT100 is 750+, WS100 only 360+, HR 140 only. There also has been a lot of discussion about lottery rules, free slots for elites etc … but I don’t want to go in this direction. My question is whether the main bottle neck are the RD’s who do not feel/wish/know how to organize a bigger race or is it all the limits by BML, State Forestry etc. ?? … if the second option is the answer wouldn’t it help to make an umbrella organization for RD’s which could lobby for higher limits, help with some bureaucratic logistics and so on ? … something like “American Association of the Ultra Marathon Race Directors” perhaps ? … or maybe it already exists, and its me who lives in the darkness. In my opinion trail runners are some of the best stewards of the trails so I can’t imagine that any argument for restricting numbers of runners on most of the trails are well justified. I think bigger (not more) races would help the sport and make many more people happy. Anyway … 2 cents from the middle of the pack.
Vlad: Most of the time the cap on races comes down to BML or state forestry limits. This is the case for Western States and, I think, Hardrock and other races. Leadville, I think, has a self-imposed “cap” that they play with a little. I’m very torn on caps. The situation at Hardrock breaks my heart because it’s been a dream of mine to run that race. But the odds of getting in given the automatic bids to 5-time finishers, etc. are not great. I would love to see Hardrock expand its cap, but then again you’d have a lot of runners stomping on precious mountain tundra, etc. The stewardship of the trails at Leadville isn’t great since they let so many yahoos in, and so imagine what the Hardrock course would look like if you had 300, 400 or more runners out there.
I do think Western States is in a tough spot. Like it or not, it’s the #1 100-miler out there and lots of people (myself included) want in. WS100 needs to do something to improve access, or else people are going to move on (you know the saying, “No body goes to that restaurant–it’s too crowded.”). John M. at Ultrarunning Magazine once told me it would literally take an act of Congress to expand the WS100 cap. Good luck with that! But why not try?
One solution would be multiple races on the same course. Think Western States race 1, Western States race 2. Put the elites in the same race. Same with Hardrock. Don’t know if that’s feasible.
At any rate, the American Ultrarunning Association and USATF are useless and so there’s really no one body there to represent the sport as a whole. Go to the AUA’s website and it’s embarrassing. They have a hall of fame and yet they don’t notify the inducees when they’re inducted. It’s basically run by a bunch of road guys from the East. I love road ultras myself, so not bagging on them for that. But the AUA is useless and so there are two alternatives if we want a representative body–found a new organization or force a change in the leadership and direction of the AUA so that we have an organization that actually does something.
Epic heel strike in the last image!
Anton, you’re not a wordy bastard, at all, at least not in these comments. But you’re a show-off! I love it. Great insight. So, I guess the point is: still no $$ in trail, especially state-side (though you and Jurek –off the top of my head–receive some kind of stipend from NB/Brooks, no?).
That’s really the point here in this post/interview: let’s celebrate this kick-ass team because they’re getting the job done out there on such a consistently high level. My sense is money is certainly a factor, but it’s also surrounding yourself with guys like Adam Chase who are very excited and experienced. That counts for something no doubt. Other companies are and will step-up only because they see the coverage, the excitement, and these great events going on around the world. Even with more grass-roots types of coverage (like iRunfar’s twitter, or IT’s “front-row-seat” coverge ((stay tuned!))) the subsequent ability to follow and gain insight will throw gas on this latent trail running fever.
Really great comments, everyone. Thank you.
I have been lucky enough to know the proton for many years and that is definitely the right name for Adam Chase.
An umbrella organization lobbying to allow more entrants in ultras is a great idea, especially if your heart has been broken by not being chosen in the lottery.
What about doing something like Swan Crest 100 does for the Hardrock 100? When Swan Crest had their permit denied at the last minute, they offered to refund the $225 entry fee, or keep it as a ‘donation.’ They also halved the entrants to 75, thus avoiding the ‘commercial use’ requirement of the regulations, and were able to run the race:
Click to access Fall-2010-e-2.pdf
Sponsors will pay more money when sponsorees can demonstrate that they are selling product…I think it is pretty simple.
P.S. I heard Matt Carpenter had been considering running Hardrock 100 many years ago but decided not to because the HR100 wouldn’t pay an appearance fee.
Hmmm,not sure having Hardrock like Swan Crest race would be a good idea unless i missed something,less entrants?I do know that Hardrock has a very good relationship with several of the agencies that manage the land that the course runs through,except that moron that forced a re-route of part of the course.Understand why Matt would at least try to get appearance fees if that’s what he’s used to doing at other races,but not entering because of that,you missed out on a great adventure Matt.Insidetrail might want to have a talk with Blake Wood,Charlie Thorn,or Dale Garland to get some more info about the future of Hardrock,since it,s being brought up alot lately,there numbers and e-mail are on the Hardrock site in the course description.
Thanks Randy, to clarify, I meant a Swan Crest-like run or runs for the HR in addition to the regular race…That’s not to say it would be impossible to get the entrant numbers increased for the HR, but in view of the San Juan Wilderness Act it would literally take an act of Congress to increase the limit and it is almost certainly guaranteed that some enviros would be vehemently opposed…
Great interview ! I hope TNF, La Sportiva, Montrail and others will follow up, to bring on more concurrence in the field…
Anton> But, living in Chamonix ain’t cheap!
Yes, Chamonix is a very expensive place. But they are a lot of much much cheaper place not far. And you will feel much more at ease there anyway.
Last year, I did spent the week before UTMB (for me CCC) near Les Contamines (so Km31 of UTMB), in a small “chalet” rented together with my parents, my brother, and my wife/daughter. Much cheaper (scale is simply different). And you’re still on the UTMB track. For very low budget, you can even camp. If you want a long stay prior to UTMB, I think the best is spend the time in one of those remote valleys around, and just go to Chamonix for the last 2-3 days (it makes it much easier on race day to stay in town)…
Wait – this was an interview with Adam Chase right? I forgot that for a bit in the comments.
Wyatt – each race on a course would require a new permit. Seems easy right? Keep in mind there are PLENTY of folks who would rather there be no race on those lands ever. You might roll your eyes at that, but it really exists. I run in such a place all the time … its called Boulder.
I can’t see HR, WS extending their limits. Or getting new ones for that matter.