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Day 14 - Chamonix, the NZ catch-up

A quick call with the parents this morning, hadn't actually expected they would have had coverage, but it turns out they are in a spot when they do, wished Dad a happy Father's Day... then shortly after that I received a call from my brother in Nelson, just checking in to make sure I hadn't broken myself.

I showered, changed and made my way to the bus stop, thinking perhaps I can catch a bus to Chamonix, arriving I found that I had missed the most recent bus by about 5 minutes, next bus would be in a couple of hours, aibwas happy to wait for that, brought a return ticket and decided to take a look around town before I caught the bus. Turns out, that on Sunday the main street of Courmayeur becomes a little bit of a market, with a bunch of stalls all the way down the street. I also decided to take a look inside the small church that I had to run past when doing the CCC, it's just a small one but I felt I should check it out. There wasn't really too much to see inside this one, although it did appear there was about to be a service as a lot of people where arriving and the minister had just walked up to his podium as I was leaving.

Phone was running low so dashed back to the hotel quickly grab my changer and then headed back to the bus stop. As I waited I could hear couple talking... Another Kiwi accent, Soni chatted to them, ends up the lady and her husband were over for the event, she had attempted the CCC as well but had missed the first cutoff, she found it hard getting up the first hill as well. After arriving in Chamonix I made my way down the streets toward the finish line, as I approached you could clearly hear the crowd still cheering people in. When I joined the cheering crowd as people came in, I got the realisation of what I missed, that finish line cheering... It got me keen, I want that I heard myself saying. I watched the first place of the 70-74 year age group of the 100miler come and cross the line, what an amazing effort... Just in time too, no longer had he crossed the line, he was quickly rushed to the podium as they were calling out the winners of the different age groups, but was wonderful to see that the recognised him on stage instead of just ignoring that age category altogether.

I popped over to one of the last expo tents still open and found a T-Shirt that was designed for my event (different to the ones they provide), I decided I would buy it as it had my name printed on it. They only had size XL, a tad large for me but the lady said I could purchase another size online. When I checked, it appeared it would be about €7 for shipping, reasonable I thought, starting putting in my address and it then asked for country... Turns out New Zealand wasn't on their list, I tried to use my UK address, but they wanted to charge €50, at that price I thought, well... Maybe the XL won't be too bad afterall.

Spotted Denes (the husband of the lady I met the other day who was trying to get her gear checked) running in, completing the 100mile with his wife and two kids running into the finish with him, I went up and congratulated him, he recognised me and first thing he said... "That was tough", I had no doubt, I had only managed to complete two of the large climbs, he had to do way more than I did.

Caught up with Jamie Hawker again, he had popped down to watch the top 10 UTMB finishers receive their prizes, I had plans to catch up with Sara (who I had met in Milan) and a few others, so had to leave before that happened, ran into Ian Morgan, another New Zealander, currently living his live travelling, running and posting his life on social media.

Arrived at the pub, "Hey Kiwi" I heard as I was looking around for a familiar face, however that voice came from an unfamiliar person, turns out the guy had recognised my shirt from Tarawera, I called out... Is this where the Kiwi's are meeting is it. It was, turns out, this guy was one of Sara's flatmates, all of them were currently travelling around Europe, the others eventually turned up and we all discusses the outcome of the events. Katie Wright finished 18th Woman in the 100 Miler event (technically competed for Britain, but assures me she's just waiting on the NZ Passport), Brooke Thomas was 39th Woman in the 100km event (top of the NZ competitors). There were also a couple of other guys whohad entered the 100 Miler, both withdrawing from the event, Scott Bougen and Cameron Kerr, Cameron pulling out with only 15km to go.... That's hard out. After exchanging a few stories I had to make my way to bus to get back to Courmayeur to pack ready for tomorrow's trip

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