We're live with Merrell at the finish line of the UTMB in Chamonix and waiting with baited breath to see how women's race frontunner Courtney Dauwalter descends from La Flégère to claim what everyone expects to be her third win of the ultra marathon.
Currently, the US queen of trail running is putting on a ferocious show, with a full hour of lead time over second-placed Katharina Hartmuth from Germany.
She's nearing the end of her final climb and while we wouldn't exactly say she's jogging, she's breaking out into the occasional trot and digging in on the uphills. On her last downhill, however, it was apparent that her quads are freezing up and unfortunately for her, she's looking at 7 km of descent when she reaches this final peak.
If anyone can do it, however, it's Dauwalter, who's no stranger to this race. If she gets the job done, she'll have completed the Triple Crown of the Western States 100, Hard Rock 100 and UTMB in a single summer, something that has never been done before.
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Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.