There are not too many things really matter at the end. With the past weekend fresh in mind this will not be the ordinary race report but some thoughts which came to my mind or were the results of the discussions prior, during and after the Montane Legends Trail 2022 edition. The race report itself with an overview of what happened can be later found here.
Entering Montane Legends Trail 2022 was a kind of spontaneous decision for me. With finishing the 2020 edition (LT250) and the Legends Slam 2019/2020 everything was like it should be with no need to continue the Montane Legends Trail races. I still consider myself als a lucky one that these 4 races 2 years ago could take place (Corona) and that I was able to finish all 4 of them. So why should I go again? I decided to not register for the 2021 edition and Corona cancelled the whole event finally. So thats it? Still following the news of this race and being in contact with registered runners I did not loose contact to the Legends Trail family. Somewhen end of 2021 the message came through that the registration re-opens with some last places available. I did not wait more than a few minutes after that messages and got my ticket – I am still not sure why I was so clear in my decision that moment. But I think one part of it is, that Legends Trails is way more than just a race.
It starts with that uncomfortable pre-race hustle and bustle no one really likes. The week before the event you are organizing a hell lot of things including how to get to the event and back to normal life again. On race day the entry procedure includes a detailed kit check, check if all information you entered while registration are correct, you get your GPS-tracker, your race number, need to place your drop back, etc… Finally when all of this is done successfully the waiting for the start begins. Although waiting for start is never nice – this is the moment when the spirit of Legends Trails begins. It was so nice to sit together with the other participants (with most of them either being good friends or people you know from previous editions) and the whole Legends Trails crew and Legendary Friends. A lot of stories to tell, a lot of memories to share. Long time no see. Good to finally meet again and to be able to renew the bonds. All in all there was a huge gratitude in that room that we could be there and that we could spend our next days with something we love. This is not for granted with all what is going on in this world.
Montane Legends Trails has a set of rules which are quite easy to understand and even more straight forward. They are not just there for your safety and for the safety of others but they are also part of what is the DNA of Legends Trails. Especially the part of no support is always worth mentioning. Although it may sound like the race director only wants to make it more difficult it implies quite the contrary. When entering this event you should be an independent runner and should be able to fix and solve all possible problems you may encounter during the race with the stuff you have packed and with your mind. Only when accepting and respecting this you are eligible to become a legend.
In my eyes acceptance and respect are anyway important guidelines throughout the whole event. Legends Trail is so long and so demanding that you kind of need to free yourself from every schedule, every detailed plan and every expectation as the race will anyway kill them all. This does not mean that you should not have a well-sorted and planned drop back as well as race pack and that you want to have a look on the time to meet the cut-offs but other than that… For me one enters Montane Legends Trail best with a mind setting that whatever comes – no matter how difficult – is to be accepted. With that spirit one does not need to worry or complain or being frightened but just head through. This already safes a lot of unnecessarily spend mental energy which can be used for more important things.
Finally the gratitude returning to start/finish is something overwhelming and hard to describe. With all you put in you finally re-enter that room where it all started and everyone is there. Those who did not made it tend to stay a while after their race, those who were supporting and still supporting are there – a bunch of finishers. With that spirit in the air that something worth memorizing just happens. Its like coming home after a weekend spent out there with lots of adventures. A weekend which may not have been pleasant all the time but a weekend where you invested everything to get back to exactly that place. It´s the warm campfire after the long and dark cold. Stories to be told and beer to be drunken until it finally ends.