UTMB Interview with Eloff Hoffman

Altie Clark did an interview with Eloff about his UTMB experience.

So Eloff, tell us more about UTMB;););)

1. When did you first decide you wanted to do UTMB?

It happened on one of those lying awake- and being bored nights. I was wondering: “What I can try and enter for that is impossible to get into? And by the way … this credit card doesn’t work for online shopping

2. What did you expect? And were there things that surprised you about the event? 

Expected Mountains and got Mountain-strosities. I expected a “lekker” vibe and were amazed by next level celebration of trail running.

Whole communities are involved! No one is left out, everybody in the area takes part one way or the other. Every supporter you pass along the way makes you feel like you are leading the race. Every finisher from 1st to 1500th feels like they are champs when finishing. 

This event is not just about the runner but it is also an amazing supporter experience.

3. What were your highlights and low points during the event?

Highlights: The start with 2500 other crazy trailies. 

Beer downing for the amusement of a crowd of drunk supporters, running past a pub at night.

The Alpes…WOW!!!

Cool crazy hallucinations. 

Been stuck in thunder/hailstorm and beating the ‘this-is-a-good-reason-to-quit’ little bastard on my shoulder. 

My super seconding wife at all the support CP’S. 

Running into Trient at 03h00 in the morning with the DJ playing Impi specially for the Safa coming in. 

Beer at Courmayeur…mmm Saint Gervais, and some other CP’s with names I can’t pronounce! Oh yes, and Limoncello somewhere in Italy. 

Seeing a runner bursting into tears when he saw his wife 2km from the end. 

Running into Chamonix with crowds cheering as if they haven’t been cheering for 41 Hours. 

Support from a bunch of SA athletes and supporters that had their own battles and came out to cheer me in.

Sjo-  I can keep going. 

Low Points: 

Not winning. Next year!!! 

4. Its your third 100 miler for the year and you have another 2 coming up. How are the legs feeling? 

Is this the part where I should boost the business of the interviewer?Cryo recovery is the best!!! 

5. With the 100 miler scene exploding in SA what can we learn from a race like UTMB and what makes our events special in comparison to an event like UTMB?

UTMB is Biiiiig!!! And this big machine is well oiled by passionate people that feels honoured to be involved. And then there is the mountain thing. 

SA trail runners are much more fun/social at our events, we interact all the time while running. We really have a cool trailie community. Running races with less runners gives a more natural and adventurous feel. 

6. What would your advice be to Saffas wanting to head to Chamonix?

Rob a bank!!! And climb like a boss. Climbing in and out of bed does not count. 

And practice holding the SA flag the right way around for your finish pic. 

7. What was your most valued piece of gear and snack during the race? 

Gear: Sense of humor. Praying for rain on a hard hot climb and praying for the rain to stop on the otherside slipping and sliding downhill. 

Snacks: Got these cool sweets over there, mix between jelly beans & jelly babies. Got the sugar level spiking and, of course, some Tailwind to stabilize it. 

8. What is your next international adventure?

Lots of cool races but would be great to share the experience with friends!  Maybe a race like 100 miles of Istria in Croatia. Some bank robbing necessary first. 

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