Life is an ultramarathon

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Tuesday, October 9 2012

Comments closed...

... temporarily.

After 10 days of holidays, I had to clear 52 undetected spam comments, and check another 116 detected spam. Comments are therefore closed until I find a decent solution.

Ultra annoyance

Friday, May 13 2011

Anti-spam censorship

Following the blog's migration to dotclear 2, I have installed an anti-spam that might have taken its duty too zealously. Indeed, you might have seen this message after posting a comment:

Your comment has been submitted and will be reviewed for publication.

This happens when your comment looks dodgy, because of some of the words used, the origin IP, etc... The comment then goes to a moderation list waiting for me to approve or reject it. That's the expected behaviour. But unknown to me, this moderation list was emptied automatically every day by default, leaving me little chance to approve the comment.

It might well be that some of your great comments have been lost that way, I'm afraid. Please accept my apologies for that. The problem should be fixed by now. You are welcome to re-post your comments if you feel strongly enough about them.

Ultra anti-spam

Tuesday, February 15 2011

How long for the SPAM to track me back here?

21 days.

Ultra annoying!

Wednesday, January 26 2011

Dotclear 2.2.2

I have just upgraded my blog engine from Dotclear 1.2 to 2.2. To do so, I also had to migrate the database, so I hope all entries and comments have been moved correctly.

This is by far the most major change in the engine since I started this blog in 2006, so it's likely there will be a few teething issues. For example, internal links are not working any more, I will fix that soon. If you have web links on your website to specific pages of this blog, they will be broken, unfortunately... Please feel free to report any other problem.

I hope you enjoy the new blog!

Ultra second birth

Update 27/01/2011:
1. I have added a small script to redirect automatically the (internal and external) links from the former blog engine to the new one.
2. I have put a note to RSS and Atom users to update their feed.

Update 28/01/2011:

I have run a script to update all the internal links in the database, therefore short-cutting the previous redirection script. The redirection remains in place for inbound links.

Friday, July 30 2010


This the 200th article posted on this blog. I've also posted my 100th comment here a few days ago. As I'm writing, there have been approx 390,000 pages viewed during 176,000 unique visits.

The top 10 commentators are:
  1. Julien (100)
  2. Fred/small_duck (68)
  3. Bastoon/Bastien (34)
  4. ray/rach (29)
  5. yannick (24)
  6. Mike Mason/Mike M/Mike (22)
  7. Borkur/Börkur (18)
  8. Sven/SvN (14)
  9. Mathieu (12)
  10. Jon Steele/jsteele (9)
That said, only four articles have been commented at least 10 times:
  1. Statistics and little game (2) (12)
  2. TSQ: it is on! (11)
  3. UTMB 2006 (10)
  4. Ironman France 2008 (10)
Thank you for reading and commenting!

Ultra blog milestone

Tuesday, September 22 2009


Under popular demand, this is a list of acronyms used on this blog. To be updated on a regular basis.

CCC Courmayeur - Champex - Chamonix (98km +5,600m)
COs the Chosen Ones, an informal group of ultra-runners led my Mike M.
DNF Did Not Finish
OMM Original Mountain Marathon
PB Personal Best
PBR Paddy Buckley Round (104km +8,700m)
PTL La Petite Trotte à Léon (245km +21,590m)
TDS Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (105km +6,700m)
TSQ Thames Source Quest - a creation of my own :)
UTMB Ultra-Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc (166km +9,400m)
VFF Vibram Five Fingers

Ultra acronyms

Monday, June 15 2009


Yesterday, saw its 100,000th unique visit. Thanks for reading!

Ultra visits

Saturday, January 10 2009

Statistics and little game (2)

With a couple of years worth of blog usage data, statistics make (a bit) more sense. I've recently hit the 150,000 pages viewed target and I thought a quick update could be interesting. It must be noted that strong spam bots artifacts are perturbing the measures.

Regarding to the OS, browser and country, figures are relatively similar to those 2 years ago: Windows XP/MC: 76% (GNU/Linux: 5%, OSX: 4%), Explorer: 61% (Firefox: 24%), US: 36% (UK: 16%, France: 13%). More precisely, it can be noted that has been mostly abandoned, and curiously replaced by :) .

The UK ultramarathons list is by far the most read article now. The top of the article ranking is mostly filled in with entries related to the UTMB and the Ironman, but surprisingly The tortoise and the hare is well ranked too. I'm not sure this article is what people expected to read!

PlaymBD having been stalled for a while, the first non-search engine website to provide me with readers is realendurance.

The little game is similar to the previous one: can you guess the keywords most people type in search engines before ending up on my blog? You can post your list of 5 words as a comment. You will be rewarded some points proportionally to the popularity of each word in the top 30 this time. Because the top 5 is a bit similar to the previous ranking, the keywords already present in this list are not allowed. Results on the 19th. Good luck !

Ultra blog engine stats, the return.

Thursday, September 18 2008


Mike just came across another blog with the same name as mine: He started blogging in March 2008, and seems a devoted Christian. This is somehow amusing, because when I created the blog and searched about this name in 2006, the only reference I found was about Christianity - see my first entry.

Although this name is obviously not registered or reserved whatsoever, I can't deny it makes me feel a bit uneasy.

Ultra copy.

Thursday, January 18 2007

My favourite entries


UTMB 2005
My first ever ultratrail, the UTMB 2005.

UTMB 2006
My UTMB in 2006, DNF because of a tendinitis.

UTMB 2007
My last UTMB in 2007.

Can novice ultratrailers run the Ultra-Trail Tour du Mont-Blanc ?
Why do I think that some novice ultrarunners can complete the UTMB.

What entry system for the UTMB ?
Comparison of several entry systems for the UTMB, following the increasingly fast registration.

Other races

Tough Guy 2008
My participation at Tough Guy 2008, a wet assault course in winter.

Ironman France 2008
My first triathlon, the Nice Ironman 2008.

Hardmoors 110: the friendly ultramarathon
My tale of the first Hardmoors 110 race.

PTL 2010
Account of the successful PTL 2010 with Leo as Two Chameleons.

Runs and hikes

London - Guildford: the Mommas' Pilgrimage
My run from London to Guildford along the Thames and the Wey.

London to Brighton (running version)
My solo and unsupported run from London to Brighton.

Tour du Parc National de la Vanoise
Hike in the Alps, on the GR5 and GR55, an extension to the Tour des Glaciers de la Vanoise.

Strenuous winter hiking in North Wales
Surprised by a snow storm in North wales as I was hiking alone.


UK ultramarathons list

Energy gels: a subjective comparative test
Comparative study of most energy gels available in the UK.

Wednesday, November 22 2006

Statistics and little game

I've installed a statistics tool on my blog engine about 2 months ago. That's great, I know many things about you my dear reader !

You are 75% to use Windows XP (GNU/Linux: 7% - OSX: 2%) whereas 58% use Internet Explorer against 37% for Firefox. There's still some progress to do regarding to the free software ;) . Obviously, US is the first origin with 37%, followed by France (12%) and UK (11%). The dominating articles are clearly related to the UTMB (hint...), the first one being UTMB 2005. A big thank you to playmbd which is the first independent site to drain readers with about 1% of the origins (far behind the search engines). It's fun, I can also monitor the frequency of connections from sites such as, or, which give me a hint about the reader identity :)

The little game is the following: can you guess what are the keywords most people use to reach this blog via the search engines ? I have a copy of the current top 20 keywords (so that no one tries to influence the stats), you can post your list of 5 words as a comment. You will be rewarded some points proportionally to the popularity of each word in the top 20. Results on the 29th. Good luck !

Ultra blog engine stats

Wednesday, October 25 2006

Private message

This is a private message to the reader with the IP [195.225.177.*], probably from Ukraine, that connects to my blog more than 10 times a day. If you are not a (spam) robot, could you please tell me why you like my blog so much :) ? Otherwise I may consider you as such and blacklist you :(.

Ultra curious.

Friday, January 6 2006

Yet another start

The name of this blog came up one day while I was chatting with Bastien. We realised that sometimes in life when everything goes wrong one can suddenly feel happy for no apparent reason. Just like in an ultramarathon... Life is an ultramarathon !
The only reference to this expression (used in the same sort of meaning) I've found on the internet is: "The Christian life is an ultra-marathon, not a short sprint" :-/ ... This blog will not only deal with ultramarathon, but more generally with the aspects of life related to ultra.

Technically, I've decided to give up the duo NanoBlogger (bash) + CgiComment (perl). However the frequent speed gains in every new version, it takes now 40+ seconds to generate the update of an entry (on a 2.8GHz P4) and it seems that there are some serious security issues with the comments. I've then choosen DotClear (PHP/MySQL) to replace these engines. This should also allow much more flexibility (eg. I will be able to post from a internet cafe).
The RougeCiel (sky red) theme has been selected and modified it a bit. Stars on the banner have been kept to symbolise the hope, whereas the background was set to the "trailer's dream" image from UltraFondus.

Hope you'll like it!

PS: The first post below is a refreshed version of the article posted on my previous blog.
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