Apparently in reaction to the crappy weather last year, the organizers of the Ultra Tour de Mt. Blanc, famous for their 20+ page rule book, have announced that henceforth runners must carry a jacket meeting the following "definitive" spec:
"Jacket with hood and made with a waterproof (recommendation: minimum 10,000 Schmerber) and breathable (recommendation: RET lower than 13) membrane (Gore-Tex or similar; coated fabrics excluded) which will withstand the bad weather in the mountains."
for more details (though I expect you'll still be as bemused after reading it) see http://ultratrailmb.com/page/68/News.html
First reaction was to check the calendar - close, but definitely shy of April 1. OK, time order some new kit, I thought with joy. But WTF is a Schmerber, or an RET for that matter? After a serious bit of googling, all I could come up with is some hapless runner posting a question on backcountry.com asking whether some fancy jacket had enough Schmerbers or too many RETs, so will be watching that space.
The irony is that while the weather last year was mithering for someone who's gotten used to tropical climes, the brits I met there thought the whole thing was overblown; "we train in worse than this" was a typical comment.