Ultra Trail Mont Blanc – UTMB Accommodation and Information

RUNNING - ELITE ENDURANCE RACE - UTWT

UTMB 2018 - START 18:00HRS 31/08/2018

UTMB 2019 - START 18:00HRS 30/08/2018

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UTMB - ULTRA TRAIL MONT BLANC

UTMB

ULTRA TRAIL MONT BLANC

Not for the faint hearted, the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, often shortened to the UTMB is one of the most gruelling endurance races on the calendar. The course spans three countries, France, Italy and Switzerland, with a distance of approximately 170km (105 miles) and a maximum completion time of 46 hours 30 minutes. A high altitude challenge, the course rises to altitudes above 2,500m with contestants ascending and descending circa 10,000m over the two days. Throw in some unpredictable weather from time to time, and some years snow and ice on the higher slopes, and you have one hell of challenge, mentally as well as a physically!

Course Route

The Ultra Trail Mont Blanc race starts at 6pm in the very centre of Chamonix (2018 race 31st August), then on to Les Houches, passing close to ski in ski out Chalet No.5 as it heads over the Prarion and on towards St Gervais, Contamines and Les Chapieux.

 

Thereinafter the UTMB turns towards the Italian border, crossing into Italy for the journey down into the beautiful resort of Courmayeur (contestants must reach Courmayeur before the cut-off time of 13:30 the following day or face elimination), like Chamonix, situated under the magnificent Mont Blanc mountain and massif range, it is a sight to behold and a favourite place for UTMB contestants friends and families to provide a welcome cheer to spur them on. As the ultra trail route then heads towards Refuge Bonatti, contestants know that are now approaching Switzerland. Slower UTMB contestants will have one eye on the clock as they seek to ensure they get inside the 24 hours and 15 minute cut-off time at the Anouvaz (18:15) check point just before the Swiss border.

 

Passing the refuge, the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc route heads on and up towards the Grand Col Ferret and the Swiss border.  A very welcome sight for most as fatigue starts to set in. Some will reach here in the morning, most the afternoon, but just getting here means that you have now crossed on foot, three countries in either slightly over, or under 24 hours! Swiss meadows and stunning scenery, as you head to La Fouly and then Champex-Lac, the latter having to be reached by 02:30 on the second and final day. If you are inside the time, tired limbs will be spurred on by the fact that the next big village (although a good trek) is Trient with 08:00 on the final day the cut-off. Trient. sat in a narrow valley below the Col de la Forclaz  is right on the Swiss border with France so it will feel extra special on the UTMB knowing you are now close.

 

A few kms and you cross back into the French border, there is still plenty of ground to cover, but here Ultra Trail Mont Blanc contestants will know they really are nearly home. Blisters and other aches generally seem a little less sore. Over the Col des Montets, then Flegere before dropping back into Chamonix town. The elation and tiredness mixed as one contemplates what massive achievement has just be done – 165km completed in less than 46 hours and 30 minutes, notwithstanding ascending nearly 10,000m!

QUICK FACTS (APROX.):

KEY

INFO:

Distance:

170km

Ascent:

10,000m

Countries:

3

Cut-Off:

46.5 Hours

Contestants:

2,300

Starts:

Chamonix

Start Time:

18:00Hrs

Date 2018:

31/08/2018

Finishes:

Chamonix

Register 18:

Closed

Start 2019:

18:00Hrs

Date 2019:

30/08/2019

Register 19:

Open

Please Note: All information is either approximate and / or to the best of our knowledge. Race times and courses may change so always consult the UTMB official page for up to date information.

UTMB Registration

Participation and selection is two step system. Initial selection is on a points system to ensure entrants have the capability, and appropriate experience to compete in this ultra endurance running event (for example completed the CCC and other similar endurance race events). Assuming you have appropriate number of points accumulated (as of time of writing (2018) entrance is a minimum of 15 UTWT (Ultra Trail World Tour) points in a maximum of 3 races), despite the points system, the event is heavily over subscribed (occasionally they have raised the points to seek to ensure the more experienced and capable athletes get selected but oversubscription still prevails such is the challenge and attraction). So the second criteria is simply a ballot system, with the first 2,300 selected chosen for the event (elite runners are part of the 2,300 but entrance for these athletes is through ITRA index system).

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