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UTMB

CCC: Courmayeur – Champex – Chamonix

CCC set off at 9am this morning from Courmayeur in Italy. This race, which is in its 11th year, is limited to 1900 runners. The maximum time allowed is 26 hrs and 45 mins but the winners came in considerably earlier. The distance is 101km and there is 6100m of ascent.

Once again for this edition, it was a hot day out in the mountains.  The first few kilometers were on a different route to that of UTMB and the runners were treated to fantastic views of Mont-Blanc and the Grandes Jorasses. The passage of the Grand col Ferret (2537m) marked the entrance of the race into Switzerland, where the competitors went through La Fouly, Champex and Trient. It was Vallorcine next,  and the big ascent of the Vallons des Chezerys. Then a speedy run to reach the arrival arch in the heart of Chamonix.

UTMB
© UTMB® – photo : Michel Cottin

UTMB

The crowds were out in force at the finish line as they had stayed on after waving off the starters for the BIG race of the week, the “Queen” of the races in Chamonix, Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, which set off at 6 pm local time.

They had an extra treat as the first of the PTL teams came through after an incredible race which covers 290km with 26500m of ascent. The winning team was Abrico (the apricots) with a time of 107:39:37.

Male Rankings

Back to CCC and first through the famous arch for the men was Michel Lanne of France who ran through the archway carrying his baby daughter in his arms to the cheers of the crowd. The final men’s rankings were

MEN

  1. Michel LANNE, France,12:10:04
  2. Ruy UEDA, Japan, 12:15:20
  3. Giuliano CAVALLO, Italy, 12: 19:21

WOMEN

At the time of publishing the women’s results were not yet in but the standings were:

  1. Mimmi KOTKA, Sweden
  2. Jo MEEK, UK
  3. Raquel MARTINEZ RODRIGUEZ, Spain

We will update those women’s results on Facebook.

Congratulations to all the runners and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook @Irun4Ultra for live updates of the big event, UTMB 2016, the iconic, Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc

Mont Blanc

Thoughts on UTMB

UTMB, the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc is the biggest mountain ultra in the world. It is a dream for most mountain ultra runners to take part and winning catapults any runner to trail stardom.

The race kicks off tonight at 6.00pm local time. It is 170km with 10000m of ascent – Everest is 8848 meters to put that in context. There are 2300 runners and a cutoff time of 46.30 to complete the course. The leaders should take approximately 21 hours to finish.

So, what are the thoughts of the international champions who have taken part (past or present) as UTMB 2016 gets underway? We look at their motivation and inspirations, reflections and even share some of their training tips.

Zach Miller –  2015 CCC Champion

image1
Photo Credit: Zack Miller’s Mom

“I’ve received many messages, emails, and words of encouragement from all sorts of people in the lead-up to UTMB, but this picture of a bulletin board from the school where my Mom teaches really hit home today. Thanks Mom!”

Rory Bosio, 2 x UTMB Champion

Photo Credit: North Face
Photo Credit: North Face

“I do not have the fortitude to run just for the sake of running. I like to use running as a way to escape from everyday life or to see a new place. Fitness is a great by-product. I choose races based on location rather than competition. If I’m running somewhere that inspires me, or I find beautiful, I usually have a better race anyway.“ https://www.theguardian.com/

Kilian Jornet, 3 x winner UTMB

Photo Credit: UTMB

“A great athlete is one who takes advantage of the ability that genetics have brought him in order to secure great achievements, but an exceptional athlete is one who can swim in the waters of complexity and chaos, making what seems difficult easy, creating order from chaos. Creative individuals search for chaos in order to explore all the places they can imagine beyond the frontiers of consciousness, following the irrational forces that come from within themselves and from their environment.” https://www.amazon.com/Run-Die-Kilian-Jornet

Marco Olmo – twice winner of UTMB and Ambassador for IRUN4ULTRA

Marco Olmo

“It is very emotional to be back here because ten years has passed since I first won UTMB. I realise that the years have passed and that you have to be happy with what you have done before.”

Xavier Thevenard  2 x UTMB Champion

Photo Credit: © UTMB® - photo : Pascal Tournaire
Photo Credit: © UTMB® – photo: Pascal Tournaire

“UTMB is mythical because of its relationship to Mont Blanc. It is a place known all over the world and everyone wants to get closer to see what it looks like. And then there is the route itself that is very tough and physical. For purists, it’s something to do. Chamonix is the capital of mountaineering and all these make this race unique. I think this is how it will continue for a long time.” http://www.meltyxtrem.fr/

David Laney, UTMB 2015 3rd place

Mont Blanc
Photo Credit:David Laney

“Run the most technical trails you can find.  Find steep rocky mountain ridges and steep rugged canyons that mirror the course you plan to race on.  Get to a place where you can roll through really rooty, rocky or steep downhill sections.  Find those trails that allow you to practice the more technical aspects of running. Do them again and again and again.The mountains are big and free and wild and powerful.  Use those emotions to inspire your next race.” https://davidlaneyrunning.com/

Luis Alberto Hernando Alzago, Skyrunning Champion

Photo Credit: correrxmuntanya.com
Photo Credit: correrxmuntanya.com

“Everything is prepared and we are convinced that the third time is a charm!“ http://www.luisalbertohernando.com/utmb/

Lizzy Hawker, 2 x winner UTMB

Photo Credit: Lizzy Hawker
Photo Credit: Lizzy Hawker

“As a child I preferred to walk rather than take the bus and I just found moving under my own effort more appealing. By the time I came to run that first UTMB I was used to long days on my feet – mountaineering, hiking as well as running – and for a long mountain ultra like the UTMB ‘time on feet’ is good preparation.” http://www.independent.co.uk/

Jason Schlarb, 4th place UTMB 2015 and IRUN4ULTRA Ambassador

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“I want to improve on my 4th place. I want to get on to that podium which is a very high ambition for a USA runner.One of our difficulties (in the USA)  is that our mountains just aren’t as steep. We have the Rockies, but they are more characterized by switchbacks and there are trails there for mountain bikers and hikers whereas the Dolomites and the Alps are really sheer. I really attribute my fourth place to the fact that I went to Europe for three months to train. It made all the difference.” http://www.runultra.co.uk

Pau Capell

IRUN4ULTRA in Chamonix for UTMB: TDS – The Wild Alternative

August 24, 2016

I Run4Ultra Race

By Alice Hunter Morrison

Moroccan-based journalist, winner of Best Africa Blog, a writer for RunUltra, author of “Dodging Elephants: 8000 Miles Across Africa by Bike” and Special Correspondent for IRUN4ULTRA.

It is quite possibly the most important mountain ultra on the planet UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc). It takes place annually in Chamonix in the French Alps and is a week-long fest for ultra runners from around the world.

IRUN4ULTRA is based here all week, following the action, and raising awareness about Autism and

ADD/ADHD from our base in the Competitors’ Village at Booth 99.

An estimated 50,000 runners and supporters will be in this tiny Alpine town during the week to enjoy and participate in the five races that take place from July 22 – 28.

The five races are:

  •         UTMB: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (166 km + 9,600 m)
  •         CCC: Courmayeur – Champex – Chamonix (101 km + 6,100 m)
  •         TDS: Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (119 km + 7,250 m)
  •         OCC: Orsières – Champex – Chamonix (53 km + 3,300 m)
  •         PTL: La Petite Trotte à Léon (approx. 300 km + 28,000 m)

There are also mini events for children and the YCC (Youth Chamonix Courmayeur), which is open to 16-22 year olds.

TDS Depart
TDS Start © UTMB® – photo : Pascal Tournaire

TDS

The big race for today began at 6:00 a.m. local time from Courmayeur in Italy. It is the TDS (Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie) and comprises 119 km with 7,250 m of climbing.

1600 runners lined up this morning on the start line on a cool but clear dawn. The weather conditions were perfect with 100% visibility. The runners set off in great spirit.

It was a hotly-contested race from the get-go with the leaders changing constantly. The course starts off with a sharp climb and the pressure never lets up. At the four hour mark, Jessed Hernandez Gispert was leading the men and Meredith Edwards from the USA led the women.

Meredith Edwards hung tenaciously on to that lead, running strong over the peaks and for the main body of the race. As we publish this, however, she was in second place, having been overtaken by the strong Frenchwoman, Delphine Avenier, who had an eleven-minute lead.

 

Pau Capell
Montée de Bourg saint Maurice – Pau CAPELL © UTMB® – photo : Pascal Tournaire

Pau Capell

As the men’s race progressed, Pau Capell, the young Spaniard who won the Ultra-Trail of Australia in May went into the lead for the men and stayed there, pulling further and further ahead.

He came through in a final time of 14.45.44 to an ecstatic reception and spent time celebrating with the crowd and enjoying his tremendous victory.

In his post-race interview, he said that one of the hardest things about the course was the heat. It was the hottest race he had ever run. And he said that whether he was 5th, 10th or 1st, it was absolutely extraordinary to see the public in Chamonix coming to welcome the runners across the finish line.

In second place was Yeray Duran Lopez with 15.14.07.

Congratulations to all the runners, many of whom will be out there for many hours to come. Don’t forget we will be covering all the action on Twitter @irun4ultra and will be regularly updating on Facebook.  Also, check out our Instagram @irun4ultra as well!