“A 101 km trail race, part of the UTMB event.”
— Russ Johnson
Race - Aug 31, 2018
Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers
You must accumulate "points" from challenging races to be eligible for this race, then there is a lottery for eligible entrants.
A 101-km race through the Alps, passing through Italy, Switzerland and France with spectacular views, grueling steep climbs and long booming descents. The race starts in the beautiful Italian town of Courmayeur and ends in the pandemonium of the Chamonix finish line. This is the experience of a lifetime.
Need to Know
There is a long list of required equipment, and for good reason. You can experience hot, dry conditions or cold, mud, rain, snow, and ice. You'll need a good pack that can carry all that stuff, and you'll have to show that you actually have the required equipment at bib/number pickup and possibly on course.
There are 9 total aid stations, some basic ones with fluids and snacks, and 6 with a full selection of hot foods. Tea is popular, and some food such as crackers and cheese and sausages are available as well.
No river crossings in this race but multiple long, steep climbs and descents. In wet weather you may have several thousand runners ahead of you, and the trail can be a muddy mess! There are amazing views from the many cols (mountaintops) that you'll cross over. This is the best-marked race I have ever seen, there were race markers probably about every 100-200 meters!
There are no drop bags and no pacers in this race. There are 3 crew access points but they are total
Train on very steep ups and downs. Lots and lots of miles on very steep ups and downs. Practice with trekking poles, as they are very helpful and almost all runners have them. In wet weather, wear your best mud-running shoes. Almost every single runner uses trekking poles.
Join a multinational group of elite runners on a truly spectacular and tough course. The race starts with a 4,000 ft climb in the first 10 km, then continues through constant ups and downs on this unrelenting course. Enjoy the well-equipped aid stations. Start in Courmayeur, Italy and pass through Switzerland then continue into France for the finish. The last km is really rewarding, with thousands of raucous spectators on the streets of Chamonix cheering you on to the finish.
History & Background
This is one of 6 largest races of the UTMB event, a huge event in Chamonix with thousands of runners and tens of thousands of spectators. There's nothing else like it.