Tag Archives: utmb

Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc update

Here are some images from the 168km Ultra Trail race that took place last weekend in the Mont Blanc area.

Competitors left Chamonix at 4.30pm Friday and these pictures are from the first feed station in St Gervais. The earliest runners reached it in under 2 hours. Volunteers, friends and family lined the street to cheer them on, very conscious of the mental and physical challenges that lay ahead: to get through the entire night and following day, running. Just running.

After St Gervais, participants were headed for Les Contamines and then over the col de Croix de bonhomme into Italy and finally through Switzerland back to Chamonix.

 The Frenchman Xavier THEVENARD, won the race after 20:34 hours.

My friend who took part said it was the single most difficult thing she has ever done in her life. She finished after 37.58 hours, coming 11th in her category which is amazing in itself given she has only seriously taken up running a few years ago after the birth of her second child. When I saw her Sunday afternoon she was understandably beyond exhausted having had just a few hours sleep since completing the equivalent of ascending twice Mt Blanc from sea level and running 100 miles.

‘The last 10 hours of the race were brutal and no longer enjoyable’ she reckoned, as I struggled to comprehend how any of it can be undertaken for fun. My hat goes off to this busy mum of two young children, for completing this monumental event and for returning to work as a full time cardiac nurse after a day’s rest!

Next time my 10k runs drags on, I will think of her. Bravo to everyone who took part!

On of the pictures above is of David Kadunc who was came 27th overall with 25.35 hours of running.

The Chamonix Trail Running Jamboree

If you fancy stretching your legs this week, then look no further than the North Face races.

A now yearly occasion, the 4 events are taking place in and around the Mont Blanc area, departing and finishing in Chamonix.

Today, 28th August the TDS and PTL races are currently happening and on Friday 30th, it is the turn of the UTMB and CCC.

In summary the races are:

UTMB- Ultra trail du Mont Blanc – 168km ,9600m of ascent

CCC-  Courmayeur Champex Chamonix – 100km , 5950m of ascent

TDS- Traces des ducs de Savoie  – 119km, 7250m of ascent

PTL – Petite trotte à Leon  – 300km, 24,000m of ascent – done in teams.

the fountian

The UTMB, starts in Chamonix, passes through Les Houches, St Gervais, Les Contamines before going over the col Croix de bonhomme to descend into Italy and Courmayeur and then on to Switzerland. It largely follows the Tour du Mont blanc route, one of Europe’s most popular long walks that takes an average of 7-11 days to complete.

Runners of the UTMB will however, be attempting to do this well within 46 hours. The quickest of them will finish in about 21.30 hours.

Starting this Friday at 4.30pm in Chamonix, the runners are expected to pass through St Gervais from about 6-8pm and then in Les Contamines from 7-10.30pm. There’s usually a very emotional and electric atmosphere in the village when spectators witness the 2,300 contestants coming down from the ridge that separate St Gervais from the Chamonix valley. Supporters line the streets to cheer and offer encouragement knowing that these incredibly fit participants are going to run through the night, the next day and the following night to finish no later than 2.30pm Sunday afternoon.

I will be watching the event on Friday so will post some images from the feed station in St Gervais.

In the meantime if you want more information then seehttp://www.ultratrailmb.com/ or to follow the events in real time herehttp://utmb.livetrail.net/

We currently have Chalet Fontaine, smack bang on the Tour de Mont Blanc route and close to the UTMB trail. I live 2 doors down from this property and watch from my decking the hikers with backpacks and sticks walk in the direction of Les Contamines through out the summer months. Almost everyone stops at the fountain to fill their water bottles and take pictures of the lovely hamlet. The picture above is of the fountain in winter. Chalet Fontaine is just out of sight.

Chalet Fontaine can be viewed here: http://www.alpine-property.com/index.php?page=prop_3_chaletfontaine1&lang=en&hist=page_searchXreg_6Xlang_en