UTMB: What You Need to Know About Ultra Running’s Unofficial World Championship

UTMB: What You Need to Know About Ultra Running’s Unofficial World Championship

Traditionally, over 10,000 runners from all over the world gather in mountaineering mecca Chamonix, France to race under the specter of the tallest peak in Western Europe, Mont Blanc.

The course is jaw-dropping, winding through the alps of three countries – France, Italy, and Switzerland – giving participants a true taste of international ultra running. 

WHAT IS UTMB?

UTMB – Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc – is a premier ultra-marathon race series held in Chamonix, France around the 15,771 foot massif Mont Blanc. There are seven races, ranging from 25 miles to nearly 200, with the exception of the youth nine-mile race.

It attracts an enormous crowd: over 10,000 runners will toe the starting line, while estimates exceed 100,000 total visitors over the month of August. There is no American ultra-marathon or trail race that scratches the surface of the attention this race series receives.

WHAT ARE THE UTMB RACES?

There are 7 races, each covering rugged, breathtaking terrain with crushing vertical ascent and descent. 

UTMB - Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc - 106 miles;  33,000ft ascent/descent; circumnavigation around Mont Blanc

TDS - Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie - 90 miles; 30,000ft ascent/descent; point-to-point

CCC - Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix - 63 miles; 20,000ft ascent/descent; point-to-point

OCC - Orsieres-Champex-Chamonix - 34 miles; 11,500ft ascent/descent; point-to-point

MCC - de Martigny-Combe A Chamonix - 25miles; 7,500ft ascent/descent; point-to-point

PTL - Petit Trotte a Leon - 186 miles; 82,000ft ascent/descent; non-competitive, self-supported event in teams of 2-3 people

YCC - Youth Chamonix Courmayeur - 9miles;4,000ft ascent/descent; point-to-point; open to ages 14-22


WHO’S RACING?

Amateur runners compete alongside ultra-running’s most elite. 

Elite runners may enter depending on their status, while amateur runners are selected through a lottery where they collect points by running qualifying races. Learn more about how the lottery works here and the list of qualifying races

This year, we are extremely proud to support three MUIR Athletes racing:

AVERY COLLINS, CCC
@runninhigh



SABRINA STANLEY, UTMB
@sabrinaleannstanley


WHEN?

The races take place over the last week in August. For 2021, the races will start Monday August 23rd and conclude Sunday August 29th.

PTL: 8am Monday (11pm Sunday, PT) 

MCC: 10am Monday (1am, PT)

TDS: 3pm Tuesday (6am, PT)

OCC: 8:15am pm Thursday (11:15pm Wednesday, PT)

CCC: 9am Friday (12am, PT)

UTMB: 5pm Friday (8am, PT)


HOW CAN I FOLLOW ALONG?

The race series does a comprehensive job covering each race with live webcams over each course and commentary.  MUIR Energy will also be posting race week updates on our social media.

Instagram: @muirenergy

WATCH: UTMB Live

Twitter: @UTMBMontblanc

 
HOW WILL COVID IMPACT UTMB? (updated 8/16/2021)

Attracting an enormous mass of people raises concern for COVID and whether or not it’s responsible to hold a race this size amid the pandemic.

As of August 9th, 2021, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Advisory to anyone traveling from the U.S. to France.

UTMB has not commented as to whether this will affect the races, but the travel advisory has affected many Americans’ decision to travel for the race and they’ve decided stay home.

Stay tuned for updates as the race gets closer.