Running under the starting arch of the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) is terrifying, elating, humbling, and emotional all at the same moment. Will you get to the finish? How much will it hurt? Can you cope? For those who haven’t heard of this race, it follows a 168km route around Mont Blanc, with a huge 9600m of ascent.
The photo above gives you a glimpse of the magnitude of this ultra-trail, but just remember, over half the runners in the picture above did not finish. Some stopped due to injury, the cold, and fatigue. How many could have finished if they were better prepared? To help people answer these questions, we have developed these UTMB recce weekends (click for itinerary).
You run either the West (first half) or the East (second half) of the UTMB route, over a weekend and through the Saturday night. Both these sections involve 80km distances and around 5000m of vertical height gain. They are designed for those with a place on the UTMB, or who are planning to attempt it in the future. The weekend will both teach you the route, and also give you the opportunity to fine tune what equipment and clothing to take, as well as to work out your pacing plans, and hydration and food ideas for the race itself.
Whether running the East or West section, you run through a full night illuminating the trail with your head torch, to gain invaluable night running experience. You are guided & coached by a Personal Trainer, who is also an International Mountain Leader. Most importantly they will be a passionate trail runner who has competed in plenty of Alpine ultra running races, including the legendary Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc. Fear not, we all felt the same mix of emotions on the months, weeks and days leading up to running the UTMB, so know exactly how you feel.
Initially we plan to offer just a couple of UTMB recce weekends each summer. It is an exciting project for us to have launched, and we hope it will really help stack the odds in favour of runners who want to make their UTMB dream happen. Get in touch for more information and advice…