Our UTMB Guide Part Four: the Big One

UTMB start

It’s UTMB week and there’s an awful lot going on. To help you to navigate the week of races we’ve put together a handy guide. Here’s all the key information on the big one: the UTMB itself.

What’s the route?

The race starts in Chamonix, then heads south to Saint Gervais, La Balme and Les Chapieux, before heading north east to Lac Combal and Courmayeur, the halfway-ish point. From there it heads up towards Refuge Bertone, then down to Arnouvaz, before a big climb up Grand Col Ferret. It continues downwards to La Fouly, up to Champex Lac, then it’s up La Giete, Les Tseppes and Tete aux Vents before the long, painful descent back down into Chamonix.

UTMB profile
The UTMB profile

Distance: 171km

Amount of ascent: 10,000m

How many runners: 2300

When does it start?: 6pm Friday 31st August

When are the winners expected to finish?: 19 – 21 hours for the men, 23 – 25 hours for the women

What’s the cut-off?: 46.5 hours

Key summits: Col du Bonhomme, Col de la Seigne, Arete du Mont Favre, Grand Col Ferret, La Giete, Les Tseppes, Tete aux Vents

Runners to watch: Mimmi Kotka, Clare Gallagher, Kaci Lickteig, Magdelena Boulet, Caroline Chaverot, Christelle Bard, Jo Meek, Beth Pascal, Sophie Grant, Holly Rush, Kilian Jornet, Luis Alberto Hernando, Jim Walmsley, Zach Miller, Tim Tollefson, Paul Giblin, Damian Hall, .

Previous winners include: Lizzy Hawker (5 times), Jez Bragg, Kilian Jornet (3 times), Francois D’Haene (3 times), Rory Bosio (twice), Krissie Moehl (twice), Xavier Thevenard (twice).

How many points do you need to do it?: 15

Percentage of female runners in the race: 11%

Average age of runner: 42

Do say: ‘big respect to everybody who finishes this race’
Don’t say: ‘it’s not as tough as the Marathon des Sables’

Here’s all the information on the UTMB

Here’s how to follow UTMB live as it happens