The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc 2013 has just finished over in Chamonix. It is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most prestigious (and toughest) ultra distance mountain races. The 168km course circumnavigates the Mont Blanc massif and manages to incorporate nearly 10,000 metres of ascent taking in numerous mountain passes. This year’s race was won by French ultra-racing newcomer Xavier Thevenard in a record-breaking time of 20 hours 34 minutes and 57 seconds.
Each and every year it gets more popular with the 2300 race filling up in record time despite competitors having to qualify through an entry process.
It’s certainly something to stick on your running bucket list and a great race to work towards. Even if you don’t manage to get a place, building up to this most elite of mountain ultras will take you on an ultra running odyssey.
If you think you’d like to give the 2014 race a go here’s how to qualify.
You can’t just turn up on the day and give it a punt- the race is a fair amount more serious than that. To be sure that all competitors are experienced enough to take on the race all competitors must have earned qualifying points by completing approved events prior to applying for a race spot.
Competitors are required to have 7 points gained from a maximum of 3 races in the period from 1st January 2012 until 31st December 2013.
A full list of qualifying races and points can be found here.
After you’ve managed to get enough qualifying points from other races you’ve still got to be lucky enough to win a ballot place.
Pre registration for the 2014 race runs from 19th Decemeber 2013 until January 6th 2014. During this period you will be able to fill in an entry form listing all of your qualifying events. It costs €50 to register.
The ballot itself will be drawn on the 15th january 2014.
It’s a bit of pot luck whether you get in but there are some exceptions. If you applied and failed to get a place in 2013 your chance of gaining a place for 2014 is doubled.
If you are successful you will need to pony up a further €160 to enter the UTMB. Which after all the blood, sweat, tears and cash spent on plasters building up to the race is peanuts really.