It’s once again the time of year where the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc Chamonix is about to take place. Not for the faint hearted, this ultra marathon runs for around 166 kilometres, with a total altitude gain of +9,600m. There are more than two thousand people who choose to run this race every year, making it an event that the entire area looks forward to. If you are thinking about trying this event in the future, or if you are just curious to know more about it, this guide will give you some key information that you need to know.
You need to qualify
If you think that you can just show up and run, you will be disappointed, as you need to qualify for this race in advance, gaining enough points by competing in other runs across the world. There are plenty to choose from, but it is important to plan early so that you can get enough points with time to spare before the Chamonix UTMB.
You can’t take much with you
Although you might think that you need a lot of equipment to run a race like this, you’re told to take as little as possible for safety reasons. This means that you’re not weighed down, and that your hands are free in case of accidents. There is however an obligatory kit list to ensure that you have everything you need to look after yourself in the mountains.
You will reach bases along the way
You will get plenty of help while racing, including food and drink spots every 12km or so. There are also bigger rest points that include somewhere to lie down and get a massage if you need to, though there are only four of these so you will need to plan to use them wisely.
The race fills up incredibly fast
Even though you have to qualify to get a space, previous years have seen spaces filled within just seven minutes. To make things fairer, places are now awarded in a draw, meaning that there is no real rush to enter as fast as you can – as you will still have as much chance of being given a place if you apply right on the deadline.
You won’t be given anything if you win
Although the majority of races come with some form of financial reward, this is not the case here. There is no prize money awarded at the end of the race, and those who run do so simply for their own personal achievements. Let’s face it – if you can see this race right to the very end, there is very little that you can’t do if you put your mind to it.
So, if you still think you like the idea of running this race, there is no better time to start training. Every ultra-runner had to start somewhere, and this means that you have just as much chance as everybody else of being able to complete the race in the future. If you’re looking for a way of gaining a huge amount of personal satisfaction, this could well be the race for you.