What is the UTMB?

We recently posted our UTMB points, so if you’re new to trail running, racing, or ultra running, you may be curious as to what the acronym UTMB stands for...well, now you can wonder no more!

The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc circuit is comprised of 7 different races over a week at the end of August, with the namesake race encompassing a 171KM route of Mont Blanc - the tallest peak in the Alps and Western Europe. These footraces came into fruition in 2003 and are now considered by many to be the “crown jewel of ultrarunning”.

Photo credit to the UTMB official website

Photo credit to the UTMB official website

To be eligible for the UTMB, you must collect 15 points at various qualifying trail races over a period of two years prior to the race (The other 6 races have varying points requirements, which you can read more about on their website - link below).

Once you have obtained the points required, you’re entered into a lottery for a spot! Some spots are also reserved for elite athletes according to specific criteria. Around 2,500 runners from all over the world participated in 2018, making it one of the largest ultra-races of its kind (not to mention over 2000 volunteers, and 50,000 spectators!)

Photo credit to the official UTMB website

Photo credit to the official UTMB website

While elite runners complete the loop in slightly more than 20 hours, most runners take 35+ hours to reach the finish line, as race conditions can be extremely challenging every year. It’s not uncommon to not finish this beast of a race!

There are 7 total races that one can participate in, and they include:

  • UTMB: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (171 km +10,040 m)

  • CCC: Courmayeur - Champex - Chamonix (101 km +6,100 m)

  • TDS: Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (121 km +7,300 m)

  • OCC: Orsières - Champex - Chamonix (56 km +3,460 m)

  • PTL: La Petite Trotte à Léon (approx. 300 km +30,000 m)

  • MCC: De Martigny-Combe à Chamonix (40 km +2,300 m)

  • YCC: Youth Chamonix Courmayeur (15 km +1,100 m)

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If this epic undertaking is on your radar - we can help you get there! There are 6 different ways to obtain points to qualify for the UTMB at our Golden Ultra weekend. We have 4 single day races that will get ya some digits, and two stage races that will also qualify you for a grand European adventure.

  • 120KM: 5 points

  • Full Pint (85KM) Stage Race: 4 points

  • Half Pint (45KM)  Stage Race: 2 points

  • Sweat (55KM): 3 points

  • Conquer (30KM): 1 point

  • Tears (20KM): 1 point


For more information on the UTMB “grande aventure” and the other races that take place during UTMB week, you can visit their website here.