Bucket list: UTMB

Europe's toughest foot race is also one of its most picturesque – the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc is an event like no other



Perhaps the world’s premier ultramarathon, the UTMB takes in three countries and 168K (104 miles) of hard mountain running.


Friday 29-31 August, 2014.


Starts and finishes in Chamonix, south-eastern France, before venturing through Italy and Switzerland.


The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc ultramarathon boasts a captivating path through seven valleys, 71 glaciers and over 400 summits while trekking across three countries. It attracts over 2,000 participants every year, before sending them on their way through a total elevation gain of nearly 10,000m.

How much?

Race entry: €207 (£165). Return flight from London Heathrow to Geneva Airport, Switzerland: £225. Two nights in a hotel: £150. Post-race beverage: £4. Total cost: £544.

How tough?

Now in its 12th year, the UTMB is limited to a maximum race time of 46 hours. Its sheer hardship proved too much for 655 of the 722 runners that signed up to the opening race back in 2003, only 67 resolute competitors making it to the finishing line back in Chamonix. Renowned as “the race of all the superlatives”, the UTMB is an event every strong-willed runner should try at least once in their lifetime.

What’s the record?

20:05:58 – Dawa Sherpa (Nepal)

How do I enter?

The event is limited to a maximum of 2,300 runners, with participants coming from all corners of the globe. However, registration for the UTMB is only permitted to competitors who have already gained experience and who can prove it. You need to have acquired a minimum of seven points from a specific list of qualification races within a specified period. More information on the entry process can be found here.



Written by Rick Pearson | 136 articles | View profile

Please comment on this article below

Science of Marathon Running Running form analysis Shit Ultrarunners Say… Soleus Go! Fitness Band Ron Hill MBE interview The rabbit that got away ASICS Outrun the Sun course Nike unveils remastered Pegasus 31 Asics ‘Outrun the Sun’ The GORE-TEX Transalpine-Run

Science of Marathon Running

A smart, snappy video on the science of marathon running

Running form analysis

A look at the running form of elite and amateur athletes at the Boston Marathon

Shit Ultrarunners Say…

A hilarious parody of the language of the ultrarunner

Soleus Go! Fitness Band

We review the Soleus Go! Fitness Band

Ron Hill MBE interview

Ron Hill talks running and the Reigate Half

ASICS Outrun the Sun course

Two teams, 162K and just 15hrs 41mins

Nike unveils remastered Pegasus 31

Mo Farah says new shoe is best version yet

Asics ‘Outrun the Sun’

162km of mountainous terrain, eight elite athletes and one awesome challenge

The GORE-TEX Transalpine-Run

Cross the Alps in eight amazing days