It’s almost that time again. On Friday 26 August, some of the world’s best mountain runners will take on the 2016 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB). Involving more than 100 miles of running and 10,000m of elevation gain, it’s widely considered to be Europe’s toughest footrace. MR travelled to Chamonix last year (to spectate rather than take part, you understand) and got a front-row seat as the action unfolded. Here’s a few highlights from the race.
The start at Chamonix is trail running at its most dramatic. Vangelis blares from the speakers as runners from around the world consider the epic challenge that lies ahead. Allez, allez!
As day turns to night, runners must negotiate the technical terrain guided only be the light of the headtorches. Here the US’s David Laney begins to make his way though the field.
As the dawn begins to break, runners are greeted by glorious views of the Mont-Blanc massif, as glorious as it is gruelling.
France’s Xavier Thévenard (left), so baby-faced he’d be ID’d in Tesco’s, proves himself to be the man of the moment, winning the event in 41:52:33.
David Laney is delighted to make his way onto the podium. The fast-finishing American finished less than a minute in front of his compatriot Seth Swanson.