August

24-30, 2020

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Why Run It?

What to Expect

If ultramarathons were mountains, the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) would be Annapurna – notoriously difficult and extraordinarily beautiful. With 33,000 ft in elevation gain, there’s a reason qualifying is so difficult! The UTMB is actually part of a weeklong celebration of trail running, based out of Chamonix. In addition to the famous 106-mile race, there are shorter races (25, 35, 60, and 75 miles) for those less keen on pain. On the other end, there’s the wild La Petite Trotte à Léon, which is a 186-mile race with 98,400 ft of elevation gain!

"You can hurt more than you ever thought possible, then continue until you discover that hurting isn't that big a deal."

-Scott Jurek

Chamonix’s trail network is an endless web of opportunities for adventure. Each route – through forests, alongside glaciers, past turquoise lakes – is so strikingly different that you could spend years here and never get bored. If you’re not in town for the UTMB, Chamonix is also famous for the Marathon du Mont Blanc, which is far more than just a marathon, despite the name. There is a 50-miler, marathon, and several shorter distances. But don’t think a race will be easy just because it’s short. The vertical kilometer covers 1,000m (3,280 ft) in less than 2.5 miles. Just remember, no trip to Chamonix is complete without a trip up to Aiguille du Midi (12,600 ft), the highest point on Mont Blanc that’s reachable by cable car. Who knows, maybe you’ll get inspired and take on the 15,770 ft Mont Blanc summit!

Related Places and Events

France: Paradiski

Mid Dec-Late Apr | 35,559 ac | 250″ Snow | 160 Lifts | 10,663′ Top Elev. | 6,562′ Vert. | 4% Beg. | 15% Exp.

France: Les 3 Vallees

Early Dec-Late Apr | 25,900 ac | 300″ Snow | 166 Lifts | 10,499′ Top Elev. | 7,546′ Vert. | 14% Beg. | 12% Exp.