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#BonCourage - The North Face® Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc® 2013: The four races

by Editor
Wednesday 17th July 2013
Tags  The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc   |   The North Face   |   ULTRA-TRAIL DU MONT-BLANC   |   UTMB   |   TDS   |   CCC   |   PTL   |   Bon Courage

Race feature: With the 2013 The North Face® Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc® fast approaching (August 26 to September 1) Run247 will be taking a closer look at this prestigious ultra-event in the weeks running up to race day

We are also offering you the chance to WIN an Enduro Plus Hydration Pack (£110) from The North Face - To find out how you can win, click here or check the details at the bottom of this article.

#Bon Courage - The North Face® Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc® 2013: The four races


UTMB® (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®)

2013 sees the 11th edition of this race which is now well established and popular the world over. It is now considered by many the most prestigious ultra.

The UTMB® is limited to 2300 competitors. Only experienced ultra-runners can take part in this race and strict rules and a points system are in place to ensure this!

To enrol for the UTMB® participants must first have aquired a set amount of points by completing races from a list supplied by the organisers. In addition to the demanding qualifying rules, a lottery is in place to deal with the many applicants.

The start time ensures that all the participant will experience large stretches of night running, the slower finishers going through two nights before reaching the finish!

In recent years (2010 & 2012) the race had seen bad weather affect the race and the organisation has now put comprehensive plans in place in the case that adverse conditions should make it unsafe to proceed with the original route.

Britain's Lizzy Hawker is without doubt the queen of this event, having won it an incredible five times to date, placing second another time too! In 2010 Jez Bragg also won the race, and British runners make up a big percentage of the field.

Around 168 km and 9600m of ascent
Mountain race, with numerous passages in high altitude. Semi-self suffient. 10 aid stations which supply drink and/or food to be taken on site

Date: 30th August, 2013
Start: 4:30pm from Chamonix (France)
Cut off time: 46 hours
Event limited to 2300 runners


UTMB® (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®)

UTMB® (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®)

CCC® (Courmayeur Champex Chamonix)

Now in its eighth year, the CCC® is no longer just a step-up or side-show to the UTMB®, but attracts world-class athletes as well as a sell out field of dedicated ultra runners.

Like the for UTMB®, participants need to prove that they have some experience, but the points required to take part in the CCC® are a lot easier to obtain than for the UTMB®.
Apart from the first monster climb, the route follows the second half of the UTMB. While the winners will be finishing in Chamonix in the evening, many participants will be running into or through the night!

Around 100km & 5950m of ascent

Mountain race, with numerous passages in high altitude. Semi-self suffient. 5 refreshment posts with food, 4 refreshment posts with drinks

Date: 30th August, 2013
Start: 9:00am from Courmayeur (Italy)
Cut off time: 26 hours
Event limited to 1900 runners


CCC® (Courmayeur Champex Chamonix)

CCC® (Courmayeur Champex Chamonix)

TDS (Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie)

Now in its fifth year, the TDS was added to the programme in 2009, but was cancelled in 2010 due to bad weather. In 2012 however the TDS was the only race which went ahead without any changes due to the adverse weather experienced in the area.

The TDS sets off from Courmayeur in an clockwise direction and takes in some higher ground than the first half of the UTMB®, really testing those climbing legs! Despite the longer time allowed for runners to complete the event, compared to the CCC®, this is not an easy option!

The beautiful mountainous route aside one of the many attractions of the TDS is that it sets off two days before the two above races, so participants can collect their finisher's gillets, have a sleep, drink a coffee and bask in their glory whilst watching the other races in progress!

Participants need to prove that they have some experience, but the points required to take part in the TDS are a lot easier to obtain than for the UTMB®.

Around 119 km and 7250 m of ascent

Mountain race, with numerous passages in high altitude. Semi-self suffient. 6 aid stations with food, 2 aid stations with drinks

Date: 28th August, 2013
Start: 7:00am from Courmayeur (Italy)
Cut off time: 33 hours
Event limited to 1500 runners


TDS (Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie)

TDS (Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie)

PTL (La Petite Trotte à Léon)

This is a real monster! This race his completed by teams of 2 or 3 participant who need to be completely self-sufficent in some very testing terrain! La Petite Trotte à Léon is an "enlarged Tour du Mont Blanc", far from beaten tracks taking participants on difficult paths sometimes even non-existent; it includes the crossing of numerous cols (passes) and summits of between 2500 and 3000 metres altitude. At the finish, there are no results or prizes...

Not only the runner's endurance will be pushed to it's limits in this event, but also their knowledge of the mountain environment, their ability to navigate and control their efforts and resources! Above all, their team spirit will be tested to the max.

The route is different from one year to the next; it is not way-marked but will be mapped (GPS tracks and maps supplied). Teams are required to manage their own progress, refreshments and rest time as they wish. To do this they must use the local infrastructure of refuges and villages (no back-up vehicles or assistance allowed).

To qualify at least one member of the team must have finished, in the past, the UTMB® or the TOR DES GEANTS, one of the previous PTL™ or even the 2012 TDS™. The organisers may consider alternative qualifications.

300 kilometres , 33 passes to cross  and around 24,000 metres of ascent

Number of aid stations: None

Date: 26th August, 2013
Start: 10:00pm from Chamonix (France)
Cut off time: 136 hours
Event limited to 80 teams


PTL (La Petite Trotte à Léon)

All of the races finish in the square in Chamonix under a huge finish line banner. So from Wednesday evening, when the first TDS finishers arrive, to the Sunday afternoon, when the last UTMB finishers come in, Chamonix provides the beautiful backdrop to hundreds of emotional scenes as loved ones are greeted by friends and families. The majority of runners are also greeted personally by the organiser, Catherine Poletti.

As well as big races for grown-ups there are also 5 races for children aged 3 – 13: the micro CCC (400m), mini CCC (600m), mini TDS (1200m), mini UTMB (1800m) and the mini PTL (3km). These all take place on the beginners’ ski slope in Chamonix on the Thursday before the CCC and UTMB kick off and provide a good distraction for nervous runners, as well as a fun activity for families who’ve travelled with them.



An Enduro Plus Hydration Pack (£110)

The North Face Enduro Plus Pack is a large hydration pack for extended adventure racing challenges. (more information)

For your chance to win, an Enduro Plus Hydration Pack from The North Face, just send an email to competitions@run247.com with the subjesct line of #Bon Courage.

We will be giving away one pack per week for four weeks

Terms and conditions:

1. Competition will close
Week 1 - Tuesday 23rd July
Week 2 - Tuesday 30th July
Week 3 - Tuesday 6th August
Week 4 - Tuesday 13th August
2. Winner will be chosen at random after the closing date.
3. Judges decision is final
4. No cash alternative
5. UK residence only


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