The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc takes place once a year in the Alps, across France, Italy and Switzerland. The distance is approximately 166 km, with a total elevation gain of around 9,400 m. Running in high altitude (>2500m) and difficult weather conditions (night, wind, cold, rain or snow) a runner requires very good training, adapted equipment and a real capacity of personal autonomy. And the runner’s run for the heart of it… there is no prize money awarded.
Karl Meltzer’s January 19, 2011 blog post has an interesting viewpoint, referring to the UTMB as a “World Championship”!
UTMB is surely gonna be the race of the year. WS has lots of fast guys and gals too, but lacks many European runners, and a few fast US runners that can’t seem to survive the lottery, including myself. It’s different on the other side of the pond, elite runners get a chance to race each other because they are elite. 2300 runners get to challenge themselves on Europe’s grand stage. Read more here.
Now that you have a little background on this race, who will be representing Montrail?
Inside Trail‘s description of Dakota Jones: This one is wild. Card. He races and races well. Back in December 2010, he finished 4th in the Heras upset win in SF. He was 19, ran off the front for much of the race and simply ran-out of gas. About 6 weeks ago he finished 2nd at HR100. A month later he finished 17th at Sierre-Zinal. That’s post-modern art. The HR100 win might really reverberate here. He’s young, tough (2011 HR100-wise) and mountain fast. I can’t see him NOT near the front.
Geoff Roes only other trip to UTMB was last year, when the race was canceled early on due to weather. He did not take part in the last minute restart event that took place.
Inside Trail‘s description of Geoff Roes: Hard to believe this guy is a dark-horse; I’m sure some people think that’s out of line. But realistically, he just hasn’t been himself in 2011. Even recently he’s shared some of his concern about fatigue, about not recovering from bigger runs. Having said that, this might be the only guy (on a good one) who can go with and beat Kilian, especially late. Let’s not forget this guy’s closing speed. I think he’s healthy again and wants to RUN.
Meanwhile, the President of Mountain Hardwear Topher Gaylord was involved in the birth and growth of this race and has finished it six of the race’s eight years. His best finish at UTMB is second place, the best an American male has ever done at this race. Also from the work place Jason Hill, the US sales manager for Montrail will be racing the CCC, Courmayeur – Champex – Chamonix (98 km +5,600 m).
Follow our Athletes on Twitter:
Dakota Jones Bib #1518
Geoff Roes Bib #1521
Topher Gaylord Bib #1575
Jason Hill Bib #5020
For up to the minute info on the front of the pack, follow Bryon Powell of irunfar.com who will be tweeting from twitter.com/irunfar.
Geoff Roes – Mountain Masochists and Mountain Hardwear‘s Way Too Cool Singlet, UltraRefuel shorts, and Fluid 6 pack
Dakota Jones: Rogue Racers and Mountain Hardwear‘s UltraRefuel Shorts, Way Too Cool Singlet, Ghost Whisperer Jacket, and Fluid 6 pack.