The route of the Ultra Tour Monte Rosa is challenging! Bold, beautiful and brutal …. There are two reasons why we ask for the experience we ask for – we want you to be safe and we want you to enjoy your race experience.
It is a tough trail – high, wild and technical in places. The terrain is demanding and the weather conditions can be too. You may be exposed to snow, rain, wind, intense sunshine, heat. The weather can change quickly and you need to be prepared for everything.
Imagine you fall and twist an ankle and you are waiting for help to arrive. You are sitting on cold rocks just below a 3000m pass in the pouring rain with the wind howling. Can you look after yourself until help arrives? There is also a reasoning behind the obligatory equipment that we ask you to carry!
We are offering four different race options so that you can choose the challenge that suits your experience and aspirations.
The stage races are a wonderful way to experience the UTMR. You can race as hard as you like during the day and then enjoy the companionship of your fellow runners as you relax and recover in delightful alpine villages. With no night-time running you are able to enjoy each section of the route in daylight. The 4-day stage race covering the full tour is 40% harder than the 3-day stage race starting in Cervinia. Bear this in mind when deciding which race to enter!
We suggest prior experience of multi-stage racing on mountain terrain or completion of a mountain marathon with up to 2000m ascent within a time of 8 hours. More important than speed is the ability to look after yourself in the mountains in potentially severe weather conditions – this is why we ask if you have any previous mountain experience – this might include climbing or mountaineering, multi-day trekking, ski alpinism (not downhill piste skiing) etc.
Running one of the UTMR ultras means you are going to be running during the hours of darkness, possibly for all of one or even two nights. It is essential that you are sufficiently comfortable on alpine trails to be able to cope when you are tired, your eyes are strained from trying to see in the dark and your legs are exhausted. You need to be in good physical shape and you need to be mentally prepared.
The 116km Ultra from Cervinia to Grächen is a real challenge. We ask you to have experience of a race of at least 100km on mountain trails and requiring you to run over 6 hours during darkness on rocky mountain trails (not smooth single track).
The 170km Ultra Tour making the full loop around Monte Rosa from Grächen to Grächen is a serious challenge. This is the race that I wanted to run and this is why we created the UTMR! For 2017 the number of participants is limited to 100. We ask that you have already completed one of 5 races of comparable difficulty. Note that in my opinion the UTMR is at least 30% harder than the UTMB.
“The full UTMR course is going to destroy runners that think it’s just another long run in the mountains,” said Fergus Edwards from UK who recced the new course over four days last summer. “This is not a race that you turn up at and hope to hike the ups, jog the downs, and make it back tired but inside the cutoffs. Two key reasons: firstly, the ascents and descents are longer and steeper than other races; secondly, the terrain is very technical with boulder fields and narrow paths clinging to steep mountain slopes.”
Please choose the event that gives you a challenge appropriate to your experience. If you have any questions then please do get in touch and we hope to welcome you in September!