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Mag 11

Ultra Tour Monte Rosa 2020 & the COVID-19 pandemic

Lizzy Hawker

Ultra Tour Monte Rosa, 10th May 2020.

It is with great regret that we announce the cancellation of the 2020 edition of Ultra Tour Monte Rosa. 

We have carefully considered the current pandemic situation and the risk that holding a race like UTMR would present to our runners, volunteers and hosts. We take this decision now, independent of a decision by the Swiss and Italian authorities regarding major events during September, so that we can avoid further uncertainty for participants. We feel that the situation is unlikely to change sufficiently for us to organise the race with the level of safety and precaution required for a successful and enjoyable event. 

Registered participants have been contacted directly and informed about the possibility to either defer to 2021 or receive a partial refund. 

The health and safety of our participants and volunteers is always our priority. After discussion with the local municipalities our decision has been guided by the following considerations:

(i) We cannot guarantee holding an international race at this stage of a pandemic will not pose additional risks to runners, volunteers, staff and local communities with regard to providing necessary medical attention and rescue, evacuation in case of bad weather, checkpoint facilities, shuttle bus journeys and shared hotel accommodation. 

(ii) We cannot be certain that events such as UTMR will be permitted without restrictions in Italy and Switzerland by the time of the race. It is likely that there will still be border controls and travel restrictions / quarantine requirements which will make it difficult for some participants and volunteers to travel to and from the event. 

(iii) The local municipality and tourism offices in our host communities do not envisage the possibility of major international events by early September. 

Postponement until later in the autumn is not an option for UTMR given the high altitude of the race route and the risk of snow / extreme weather later in the season, plus the closure of mountain huts, telecabins and hotels. 

Since the first UTMR, every edition has been both an immense challenge and a wonderful experience for us. As organisers we have the opportunity to meet and work with interesting, dedicated and kind people in the beautiful landscapes surrounding Monte Rosa. We prepare for the event with excitement and passion as we want to create something that everyone involved can enjoy and remember as an extraordinary experience.

The runners who commit to the challenge of UTMR prepare with similar dedication. It’s a serious commitment of time and effort towards a richly anticipated goal. We appreciate this and we are very sad that this year that goal cannot be realised.

We hope that you all will understand and accept our decision. We remain committed to bringing a great edition in 2021 and hope you will join us then. We look forward to welcoming you to the next edition of UTMR which will take place from 1st to 4th September, 2021.

For now, we wish you and your loved ones good health. Stay safe and well through this challenging period. 


Lizzy and Richard


We look forward to welcoming you in 2021!