1-4 September 2021
running through the night book


Jan 22

Running through the night: Ultramarathon Adventures in Europe

Lizzy Hawker

One of our past UTMR competitors, David Byrne, has just published a book about ultra running that contains a chapter on the zero edition UTMR stage race in 2015. He says, “To me the 2015 edition was great as it was a chance to see a new location and to push myself which has since given me the confidence to do many more things. My book is written from the perspective of an ‘Average Joe’ who is middle to the back of the pack but still manages to take part in ultras and have a good time. UTMR opened up so much more for me as it gave me confidence to enter some big events. Apart from that it also opened up that part of the world for skiing and mountaineering and I’ve been back several times since.”

Here is a sample paragraph:

“The course today was a massive uphill, a traverse run to Saas-Fee then a very airy and exposed path to the end.  We left the accommodation about 05:00 and walked down to the start line. Here we had the usual brief and we were off. Macugnaga (1307m) is nestled in a deep valley and our first job was to climb very steeply to the Moropass (2853m). The path largely zig-zagged up below a ski gondola and was far from easy as it was not a route that saw a lot of traffic. As we got higher and higher amazing views of Monte Rosa came in to view and many stopped to take photos. Having done a lot of hill training I knew this uphill was where I could make ground so I kept going and topped in a reasonable position. The final pass is on massive blocks of stone, with some iron chains and staples, and over the north side was another world with the Mattmark reservoir nestling below. The trail down to the reservoir (2224m) was highly runnable as was the trail along it but my legs were tired so it turned in to a fast walk for me as other runners overtook.

The Mattmark dam is the biggest earth fill dam in Europe and compared to a concrete dam looks very wide at its base. We ran past this almost 50 years to the day of a great tragedy that occurred here when eighty-eight people lost their lives.  On the 30th August 1965 two million cubic metres of ice and debris broke off the Allalin glacier and engulfed the construction site killing many workers below.”

running through the night bookIf you are interested to read more of David’s story here is a link to the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1672620562?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

Ultra Tour Monte Rosa 2020 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemicRead our full statement here