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UTMB Preview: The Trail Running Super Bowl Is Coming

This is the gold standard for elite ultra and trail athletes and the obsession of many non-elite.start with chamonix, france, the runner traverses 171 kilometers, gaining elevations of over 10,000 meters, traversing Italy and Switzerland, soaking in 7 valleys, trekking 71 glaciers, tackling 400 peaks and finally returning to Chamonix. . The Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) is like no other. It will take him 46 hours and 30 minutes before about 2,300 runners complete his 2022 race.

One of the steepest elite fields of all time, the 2022 “Super Bowl of Trail Running” will be a close contest. Check out some of the top athletes racing this year and what’s next.

men’s field

Kilian Jornet

Spain’s Jornet won in 2008, 2009 and 2011 and was the most victorious UTMB in 2008, 2009 and 2011, finishing second and winning four times. Francois Dennes In July 2017, Journette hired D’Haene hard rock 100, suggesting that his current fitness may be unmatched. He has had a glorious race his season so far in 2022, setting his nine-minute course record at Zegama his marathon in his 10th win of the race. Sierre Zinal lace. It is not yet clear if he will be able to race.

Photo: Instagram/kilian jornet

Jim Walmsley

this is American It’s his fifth attempt at UTMB and everyone knows he’s serious. In 2017 he DNFed twice and he finished fifth, Walmsley is determined to do it right this year. He has spent the last three months preparing in France and has not competed in the Western Province (WSER), which boasts a course record and three straight victories (2018, 2019, 2021).

Jim Walmsley UTMB Training 2022
Photo: Instagram/walmsleyruns

Mathieu Blanchard

French-born Blanchard, who lives and trains in Montreal, finished third in 2021, well short of the course record. “I think the next time he does UTMB, he can reduce this time,” he said at the time. Blanchard’s philosophy his trainingWith just two days to go before the race, he shared his final thoughts on social media.




  • hannes numberger (Germany)
  • Zack Miller (we)
  • Thibaut Galibier (France)
  • Zhao Zhao (China)
  • Scott Hawker (new zealand)
  • Pau Capel (Spain)

women’s field

Laguna Debate

The 42-year-old Spaniard-Dutch won the 2019 UTMB CCC 101K race in 12:10. She did not participate in her WSER this year to focus on her UTMB podium goal. She has a challenging running resume, including her Debats snowshoeing along trail and skyrunning titles that won her the 2018 Skyrunning World Champion crown. After winning her Istria infamously hard in her 126K Trans Gran Canaria and her UTMB 100 Miler earlier this year, Merrell’s pro athlete will be aiming for her UTMB victory.

Ragna-Debats-2022-Transgrancanaria-Ladies-Champions
Photo: iRunFar

Marian Hogan

The 32-year-old Montreal-based Hogan finished second in this year’s WSER and was gearing up to race in Europe last month. She had a strong start to the year, winning the Bandera 100K and finishing second (behind the 2021 UTMB Champion) courtney dowalter) Ultra Trail in Cape Town. She was recovering from her ankle injury prior to her great performance at the WSER. Fans will be eager to see how Hogan performs fully prepared and injury-free. If anyone could win on sheer enthusiasm and goodwill, it would be Hogan. Luckily, she’s also an incredibly skilled and smart athlete.

Mimi Kotka

Swiss athlete Kotka took 3rd place in 2021 UTMBbehind Dow Walter Camille Bruyas. Kotka’s first big trail race (and win) was the 2016 UTMB CCC. Today, the Chamonix-based sports nutritionist is a self-professed “trail hermit” who prefers spending time in the mountains with his dog, Enzo, rather than running in groups. Kotka admitted he felt underprepared when he entered the 2021 UTMB, but he remained second for most of the race. “Ultra Trail has helped me become more resilient, honest, and grounded in a beautiful way,” she says.

Mimi Kotoka UTMB 2021
Photo: Twitter/iRunFar
  • Emily Hogood (we)
  • Alyssa Saint Laurent (Canada)
  • Jasmine Paris (England)
  • Fu Zhao Xiang (China)
  • Manon Bohard (France)
  • Hillary Allen (we)

For a complete list of UTMB athletes, visit here.

To see the full list of Canadians running UTMB races, visit hereUTMB will provide live coverage of the entire event. here and by iRunFar here.



UTMB Preview: The Trail Running Super Bowl Is Coming

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