The first French event of the UTMB® World Series, Trail du Saint-Jacques by UTMB®, took place this weekend in Le Puy-en-Velay. With a thrilling atmosphere from start to finish, it proved to be an unforgettable race with an historic outcome as French runners, Aubin Ferrari and Samir Tazi crossed the line joint first after racing over a total of 123 kilometers.
The eleventh edition of the race, and the first under the UTMB World Series label, saw the two runners battle it out across testing terrain for a total of 13 hours, 04 minutes, and 15 seconds. As they arrived at the foot of the Notre-Dame-du-Puy cathedral, they crossed the line hand in hand accompanied by cheers from spectators before collapsing over the line full of elation and exhaustion.
The camaraderie between these two competitors highlights the spirit of the trail running community and the values within the sport. With over 2,000 runners competing across five courses, each competitor had their own personal challenges to overcome throughout the day, with lifelong memories and friendships as part of the reward.
“This is true friendship, true respect. It was a great fight, it helped both of us, I think. Between us we tried everything to break away and it did not work. In the end, we couldn’t finish the race in any other way,” commented Ferrari, who later welcomed his brother Ugo across the line in fourth place.
Another phenomenal performance in the Ultra race came from Adele Hadjali (FRA) who won the female category in 18 hours, 35 minutes, and 29 seconds having established a remarkable two-hour lead ahead on her counterparts.
Inês Marques (POR) finished first female in the 72km Grand Trail race, with her time of 08 hours, 14 minutes and 09 seconds also earning her a well-deserved fifth place overall, highlighting her current form and reminding us once again that she is one to watch.
Alongside the elite runners, thousands of passionate amateur runners also enjoyed an unforgettable day out with stunning weather and remarkable views. Amongst them was Kiari Maina of Nigeria who returned to make new memories on the famous pilgrim trail.
He said, “I came here 25 years ago to experience the path of the Saint-Jacques de Compostelle. It was amazing and I wanted the chance to discover the trail running version. The fact that it is now part of the UTMB World Series made me want to do it even more and it proved to be a fantastic opportunity to retrace my steps and relive the experience in a different way.”
UTMB co-founder, Michel Poletti also took part in the 43km Maratrail race and loved discovering the cultural, mythical, and historical route.
He said, “This route is all about immersing yourself in nature, isolating yourself from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and experiencing something different. It is not the Grandes Alps or high summits, but it is a much calmer and more peaceful experience which is special in its own way. It is a moment to return to oneself and isolate yourself in the middle of nature.”
The top-three male and female winners in the Ultra race were automatically awarded a place on the startline of UTMB 2022 or 2023 while the top-three in the 72km race were awarded direct entry into the CCC® race, and those top-ranked runners in the 43km Maratrail won direct access to the OCC.
All finishers over the weekend were awarded with Running Stones, the amount depending on the race distance.
With one Running Stones equaling one entry into the lottery to participate in the UTMB World Series Finals, the hard-earned Stones acted as an extra bonus to top off an incredible weekend on the trails.
All podium finishers in the 100M race category automatically qualify for the finals (UTMB®) 2022 or 2023. View detailed Elite qualification rules here.
· 1st place: Aubin FERRARI, FRA
· 1st place: Samir TAZI, FRA
· 3rd place: Sylvain ROTA, FRA
· 1st place: Adele HADJALI, FRA
· 2nd place: Elodi NICOLAS, FRA
· 3rd place: Severine Oliver, FRA
All podium finishers in the 100K race category automatically qualify for the finals (CCC®) 2022 or 2023. View detailed Elite qualification rules here.
· 1st place: Clément HELIER, FRA
·2nd place: Anthony ISABELLE, FRA
· 3rd place: Valentin FARIGOULE, FRA
· 1st place: Inês MARQUES, POR
· 2nd place: Emily SCHMITZ, USA
· 3rd place: Flavie BRUYNEEL, FRA
All podium finishers in the 50K race category automatically qualify for the finals (OCC) 2022 or 2023. View detailed Elite qualification rules here.
· 1st place: Aymeric DAMOUR, FRA
· 2nd place: Fabien CARRON, FRA
· 3rd place: Yves HELOURY, FRA
· 1st place: Celine COVES CHATARD, FRA
· 2nd place: Emilie BONNET, FRA
· 3rd place: Sandrine LYOTARD, FRA
· 1st place: Alexandre MALARTRE, FRA
· 2nd place: Hugo GUIGNAND, FRA
· 3rd place: Sébastien GOUDET, FRA
· 1st place: Kate AVERY, UK
· 2nd place: Laura RIOU, FRA
· 3rd place: Perrine MARGERIT, FRA