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4th June 2024

Countdown to UTMB World Series European Major at HOKA Val d'Aran by UTMB.

The anticipation builds for the second UTMB® World Series Major of the year, as 6,200 participants prepare to take to the start line in the heart of the Pyrenees for HOKA Val d'Aran by UTMB® on 3-7 July. Attracting a 50-50 split between Spanish and international entrants, the event promises runners from around the world the chance to discover the wild valleys, high peaks, abandoned mines and the largest lake cirque in the Pyrenees.

As the European Major, the first ten men and first ten women across the line in the 100M, 100K and 50K categories will automatically qualify for the corresponding race at the UTMB World Series Finals. Age-group category winners will also be granted direct access, while double Running Stones are on offer for all finishers.

Elite Runners

A who's-who of talented professional athletes plan to take on HOKA Val d'Aran by UTMB. In the VDA (100M), names to note include Wenfei Xie (CHN, UTMB Index 688) and Santos Gabriel Rueda (ARG, UTMB Index 849), both having secured impressive UTMB World Series wins already in 2024. Elisabeth Rios Peredo (BOL, UTMB Index 685) shifts her focus to the queen-stage, having finished second over the 100K in 2023.

In the CDH (100K), defending champion Azara García de los Salmones (ESP, UTMB Index 781) is amongst the favourites in the Women's race, while Andreu Simon Aymerich (ESP, UTMB Index 899) will also be looking to reclaim his title from 2022 in the Men's race.

The stacked field continues throughout the remaining distances with ones to watch including Kim Schreiber (GER, UTMB Index 728) in the PDA (50K), Gediminas Grinius (LTU, UTMB Index 853) in the EXP (50K) plus one of the UTMB Legends, Pau Capell (ESP, UTMB Index 890) and previous HOKA UTMB® Mont-Blanc OCC winner, Sheila Aviles Castano (ESP, UTMB Index 765) in the SKY - Baqueira Beret (20K).

Distances and support for all

Alongside elite runners, an inspiring field of amateur runners will also face up to the challenge, including young talent taking on the SKY 15K Promesas, Paralympian Pol Makuri Redolad and Women in Trail runners from the HOKA Val d'Aran by UTMB programme.

Having been part of the Women in Trail Programme since it began, Maldito Running Founder, Erica Sánchez said, “In 2022, we held the first edition of the programme and more than a dozen women put aside their fears to line up to the Sky-Baqueira Beret (20K). For many of them it was their first time on the trail. This year, we have doubled the number of participants and will return for the third consecutive time to promote, give confidence and support the female sector that continues to grow in the world of trail running".

Paralympic Cross-Country skiing athlete and mountain runner, Pol Makuri Redolad-Garcia is also ready to make more special memories in the mountains of Val d'Aran. He said, “I competed for the first time in cross-country skiing in Marxa Beret and it holds very special memories. Now to be able to compete here and share it with the people of the valley, athletes and volunteers makes it even more special and magical. As a mountain runner, this event also gives me the chance to enter the UTMB World Series circuit and try to gain a place for the 2024 UTMB World Series Finals.”

Nineteen runners will also be running under Charity Bibs, supporting projects in the fields of solidarity, health, inclusion and the environment. For this edition of HOKA Val d'Aran by UTMB, runners will be supporting two local non-profit organisations: the Aran Association for the Disabled (ADDA) and Càritas D'Urgell - Centre Val d'Aran. Find out more about the chosen charities here and how the support from runners will help them.

TRAIL : Dacia X UTMB® World Series
Orientation & watches Wahoo - Trail running