First Trail Alsace Grand Est by UTMB is one for the ages as Mountain Ultra-Trail by UTMB will welcome runners to South Africa for a mountain trail paradise
A successful inaugural edition for Trail Alsace Grand Est by UTMB with over 4,600 runners on trails filled with medieval stories and Alsatian landscapes.
Mountain Ultra-Trail by UTMB, for its first start as a UTMB World Series, is about to welcome almost 1,500 runners on beautiful and flowing South African trails.
4,600 runners discover the castles and vineyards of Trail Alsace Grand Est by UTMB
- Fabrice Fauser (CHE) and Maite Maiora (ESP) storm to victory.
The inaugural Trail Alsace Grand Est by UTMB® was one to remember with a route as mythical and enchanting as the results. In all, more than 3,560 runners earned Running Stones to enter the lottery for the UTMB® World Series Finals. Fabrice Fauser (CHE, UTMB Index 775) was the first across the line in Obernai after flying over the 175km route with 6,250m+ elevation in 17:53:54. Having established over an hours lead on Markus Meinke (GER, UTMB Index 745) and Jeremy Goguet (FRA, UTMB Index 741), Fauser was able to cherish the moment as he rallied the crowd before turning to thank them for their support.
“ I am lost for words. I am still on my little cloud and clearly struggling to realize what I accomplished this weekend. So many images are running around in my head, but the emotions of this finish line are beyond anything I could have hoped for! I went through so many things in the past eight years to win today! ” said Fauser.
In the women’s race, Maite Maiora (ESP, UTMB Index 761) also displayed similar domination, leading from start to finish to cross the line in 20:20:35, almost three hours ahead of her closest female counterparts and enough to secure 6th place overall. She was joined on the podium by second-placed Marie Helene Posta (FRA, UTMB Index 662), who only recently started her running journey. Jenny Josefsson (SWE, UTMB Index 626) backed up a solid third place at Mozart 100™ by UTMB® in 2022 with another podium finish and once again qualifying for the UTMB World Series Finals.
It was a close battle in the Ultra Trail des Païens 100km race with Guillaume Berthier (FRA, UTMB Index 772) winning by just 54 seconds ahead of Matthew Healy (ZAF, UTMB Index 773) who was hot on his heels. Thibaut Lecuru (FRA, UTMB Index 730) rounded out the podium in third.
Local favorite Tiffany Prinz (FRA, UTMB Index 565) described Trail Alsace Grand Est by UTMB as unexpected and magical after taking the win in front of a home crowd in 13:16:16. She was joined by Ildiko Wermescher (HUN, UTMB Index 670) and Tatiana Quesada (LUX, UTMB Index 645) to complete a stellar podium.
The 50km race proved fast and furious from the off, with Gregory Basilico (FRA, UTMB Index 821) creating a gap to take the tape after 03:48:00. The pressure was on from behind though with Antoine Charvolin (FRA, UTMB Index 861) on the hunt and Christopher Dupre (FRA, UTMB Index 782) finishing out the all-French podium.
American runner, Emily Schmitz (UTMB Index 724) also set a blistering time of 04:30:48, establishing a course record that could stand for some time. Jasmine Nunige (CHE, UTMB Index 731) and Sabine Froment (BEL, UTMB Index 635) rounded out the podium.
In the 20km race, Léo Tuaz (FRA) and Elisa Ravet (FRA, UTMB Index 601) took the win in their respective categories. Having worked as a cameraman for the opening races of the event, Maxim Chane (FRA, UTMB Index 729) took the opportunity to pin on a bib himself to finish in second place. He was closely followed by Dorian Louvet (FRA, UTMB Index 611). Justine Pierron (FRA, UTMB Index 571) and Dorothée Bramas (FRA, UTMB Index 576) completed the podium to make it an all-French affair.
Full results can be found here.
Racing under the South African sun, UTMB World Series breaks new ground at Mountain Ultra-Trail (MUT) by UTMB
A mountain trail paradise awaits UTMB® World Series runners on the 26-28 May as the Garden Route National Park in the city of George, South Africa welcomes runners to the wild mountains, rocky trails and technical downhills of Mountain Ultra-Trail™ by UTMB®.
As the brainchild of Jacques Mouton and Zane Schmahl, who ran the route back in 2017 before realising the route deserved proper recognition, it has since grown into an unmissable event for adventure-lovers and international professionals alike.
Race Director, Schmahl said, “ The Outenique Mountains and the surrounding garden route is a playground for the outdoor lovers of the world. The mountain running at the MUT by UTMB is spectacular with real wilderness, mountain exploration, hidden gardens of indigenous forest on the slopes of the Outeniqua range and last but certainly not least, the warm-hearted trail running community of George. ”
With five race distances on offer, from the brand-new MUT-Miler (164km) to the more accessible but no less rewarding, MUT Challenge (24km), it promises to be a magical event. However runners will have to work hard for the prestigious finishers medal and to collect Running Stones to enter the UTMB World Series Finals lottery with the Miler gaining a staggering 2,000m of elevation in the first 30km, summitting both George Peak and Cradock Peak.
South African runner and local favourite, Ryan Sandes (UTMB Index 800) is all too aware of both the challenge and the magic that awaits. Having taken the opportunity to recon the course ahead of the event, he said, “ I have run the majority of the course and I think it is going to be epic! It has lots of technical challenging terrain but is incredibly beautiful. It is awesome to link up the mountains, ocean and forests in one run. I can’t wait for the event! ”
Sandes will be in good company, joined by a pool of South-African talent including Istria 100™ by UTMB® 22km winner, Rebecca Kohne (UTMB Index 658). International runners from further afield include all-round endurance junkie, Perrine Fages (FRA – UTMB Index 470) who just last month could be found exploring Iceland’s Ring Road (1,332 km) via bike. As a lawyer in Saudi Arabia, heat prep shouldn’t be a problem for Fages as she dials into her training from back home for the 100km distance.
With 52 South African’s toeing the start line of the UTMB® Mont-Blanc in 2022, the addition of the UTMB World Series event in South Africa will open opportunities for the sport to grow and encourage local runners to stand on the world stage at the UTMB World Series Finals, a concept Sandes is very excited about. He said, “ This is a really exciting opportunity and opens a lot of doors for runners from Southern Africa to participate in UTMB Mont-Blanc in Chamonix. I think this will have a positive effect and stimulate the growth of our sport in the area. ”
Whether it is the biodiverse floral display, the indigenous forests or the magical ridgeline from Dizzy Heights to Tierkop, this event has something for everyone and promises to be one to remember.
Follow the race live here.