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While most of the scenic beauty is located along the many miles of the course, a different kind of beauty emerges at the finish line. It’s that place where emotions flow freely like the water in a mountain stream. Where friends, family and the running community gather to celebrate, embrace, comfort and swap stories, forever cementing all that has been experienced.

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“Isn’t this cool?” he said, marveling at a series of new mountain-bike trails in Theodore Wirth Park, a preserve nestled in the middle of northeast Minneapolis. “You can be on a trail here, completely unaware that downtown is, like, five minutes away.”

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Sixteen years ago, registration opened up for the first edition of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. “People in Chamonix looked at us like we were crazy,” says Event Director Michel Poletti. That first year, registration was handled by mail. “We wanted 300 runners,” says Poletti, who with his wife, Catherine, co-founded the race. 711 runners toed the starting line that year. “It was a great success,” he says. “It was just amazing.”

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If you haven’t seen recently, the UTMB organisers have changed the qualification standards yet again. I think this is something like the fourth change in five years. There are two main changes for consideration this year. First, the lowering of Read More ...

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Episode 166 of Talk Ultra is here… MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone. This show is all about OMAN by UTMB with an in-depth interview with the female champion, Anna-Marie Watson. We also speak with the male champion, Jason Schlarb and he is joined …

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As a trail runner and mountaineer, Kilian Jornet has set numerous records and fastest known times (FKTs) over the past 10 years. In recent years, he’s won the Western States … Continue reading "Getting the Dirt from Kilian Jornet"

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We know some of you have big dreams and goals. Sometimes those are our races, and sometimes they are bigger international events. We pay to get our races evaluated by the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) so that they can be UTMB qualifiers. For those wanting to race around Mont Blanc, we are happy to […]

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Episode 162 of Talk Ultra brings you a chat with Beth Pascall who placed 4th at the 2018 UTMB. We speak with Casey Morgan about injury and future plans and Brutal Claire will make us all feel lazy and inadequate in …

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Episode 161 of Talk Ultra brings you a chat with Damian Hall who finally fulfilled his dream of placing top 10 at the UTMB. We also have a catch up with David Laney who is taking a year to get back to fitness …

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Finally getting a break to write this race report, while sitting on a TGV for Paris. It's Saturday afternoon, 3 days have passed since the TDS race, Xavier Thevenard just won his second UTMB, taking an amazing revenge on the mishap at Hard Rock a few weeks ago where he was going to win with a comfortable margin but got disqualified for meeting his crew 2 miles after an aid station. What an amazing way to save his season by benefiting from a debacle across the other favorites.

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Andrew Drummond is onsite at UTMB and is capturing moments for the Trail Runner magazine audience. Here’s a video of the top five women and men passing through the 100K … Continue reading "Watch: The 2018 UTMB TDS"

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Rounding a sharp bend 2,000 feet above Chamonix, France (3,396 feet), this morning’s rush-hour traffic slams to a stop. “Dieu!” “Whoa, watch out dude!” “Merda!” Commuters from a variety of … Continue reading "Eden—Is Chamonix the Trail-Running Capital of the World?"

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I should be sleeping so a short one before I disappear in the treacherous Alps in 10 hours. According to the picture from the title sponsor, Columbia, at the bib pick-up, I am...

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Going on this week in Chamonix, France, is the largest gathering of trail runners in the world. More than 30,000 runners, family and friends are in the famed alpine valley … Continue reading "The UTMB through the Eyes of its Creators—Part 1"

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Oh my, another week to live by my globe trotter reputation... A week ago I was in London, then Paris last week, flew back home in Silicon Valley for just 2 days home and here I am again, in France, after a connection through Frankfurt and Geneva. Not anywhere in France but Chamonix for the pilgrimage to the Mecca of mountain and ultra trail running! While pious Muslims flocked to Saudi Arabia this past week, trailers as we call ultra and trail runners here in France, aspire to attend the UTMB week which starts this Monday. More than 8,000 runners across 7 major races ranging from 40 to 300 kilometers (25 to 186 miles).

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