This is a late post, but it’s taken me a while to think of how best to write about these exceptional people. The world of trail running is something I am content to get peeks at through the stories of friends who participate in these sorts of races, but it takes a special kind of crazy to go into ultra distance trail racing. Many thanks to Race Yaya for introducing me and fellow members of the media to the Filipinos who finished their respective events at the UTMB Festival in Chamonix, France this year.
The UTMB or Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc is a world-reknowned single-stage mountain ultramarathon. The UTMB proper is 166 kilometers long with a 9,600-meter total elevation gain held in the Alps traversing the countries of Switzerland, Italy, and France. There are also sister races linked to the week-long UTMB Festival: TDS or Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (119 km +7,250 m), the CCC or Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix (101 km +6,100 m), the OCC or Orsières-Champex-Chamonix (53 km +3,300 m), as well as the non-competitive team event known as La Petite Trotte à Léon (approx. 300 km +28,000 m).
While this isn’t the first year the local trail community has fielded participants to the UTMB Festival, it was a particularly bumper-crop year with entrants to all the individual categories. Continue reading “Meet the Filipino Finishers of the World’s Toughest Ultra Trail Festival”