Exceptional trail running events in the UK, Corsica, and Switzerland latest to be confirmed for 2022 UTMB® World Series
November 19, 2021
- Contingent from UTMB® World Series, including UTMB founders Catherine and Michel Poletti and IRONMAN Group President & CEO Andrew Messick currently visiting well regarded trail running races in North America in addition to potential future race venues as part of commitment to deliver ‘best in class’ events across the globe --
(Chamonix, France) 19 November 2021 /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The first ever UTMB® World Series, which will debut in 2022, is set to provide an extraordinary adventure for trail runners across the world, with a further five exceptional events confirmed today across the UK, Corsica, and Switzerland.
Giving runners the chance to complete a journey of a lifetime, the inaugural circuit will feature up to 30 events across the globe with a calendar that runs year-round, including the UTMB® World Series Finals in August in Chamonix, the pinnacle of the trail running year.
In Switzerland – a country of skyscraping peaks, glaciers and forests that is a must-visit destination amongst trail runners- three new events have been confirmed each with its unique flavor. The renowned Eiger mountain in Grindelwald, Switzerland will be the setting for Eiger Ultra Trail by UTMB®, a race that will fully immerse runners in the natural beauty and challenging terrain of the Bernese Alps. Trail Verbier Saint-Bernard by UTMB®, the oldest Swiss ultra trail, which has long been considered one of the Swiss Alps most picturesque races joins the Series along with a brand-new event hosted by the ski resort of Crans-Montana, Wildstrubel by UTMB®, which will give runners the chance to discover new regions and landscapes on an incredible journey around the Wildstrubel massif. Additionally, Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB® in Wales is set to become the first-ever UTMB® World Series Event in the UK, offering a technical mountain course through the most beautiful race routes in Britain and on the French island of Corsica, Restonica Trail by UTMB® will take runners on a journey along one of the most famous hiking trails in the world, the GR20.
A spectacular, unmatched alpine experience at Eiger Ultra Trail by UTMB®
The notorious Eiger mountain, standing 3,970m above the town of Grindelwald in South-central Switzerland, is the origin of myths and legends in the mountaineering and trail running community, thanks in part to its infamously steep north face.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary from the 15-17 July 2022, the Eiger Ultra Trail by UTMB®, will reward runners with breath-taking panoramic views including of the notable UNESCO World Natural Heritage site, Jungfrau-Aletsch – the longest glacier in the Alps.
From the 360-degree outlook from Faulhorn at 2,680m, to the final strides along the base of the Eiger north face, runners can expect an exceptional adventure across 101km, 51km, 35km, and 16km distances, as well as a Trail surprise of approximately 10km, a 51km team race and the brand-new team 250km race.
Registration and lottery for the anniversary edition is now open on the event website here.
The most beautiful routes in the UK at Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB®
Highlighting the mountainous areas of the Snowdonia National Park in northern Wales, Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB® promises the pinnacle of trail race routes in the UK.
Taking place across predominantly technical mountain trails, with courses that explore Snowdonia’s most scenic valleys, rugged peaks and epic landscapes, runners can choose from three distances including 50km, 100km and the flagship 100 miles – the latter being known as a ‘beautifully brutal beast’ that takes in the most notable peaks of north Wales.
The 2022 edition takes place on 1-3 July 2022 with entries opening early December. Find out more about this event on the website here.
A unique Corsican atmosphere at Restonica Trail by UTMB® along the infamous GR20
The GR20 – or grande randonnée – is a spectacular hiking trail that winds its way along the jagged spine of Corsica’s mountainous centre and is the highlight for much of Restonica Trail by UTMB®.
A mountainous Mediterranean island that lies southwest of the French mainland with its own unique atmosphere, Corsica is nicknamed the ‘Island of Beauty’ for its sublime landscapes which Restonica Trail by UTMB® has in abundance. From the first step, runners begin the steep climb through dense pine forests, past stone villages and shepherd’s huts that cling to the mountains, skirt around glacial lakes, run through history at the former capital city of the island, Corte, and follow rivers and waterfalls as they head up to the jagged mountainous interior.
A real destination race, from the 7-9 July, Restonica Trail by UTMB® will welcome over 1,500 runners across the four distances, 110km, 69km, 33km and 17km.
One of Europe’s most technical races, Trail Verbier Saint-Bernard by UTMB®, offers total immersion in the Swiss Alps close to the Mont-Blanc area
Known for its inspiring scenery, with glaciers and high passes, Trail Verbier Saint-Bernard by UTMB® in the Swiss Alps has constantly changing views of the Mont Blanc massif and of several 4,000-meter Swiss peaks.
Glaciated landscapes, a summit above 3,000m at Mont Rogneux, a suspension bridge at the foot of Grand Combin (4,314m) and the mythical and feared ‘wall’ of the last 1,200m ascent before Verbier, promise a varied and challenging trail for runners. It’s pure Swiss made, authentic and with no compromises.
Thousands of runners are expected to take to the start line in the famous ski resort of Verbier for an adventure across 140km, 76km, 45km and 26km, traversing alpine trails, passing glaciers, and winding through mountain villages, as well as passing the historic monastery at Saint-Bernard Pass.
From the 8-10 July 2022, runners will experience a remarkable journey through some of the most beautiful mountain terrain and villages in the Valais region located on the Italian border.
Registrations are now open on the event website, here.
A brand-new event, Wildstrubel by UTMB®, allows runners to discover new regions, landscapes and culture
Connecting the Swiss cantons of Valais and Bern, Wildstrubel by UTMB® will take runners on a magnificent journey through the northern Alps of Switzerland. Perfectly manicured mountain pastures, breathtaking views of the Valais’ 4,000m peaks, the striking landscapes of the Bernese Oberland mountain range, and the high mountains of the Wildstrubel massif await.
The pinnacle 106km race will include 6,000m of elevation gain on a course designed by Jean-Yves Rey, winner of the 2009 CCC®. Runners will embark on a complete loop of the Wildstrubel massif and the Plaine Morte Glacier, crossing 2 cantons, 2 linguistic regions and 5 internationally renowned destinations: Crans-Montana, Leukerbad, Kandersteg, Adelboden and Lenk. Runners will traverse from one canton to another on a route that takes them via the legendary passes of Gemmi (2,268m) and Rawyl (2,427m), as well as the famous Via Alpina trail between Kandersteg and Lenk.
Wildstrubel by UTMB® will also offer a 50km race from Adelboden, as well as a 23km race from Leukerbad.
The resort of Crans-Montana – which is situated on a high plateau at an altitude of 1,500m and offers views of 40 summits culminating at over 4,000 meters of altitude – will host the first edition of Wildstrubel by UTMB® from 8 to 11 September 2022. Registrations will open during the first half of December.
A global circuit, a unique qualifying system
UTMB® World Series Events are the best trail running events on the planet and are organized to the highest quality standards, giving runners the chance to immerse themselves in the UTMB® experience with events across the globe. As part of this commitment to excellence, a contingent from the UTMB® World Series, including UTMB® founders Catherine and Michel Poletti and The IRONMAN Group President & CEO Andrew Messick are together visiting established events in North America that will join the circuit in 2022, in addition to potential future venues for the Series.
UTMB® World Series Events are the only place where runners can begin their quest to the UTMB® World Series Finals in Chamonix, France which will be held in the three key distances of the UTMB® Mont-Blanc – the OCC (50km), CCC®(100km) and UTMB® (100 miles).
UTMB® World Series Events are also the only place where athletes can collect Running Stones for use in the UTMB® Mont-Blanc registration lottery for 2023 onwards. Only one Running Stone is needed to enter the lottery. For elite runners, UTMB® World Series Events will be the only races where they can qualify for the UTMB® World Series Finals.
The UTMB® World Series is built on the founding principles of UTMB® Mont-Blanc: surpassing oneself; fair-play; respect for people and the environment; and solidarity. Find out more at UTMB.World.
UTMB® World Series 2022 confirmed Events (As of 19th November 2021)
- Tarawera™ Ultramarathon by UTMB® (New Zealand), 12 February
- Ultra-Trail Australia™ by UTMB® (Australia), 12-15 May
- Trail du Saint-Jacques by UTMB® (France), 11 June
- mozart 100™ by UTMB® (Austria), 18 June
- La Sportiva® Lavaredo Ultra Trail® by UTMB® (Italy), 23-26 June
- Trail 100 Andorra™ by UTMB® (Andorra), 24-26 June
- Western States® 100-Mile Endurance Run (USA), 25-26 June
- Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB®, (Wales), 1-3 July
- Restonica Trail by UTMB® (France) 7-9 July
- Val d’Aran by UTMB® (Spain), 7-10 July
- Trail Verbier Saint-Bernard by UTMB®, (Switzerland), 8-10 July
- Eiger Ultra Trail by UTMB®, (Switzerland), 15-17 July
- Wildstrubel by UTMB®, (Switzerland), 8-11 September
- Nice Côte d’Azur by UTMB® (France), 22-25 September
- Puerto Vallarta México by UTMB® (Mexico), October
- Thailand by UTMB® (Thailand), 10-13 November
- TransLantau™ by UTMB® (Hong Kong), November
- Panda Trail by UTMB® (China), dates TBC
- Gaoligong by UTMB® (China), dates TBC
- UTMB® World Series Finals; UTMB® Mont-Blanc (France, Italy, Switzerland), 22-28 August.
Ralph Näf, Chairman Eiger Ultra Trail by UTMB®
“The founding team and I are extremely happy about our inclusion in the UTMB® World Series. When Eiger Ultra Trail was founded ten years ago, we never thought that one day it would be one of the world’s most attractive events. When we founded this event, the idea was a simple one: to create something together that we enjoy, has a pioneering spirit and is of a high quality. The inclusion in the UTMB® World Series is valuable proof of our commitment and passion for the trail running sport and our destination.”
Michael Jones, Race Director Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB®
“Heavily inspired by UTMB® Mont-Blanc itself, when I launched UTS in 2017, my ambition for the event was to host a truly alpine-scale mountain ultra, with an international profile, here in the UK. Four years later, I’m very excited to continue this trajectory by joining the new UTMB® World Series alongside many other high-profile, emblematic events. I look forward to welcoming the international trail running community to Snowdonia next July, to experience our unique mountains, trails and culture.”
Jean-Éric Lanoir, President Restonica Trail by UTMB®
“Born in 2009, the Restonica Trail follows the path of a mythical trail which was one of the pioneering trail running races in France. As organizers, we have always aimed to promote the region and encourage people to respect its exceptional and unspoilt nature: Corsica, the island in the sea, floating on the Mediterranean, with breath taking landscapes and a surprising and wild playground. All of this is magnified by the men of this land who have never forgotten their hospitality while fiercely protecting their environment. Since 2010, we have been engaged with the UTMB® Mont-Blanc organizers and we share the same values deep. That’s why the partnership with UTMB® World Series is a natural and obvious fit. I sincerely think that together we will enhance the values of the sport.”
Tiphaine Artur and Matthieu Girard, co-presidents Trail Verbier Saint-Bernard by UTMB®
“To join the UTMB® World Series is a natural evolution for the trail running event we co-founded 13 years ago. Although we were pioneers in Switzerland, voluntary entrepreneurs, who are passionate by our region and motivated to live in an area that has become the cradle of trail running in Switzerland, nothing would have been possible without the support of UTMB®. That’s why we see this new collaboration as the outcome of our long-lasting friendship with UTMB Group. Today we wish to start a new challenge for this event, and we will commit to its deep values, its roots in the region, and the support of numerous volunteers who create unforgettable memories and to reinforce its authentic character, which is so appreciated by the runners.”
Jean-Yves Rey, Wildstrubel by UTMB® course designer
“When I first discovered this course 10 years ago, I was astonished by the beauty and the variety of landscapes. The Wildstrubel massif is really the ideal playground for trail running with its wonderful nature, its historical cols, its touristic and famous destinations, as well as a linguistic and cultural mix that bring a warm touch to the project. Everything is planned to be a great event”
About UTMB® World Series
The UTMB® World Series is a revolution for the sport, that will bring the trail running community together through a new, integrated sports system that is open to all. Inspired by the high standards of UTMB®, runners will be able to take part in the most beautiful events on the planet, and the UTMB® World Series will be the only place where runners can begin their quest to Mont-Blanc, France, where the prestigious UTMB® World Series Finals will be held. In-line with the rapid growth of the sport, events will be held across six continents, giving all runners more opportunities to live the UTMB® experience on a global scale. For more information, visit www.utmb.world.
About UTMB Group
Over the last 18 years, and since the creation of UTMB® Mont-Blanc in 2003 by a group of passionate friends, UTMB Group has been the driving force behind the development of trail running. The UTMB® Mont-Blanc is the sports pinnacle event, and every year, 10,000 runners earn their place on the start line. UTMB Group also pioneered the LiveTrail® technology, an innovative digital service that supports the management of endurance races. Revered by hundreds of thousands of athletes, UTMB® has become a global, premium, and leading brand. In May 2021, UTMB Group partnered with The IRONMAN Group to launch the UTMB® World Series, which from 2022, will bring together many of the best international events on the planet to provide exclusive access to the sport’s pinnacle event, UTMB® Mont-Blanc. The UTMB® World Series is built on the founding principles of UTMB® Mont-Blanc: surpassing oneself; fair-play; respect for people and the environment; and solidarity. Find out more at www.utmb.world.
About The IRONMAN Group
The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf®, UTMB® World Series events including Tarawera Ultramarathon and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events including Haute Route®, and gravel racing like Gravel Epic®, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group.
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