Jornet, Hawker Win North Face Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc

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As I mentioned last Friday, this weekend was the annual North Face Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, one of the toughest ultra-marathons in the world. Late Friday, 2300 competitors set out on the 166km (103 miles) course, which circles Mount Blanc, the tallest peak in western Europe, and crosses through Italy, Switzerland, and France in the process. It is a truly spectacular trail with plenty of wonderful scenery and tough challenges.

The race got off to a rocky start when storms delayed the event for more than five hours, and once it was underway, it turned into one of the most challenge UTMBโ€™s ever. Rock slides forced the course to be extended to 169km, while rain and snow tested the competitors at every turn. In the end though, it didnโ€™t seem to matter, as Kilian Jornet came in first, crossing the finish line in a record time of 20 hours, 36 minutes, 43 seconds. Lizzy Hawker would take first place for the ladies, coming home in 25 hours, 2 minutes even.

So whatโ€™s it like to run the Ultra Trail do Mont Blanc? Check out the beautiful video below to see for yourself. It is both inspiring and exhausting at the same time. Wow!

Kraig Becker