The North Face Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc Begins Friday

2010 UTMB Copyright Pascal Tournaire 3

One of the toughest endurance races on the planet will take place this weekend with the start of the North Face Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, which officially gets underway on Friday. The course begins and ends in Chamonix, France and crosses into Switzerland, as it covers 168km (104 miles), of tough mountain terrain, completely circumnavigating around Mont Blanc in the process. Oh, and it also happens to feature 9600 meters (31,496 ft) of ascent too.

This year, for the first time ever, the event will be broadcast live on the web. Considering the coverage kicks off tomorrow and runs for 84 hours straight, that’s an impressive feat of endurance as well. The live broadcasts start Thursday, August 30 at 06:00 local time and will continue with 15-minute news briefs through Sunday, September 2.

At the start of the event, more than 6000 runners from 73 countries will take the line. How many of them actually finish remains to be seen. This is one of the largest and most difficult tests of endurance on the planet and isn’t for the faint of heart. We’ll probably get to witness some of the suffering first hand on these live broadcasts over the next few days.

Good luck to all the runners!

The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® by UltraTrailMontBlanc

Kraig Becker