Press release written by UTMB®.
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France — UTMB® and local organizers InAran Sports, have today announced the inaugural edition of Val d’Aran by UTMB®, the newest international event created by UTMB®, will be held in the heart of the Pyrenees from 3-5 July 2020.
Announced at the world summit of trail running UTMB® Mont Blanc which this week will welcome 10,000 runners and thousands more supporters to Chamonix from all of the globe, Val d’Aran by UTMB® will be organized in collaboration with the Conselh Generau d’Aran. The new event is in line with UTMB® Internationals’ ambitious growth plan, and becomes the fifth event of the UTMB® family, joining other iconic and touristic destinations which are particularly appealing for trail runners keen to explore the world; UTMB® Mont-Blanc, Gaoligong by UTMB®, Oman by UTMB® and Ushuaia by UTMB®.
4,000 bibs are available across the three different distances on offer, which all take in the unique and spectacular scenery of Val d’Aran. The main race, is the VDA and at 160km, it will take runners all the way around Val d’Aran, passing through mountains, valleys and the most spectacular sites of the region. A course that will leave a mark on all runners, the quickest are expected to finish in around 22 hours.
Runners taking part in the 101km CDH (Camins de hèr – Iron tracks) will take on the final 101km of the VDA course, with the 55km PDA (Peades d’Aigua – Water footsteps) providing a speedy race that will test runners through the last part of the course.
As with all other “by UTMB®” events, finishers of Val d’Aran by UTMB® courses will be able to collect their “Running Stones” and ITRA points, providing them with a direct entry for UTMB® Mont-Blanc courses without having to go through the lottery. The Running Stones accumulated are valid for a four-year period.
Registrations will open on 7 October with special prices for the first registrations.
Catherine Poletti UTMB® Group Co-Director, commented: “We are excited to reveal the courses for Val d’Aran by UTMB® and this new trail running event will allow us to further enrich what UTMB® offer in term of terrain diversification. It will provide a real test for trail runners who want to explore the Pyrenees and discover a new stunning mountainous course with a strong characterization, differing from the Alpine one.”
“This year at UTMB®, Spanish runners represent the second largest contingent of foreign participants, a clear indication of the enthusiasm for the sport that we expect to see at Val d’Aran by UTMB® next year. We expect this to be a hugely popular event, so encourage people to sign up early.”
Next up, Oman by UTMB®, 28-30 November 2019
Taking place 28-30 November, the second edition of the challenging Oman by UTMB® trail event organized by Oman Sail, will include distances that will open the event and the Sultanate of Oman to trail running enthusiasts with a broad range of experience. The extraordinary 130km mountain course at the heart of the 2018 event, will now be joined by a 50km course and an ultimate 170km challenge.
An easy flight from Europe or Asia, Oman is one of the top 4 safest countries in the world according to the World Economic Forum, and along with the capital city of Muscat, is considered a must-visit destination by National Geographic and Lonely Planet.
Oman by UTMB® is the only event in 2019 where runners can collect “Running Stones” and gain a direct entry for UTMB® Mont-Blanc courses without having to go through the lottery.
Second edition of Gaoligong by UTMB® (almost sold out)
From its first edition in 2018, Gaoligong by UTMB® quickly established itself as one of the largest ultra-trail running events in Asia, as well as the standard-setting race for the continent. Almost 2000 runners from 24 different countries took part making it one of the best attended trail running events in China.
For 2020 5,000 bibs are available, and with more than 85% already sold, the race is on course to sell out. Local organizer Exploring Group has substantially improved the 2018 course to take in better trails and routes including the addition of the 35 km TCZ (Tengchong International Airport), and will take place 21-23 March.
A race at the end of the word: Ushuaia by UTMB®
Held in April this year, the inaugural edition of Ushuaia by UTMB® gave 1,000 athletes from 28 different nationalities the chance to explore the incredible trails of Tierra del Fuego, at the extreme South of the Argentinian Patagonia, where true Alpine mountains plunge into the Beagle Channel between Atlantic and Pacific. Ushuaia is literally at the “End of the World” and it has been a 360° experience for all participants on this first edition.
Details of the second edition will be announced in the coming months.
Upcoming UTMB® events: