All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

- JRR Tolkien



Aug 29, 2013

Launch of the International Trail Running Association in Chamonix



Gaël Couturier

With the growth of trail running as a sport and following talks between various outdoor industry players, international ultra runners announced the launch of the ITRA in Chamonix, France

In the build-up to the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), 2013 here at Chamonix yesterday, top-notch athletes and industry figures from the trail running fraternity announced the launch of an industry body for trail-running, which till now did not have such strong association for issues related to the sport. At the ongoing UTMB expo (August 27-30, 2013), they explained their agenda and ITRA’s role.
I feel that this association is of great use for all the trail runners around the world. Of course it’s a work in progress, but this launch commands attention. Today, the main goal of ITRA is to collect all the stars of the trail running scene (elite or anonymous), race organizers and even brand managers, around shared values and principles. By doing so, the ITRA will finally answer key questions raised as the sport has grown exponentially in the past five or six years.
Traditionally trail running hasn’t seen the same kind of funding or prize monies as other sports, but this may be about to change. “We understand that it’s not at all controversial to introduce ‘prize money’ in trail running, for a start”, said Michel Poletti, the newly elected Director of ITRA. Mr Poletti is also the creator and owner of The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, that groups four unique races- La Petite Trotte à Léon (PTL), Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (TDS), Courmayeur – Champex – Chamonix (CCC) and the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. “We’re not saying all race organizers should give away money, because we don’t want to impose it on anyone, but we’ll be there to make sure that in case one chooses to do so, men and women receive equal treatment, which means the same amount of prize money”, he said.
That’s one among the many ITRA plans for its new policies, but they have many other interesting ideas. One of them is of setting realistic and easy-to-use health and anti-doping policies for race organizers. Another one is about offering a pacer/non-pacer (forbidden in most places around the world, except the USA where it’s not only legal but also recommended on some very remote – and dangerous – trail races). Finally, one of the most most notable actions that ITRA is taking is to establish an international ranking for all trail runners participating in events worldwide.
I’m still trying to figure out how it works and what my ranking means! Having said that, if I’m in there, you could be there too! I’ll keep you updated on what ITRA does here.
Stay tuned trailers!
Image © The Outdoor Journal
More on www.i-tra.org
Place: Chamonix, France

Continue Reading



Oct 11, 2018

Registration for Marathon du Mont-Blanc is About to Open.

News from Chamonix: With regards to scenery, there might not be another sporting event like it, with regards to challenges, the same could be said of the 90km race with 6220 meters of vertical.



The Outdoor Journal

Fortunately, there is a distance to suit every level of runner, with 8 races over 3 days of competition. From the 24 hour race around the valley of Chamonix Mont-Blanc, at an average altitude above the 2000m mark, to shorter distances such as the 42km, 23km, 10km, and even races for children. There’s no excuse to miss out on experiencing this beautiful part of the world.

In 2018 the event saw 10,500 registrations and 300 elite athletes, with 80 countries represented. The race also attracted 47.4 million viewers in France, and over 30,000 people actually attended the event in the valley of Chamonix Mont-Blanc. It’s fair to say that this is a big occasion.


The below information was provided by Marathon du Mont-Blanc

The Mont-Blanc 90km race: One of the most technical ultra trail races and also one of the most demanding in its category with narrow, sometimes exposes paths, snowy sections, and an average altitude above the 2000m mark.

Vertical : 6220 m +/-
Maximum time: 24 hours
Number of runners : 1 000 max

The Mont-Blanc 42km race: A marathon distance at it’s origins, it is a 2730m vertical trail which is rolling in the first part of the course until Vallorcine, but very technical in the second half with the mythical passage of the Aiguillette des Posettes.

Vertical : 2 730m + / 1 700 m –
Maximum time : 9 hours
Number of runners : 2 300 max

The Mont-Blanc 23km race: The course remains practically unchanged since 1979 ! This race is a benchmark for the evolution of trail running in regards to sport performances and the diversity of it’s participants.

Vertical : 1680m + / 870m –
Maximum time : 6 hours
Number of runners : 2 000 max

The Mont-Blanc Duo étoilé 17km race: Discover the unique ambiance of a night race where team spirit and sharing are key.

Vertical : 1300m +/-
Number of teams : 500 max

The Mont-Blanc 10km race:This 10km race, a port of entry for the other Mont-Blanc marathon races, accessible to all. It is the opportunity to run as a family, amongst friends, and for the pure pleasure of participating in a festive race in the forest on the cross-country ski trails without technical difficulties.

Vertical : 325m + / 325m –
Number of runners : 2 000 max

The Mont-Blanc Vertical Kilometer: With it’s 3.8km it is the shortest race format of the weekend, but you still have to climb 1000m along a single track path, craftily placed beneath the Planpraz cable car.

Vertical : 1000m +

Pre-registration for the 3 longer races, 90k, 42k, 23k races from Monday 15th October at 9:00 am to midnight on Sunday 4th November 2018. It’s not first come, first served, but if more people that the maximum quota apply, then a ballot is organized. With the results of that ballot announced on Thursday 8th November.

For more information, visit http://www.montblancmarathon.net

Cover Photo: Gaestan Haugeard


Recent Articles

Tony Riddle Crosses Great Britain Barefoot but Not Broken

Natural Lifestyle coach Tony Riddle put his rewilding practices to the test by running 874 miles across Great Britain entirely barefoot to support environmental sustainability.

Forrest Galante: The Modern-Day Charles Darwin

Except biologist Forrest Galante is not searching for the origin of species, more like auditing the books, and in a few very successful instances, erasing names from the roster of extinction.

Trans Himalaya 2019 – Part 3: The Invaluable Treasures of Ladakh

After the onset of the Northeast monsoon in the lower Himalayas, Peter Van Geit moves on to the high altitude rock desert of Ladakh in the Jammu and Kashmir region.

Privacy Preference Center