“UTMB. Four letters, three countries crossed, 2,600 runners and a myth of 170 kilometres around the top of the Alps”.
Since its inception in 2003, the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (or UTMB) has grown into one of the most fabled endurance races on Earth. Taking in some 10,000 metres of elevation gain around Mont-Blanc, tracing staggering mountainscapes and sweeping views across France, Italy and Switzerland, elite and amateur runners bid to reach the finish line in Chamonix.
Ultrarunning photographer Alexis Berg and sports journalist Aurélien Delfosse chart the mountains and communities – and most importantly, the runners – who have made the UTMB into what it is today. Travelling across the globe, from Colorado to Robilante (Italy), Andorra to Norway – and presented in more than 500 pages – Berg and Delfosse visited all the race winners to hear tales of the UTMB from those who have won it, the surprising stories, untold anecdotes, life-long friendships (and rivalries) and the raw emotions that reveal that even champions are humbled by the mountains.
The flagship distance is now one of several races held during a week-long event in Chamonix, France. Originally published in French, UTMB: The Race that Transformed a Sport covers the entire event, from its origins to today’s growing media coverage, its transnational status, to the environment and even the experience of running in the depths of the night. There is inspiration here for everyone, even those without the desire to cover 170 kilometres on foot.
This English-language edition, new for 2024, will include an interview with 2023 winner Jim Walmsley, the first US man to triumph at UTMB.