In the cover photo all the glory of the UTMB
© img. courtesy of UTMB® 2017 “utmb17-utmb-ag-00-0009a” COLLECTION UTMB 2017-PRESSE

It’s that nail-biting time of year again… No, we’re not talking about choosing which socks to get your favourite uncle for Christmas. We’re talking about planning the sacred dates of trail running.

What will you be doing between Wednesday 29th to Sunday 2nd September 2018?

Amongst other things you could be running across the Alps in the UTMB®

As of December 14th 2017 the UTMB® race registration is open. If you can manage to heave yourself away the festive food-fest that seems to take over December, and still muster up the energy to get online and enter the best lottery in the world, bear in mind that you only have until 3rd of January to get your brain to co-ordinate eyes and fingers in order to do some intense mouse clicking, page scrolling, and keyboard tapping or screen touching.

© img. courtesy of UTMB "utmb17-utmb-fo-51-0438a" D'HAENE François JORNET BURGADA Kilian TOLLEFSON Tim
© Img. courtesy of UTMB® 2017 – Presse “utmb17-utmb-fo-51-0438a”, D’HAENE François, JORNET BURGADA Kilian and TOLLEFSON Tim

Fancy it? Yes? Then read on and lets do a re-cap of the various races. . .

DISTANCE: 171km – 10,000m D+
WHEN: Start on Friday 31/08/2018 at 18.00
WHERE: Chamonix, France
MAX TIME: 46hrs 30 mins
POINTS NEEDED TO ENTER: A minimum of 15 points from a maximum of 3 races (obtained between 01/01/2016 and 31/12/2017)

DISTANCE: 121km – 7300m D+
WHEN: Start on Wednesday 29/08/2018 at 06.00
WHERE: Courmayeur, Italy
MAX TIME: 33hrs
POINTS NEEDED TO ENTER: A minimum of 8 points from a maximum of 2 races (obtained between 01/01/2016 and 31/12/2017)

DISTANCE: 101km – 6100m D+
WHEN: Start on Friday 31/08/2018 at 06.00
WHERE: Courmayeur, Italy
MAX TIME: 26hrs 30 mins
POINTS NEEDED TO ENTER: A minimum of 8 points from a maximum of 2 races (obtained between 01/01/2016 and 31/12/2017)

DISTANCE: 56km – 3500m D+
WHEN: Start on Thursday 30/08/2018 at 08.15
WHERE: Orsières, Switzerland
POINTS NEEDED TO ENTER: A minimum of 4 points from a maximum of 2 races (obtained between 01/01/2016 and 31/12/2017)

DISTANCE: 300km – 25,000m D+
PARTICIPANTS: 300 (teams)
WHEN: Start on Monday 27/08/2018 at 09.00
WHERE: Chamonix, France
MAX TIME: 151hrs 30 mins
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Individual assessment based on experience and motivation.

DISTANCE: 15km – 1200m D+
PARTICIPANTS: 300 aged 16 to 22
WHEN: Start on Wednesday 29/08/2018 at 10.00
WHERE: Chamonix, France
MAX TIME: 4hrs

Things You May Wish To Consider

Other than the obvious: “Are you prepared for it?” The determining factor is“Have you got enough points to register?” 
Remember entry is based on being successfully extracted in a draw or ‘lottery’ and a required points system, for runners who have previously completed qualifying races.

Yes it is extremely hard to get in... but if you do get lucky you could be one of the 8000 participants coming from over 80 different countries to what’s often described as the World Summit of Trail.

Img. courtesy of UTMB 2017 - Presse, KOTKA Mimmi
© Img. courtesy of UTMB® 2017 – Presse “utmb17-tds-pt-19-0081a” KOTKA Mimmi

Race Entry Stats

So you want to know how hard it is to get in? Well in 2017, 4580 athletes pre-registered for the 1900 race bibs at the CCC®. You were in for a slightly better chance at the TDS® with 2632 athletes battling out for 1600 places. And of course the UTMB® with a whopping 5575 entrants for the 2300 race bibs available. And if you total up the number of entrants for the other events you get a number which exceeds 17,000 trail runners world wide…. So now you’re getting an idea of why it’s called the World Summit of Trail?!

Lets Talk About Those Points…

UTMB® Race organisers have come up with this handy tool on their website which should calculate if you’ve accumulated the required points throughout 2016 and 2017 to be able to register for the 2018 races. You just have to enter your name and date of birth and the computer does the rest, displaying your ITRA performance number and a list of the qualifying races you’ve finished and the number of points accumulated. It also automatically tells you for which race you can enter. Very handy.

© Img. courtesy of UTMB® 2017 - Presse "utmb17-tds-pt-08-0017a", LANNE Michel - JUNG Daniel
© Img. courtesy of UTMB® 2017 – Presse “utmb17-tds-pt-08-0017a”, LANNE Michel – JUNG Daniel

So How Do I Pre-Register?

Between December 14th 2017 (10:00 Paris time) until January 3rd 2018 all athletes can fill out the online pre-registration form on the UTMB® website together with a deposit of €50 Euros – Full details can be seen HERE.

How Will I Know If I’m In?

You’ll find out if you’ve got a place on January 11th 2018 at 10.00 (Paris time) when results will be announced and race entry will be published on the UTMB® web-site, and you will also receive confirmation by email.

So now it’s up to you.. Good luck! And now you can get back to your uncle’s socks.

Maria E. BelliniMaria Elisabetta Bellini is’s founder, born in the U.K, she came to running whilst living in Italy, where she still lives and trains. Never ceasing to marvel at what’s at the summit of a hill, or around the bend along the trail, she loves using trail running as a means to explore nature, contemplation and Italy.