A grueling ultramarathon: Finishing the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc UTMB

Jeff Grant UTMB

What it’s like to finish the UTMB

If you’d like a taste of what it’s like to prepare for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), one of the most grueling ultramarathons in the world, please feel free to have a look at my 2009 blog posts listed below. For a quick, humorous read, check out the cow and hallucinations stories in Part 3!

In the UTMB, over 2,000 runners attempt the 166KM (104 mile) course with its impressive 9,400 meters (31K feet) of elevation gain. That’s nearly a 10KM race of VERTICAL! The time limit is 46 hours and the athletes’ finishing times span the unbelievable 21 hours to the very edge of the 46-hour cut-off. Most who finish, will do so beyond 30 hours … few will sleep, many will hurt, often 1/3 won’t finish. Hopefully all the runners experience the awakening of the soul brought out by the mountains, the physical and mental challenge and the camaraderie.

Jeff Grant UTMB Finish

Jeff Grant UTMB Finish

Also, it’s worth noting two other UTMB-related races happen at the same time, the CCC (98KM & 5600m elevation gain) and the Petite Trotte à Léon (250KM +18,000M). The CCC covers the toughest part of the UTMB course is a brutal race on its own. And the PTL … words can’t even begin to describe this challenge!

Jeff’s 2009 UTMB Blog

UTMB was a Moonshot race for me, a race that changed my life. I wish anyone who pursues this challenge an experience of a lifetime!

— Coach Jeff

Jeff Grant is the author of Flow State Runner: Activate a Powerful Inner Coach’s Voice, Hill Running: Survive & ThriveRun Faster: Unlock Your Speed in 8 Weeks, Running Heavy, and UltraRunning: Ultimate Guide. Based in Switzerland, Jeff is a coach and writer who specializes in mental coaching, peak performance, and transformation. Refer to Jeff’s bio for more information, and please check out Jeff’s Coach & Author page on Facebook.