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TDS (Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie)

28-Aug-2019 Courmayeur, Valle de Aosta, Italy

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2 REVIEWS
Mountains Race Race Terrain
119KM / 74Miles
2 Days - 1600 Runners

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Expert  

Images: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®

Part of the UTMB festival of running races, the TDS starts in the heart of Courmayeur in Italy and runs along the Grande Randonnée routes that cross Mont-Blanc, Beaufort, Tarentaise and the Aosta valley. These valleys around Mont-Blanc were once part of the Savoie State.

The race is just under 120km long and includes several sections at altitudes surpassing 2500m. The positive altitude gain is 7250m. The highest points are: Arête du Mont-Favre (2435m), Col Chavannes (2603m), Col du Petit Saint-Bernard (2,188m), Passeur de Pralognan (2,567m), Col de la Gitte (2,322m), Col du Tricot  (2,120m). Participants must be fit, carry the appropriate equipment and be able to run in semi self-sufficiency.

Runner registration is capped at 1600 participants. There are 7 refreshments points along the route that will provide runners with drinks and food. Cut-off time is 33hours.

Registration requirements for this event are a minimum of 3 points obtained from any of the approved qualifying races.

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Beginner

Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.

Intermediate

Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Advanced

Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Expert

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Brutal

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Type: An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for: Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Global - Virtual

Type: A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for: For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Review TDS (Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie)

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bena

08:24 19-09-18

I typically prefer low key events, but it is hard not to enjoy the huge support and enthusiasm that you meet on this race. I was prepared for the distance, but the steep and technical nature of some of the trails cought me a little by surprise - some of the second half of the race felt more like a fell race, with plenty of tricky singletrack decents and a healthy dose of mud as well. I had to empty grit from my shoes repeatedly and would wear gaiters next time. Checkpoints were well run with good food options (I'd carry less of my own if doing it again) but the early checkpoints were very busy and slow to get through until the pack spread out a bit. Also worth noting was that it was difficult to overtakle for the first couple of hours, and if doing it again, I would probably try to get to the start line earlier to avoid being stuck right at the back of the pack. For me (finishing in ~26hrs) a lot of the night was spent fairly high up in quite muddy terrain and with bad weather and fairly long distances between checkpoints, this section felt fairly exposed, and there were certainly points where I was pushing harder than I wanted to in order to keep warm. Take that into consideration when picking your kit as slower runners may want more than the bare minimum reccomended. Overall the event was very well organised with great support and enthusiasm along the way and the finish in Chamonix is somethign that will stay with me for a long time. énorme!

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luke34

03:58 03-02-17

I have had a couple of attempts at this event, I was offered a place when I failed to get a place in the CCC...I got to within 20k and one hill of the finish last time. The event is very special... as are all the races during the UTMB week, the atmosphere in Chamonix is just perfect to highten the pre race excitement and as I can only imagine what it must be like crossing the finishing line... Im trying again this year... just to savour that brief moment, The route its self is long and spectacular with some easy but exposed scrambling in places (not an event for a mountain novice).. the only bad thing is that as the race is so long quite alot of the journey is in the dark and seeing the train of lights stretching up into the sky before you , although awesome ...can be a little demoralising as it always makes the mountain seem much taller than it actually is (and theres no doubt,,, they are big).... I could go on for hours but I will conclude with if you get a chance to run this route and you don't mind a bit of discomfort (for 30 odd hours) do it... and finish so you dont have to do it the following year... because if like me you fail through mental frailty you will want to go back to get it done. ( and it is quite an expensive outing)

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