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© Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® - photo : Franck Oddoux

Latest press release from UTMB® 2015: A brilliant week


Last updated: 25-Oct-18

By Alice Morrison

Chamonix, August 31, 2015

We wanted to give you the latest from the organisers of the UTMB race with the results and total  finishers per race. Were you there? If so, share your views and comments below.

At 10:15 this Sunday morning, more than 4000 runners had finished one of the four scheduled races this week in Chamonix, under bright sunny skies and a full moon that lit up each and every night. Only 734 runners had finished the UTMB® at this point, an event during which the extremely warm temperatures forced several competitors to drop out.

Nathalie Mauclair and Xavier Thévenard in high spirits

Not a cloud in the sky for Xavier Thévenard, who was able to more than effectively deal with the hot weather. Early afternoon yesterday, he won his 2nd UTMB® in 21:09:13, ahead of Spaniard Luis Alberto Hernandez (21:57:17) and American Dave Laney (21:59:42). The young athlete from the Jura Mountains joins the ranks of the other two-time winners, Italian Marco Olmo (2006/2007) and Frenchman François D'Haene - defending champion and absent this year.

UTMB - Xavier Thevenard

© Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® - photo : Pascal Tournaire

Three-time winner, Kilian Jornet, is only one step ahead. All along the 170 km race course, Xavier Thévenard wore out his Spanish opponents. Comfortably in the lead by La Fouly (km 110), he stayed out in front and never let up. 

"When I think about my race this year, it felt almost exactly like my race in 2013, both the circumstances and the weather. The difference is that this year I didn't worry too much about my opponents, concentrating only on my time. I had set specific split times for the entire course, and focused on hitting them in order to run my race."

Bearing down, Xavier executed his plan to perfection. Several of his main rivals, such as Castaner, Chorier, Canaday, and Heras, dropped out, leaving the Frenchman to run to his second win in Chamonix.

The women's race experienced another French victory. Nathalie Mauclair, two-time world trail running champion, two-time winner of the Grand Raid in Reunion, enjoyed her first win at Chamonix's main event, after placing 3rd last year. Motivated by Nuria Picas' (ESP) early drop out, Nathalie ran a significant portion of the race with Caroline Chaverot (FRA) right on her heels, until the latter was forced to drop out in Vallorcine due to cramps. Following Karine Herry's victory in 2006, Nathalie Mauclair is the second Frenchwoman to win the l'Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®, at 45 years old, in 25:15:33. 

"How simply wonderful," said the nurse from Sarthe when she crossed the finish line. "This is the second big day of the year for me, the first was the Worlds in Annecy, and then yesterday! Given the race profile, I didn't think that I would be able to win. The atmosphere was fantastic all throughout the race. It felt like the Tour de France. It was a magical experience and I was carried along by cheering from both spectators and volunteers."

 Just over one-hour later, Spaniard Uxue Fraile Azpeitia finished in second place, and Swiss Denise Zimmermann finished in third, 2 hours and 18 minutes behind Mauclair.


© Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® - photo : Pascal Tournaire

Oceania and North America: two continents in the spotlight

If Europe dominated the UTMB®, North America and Oceania shined during the 2015 CCC®. The Stars and Stripes flew high over the men's podium, as Zach Miller and Time Tollefson took first and second place respectively. Wearing track shorts and tank tops, the two men ran alone, holding off third place finisher Nicolas Martin's strong comeback.

"There was never a point in the race when I felt truly at ease," said Miller, after an incredible sprint to the finish line. "Nico Martin put me on the defensive; I know that in Europe most runners are really comfortable going downhill and I was afraid that he might overtake me. But my legs felt much better after the last aid station, which allowed me to hold on."

 Nicolas Martin came within 1'30" of catching up before experiencing a rough final portion of the race. He pushed hard to ensure his spot on the podium. 

"I've never suffered like this before; I started cramping up in Champex and had a hard time running downhill. The last couple of climbs were agonizing, and I moved along at a snail's pace. Finishing on the podium with the leg problems I experienced was a small victory for me..."


© Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® - photo : Michel Cottin

The women's 1st place finisher, Ruth Croft, put in an extremely strong performance, placing 7th overall. The New Zealander and former ski patroller finished ahead of race favourite, American Magdalena Boulet (a former Olympic marathoner), completely crushing the competition.


© Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® - photo : Michel Cottin

OCC®: youth takes over

On Thursday, the second edition of the Orsières-Champex-Chamonix ultra took place. Catalonian Marc Pinsach Rubirola triumphed, playing a game of cat and mouse with 2015 Trail World Champion, Sylvain Court, over the race's entire 53 km and 3300 m of vertical gain. The Spaniard won in a time of 05:21:38, with only a 1'45" lead over Sylvain Court, who entered the race to become more familiar with Chamonix's surroundings, where he hopes to spend time over the next few years to take on the UTMB®. The women's race was even closer, with the top three runners finishing within 50 seconds of each other. Célia Chiron won in 06:41:53, in front of Cécile Lefebvre (06:42:19) and Caroline Benoît (06:42:43).


© Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® - photo : Pascal Tournaire

TDS®: the French/Spanish matchup

The week's competitions started on Wednesday with the TDS®. The predicted French/Spanish podium finishes went as planned, with an exciting victory by Catalonian Pau Bartolo, who led the race from start to finish. After winning the 2014 CCC®, only a UTMB® victory remains for Pau to become the second person to win all three races, following Xavier Thévenard's triple feat.

Seventeen minutes later, Frenchman Cyril Cointre finished in second place, in front of teammate Antoine Guillon, who crossed the finish line hand-in-hand with Lionel Trivel. First for the women, Andréa Huser ran the perfect race. With a first-place finish at the Swiss Irontrail and second place at the 2015 Eiger Ultra-Trail®, she was expected to win. In addition, having finished 13th overall in just 16hrs 35 min., she now holds the women's record for the course.

PTL®: a couple finishes on top

In a masterful finish on Friday afternoon around 16:00, the Belgian couple Stephan Bero and Isabelle Ost, the "Shooting Stars," celebrated their victory and 118-hour effort with a glass of "Celeste," the famous Belgian beer. The large crowd gave a round of applause for the couple following their 4-day and 4-night adventure (300 km and 26,000 m of vertical gain).

A thirteenth edition that many describe as exceptional, where the sun and the moon shined brightly for all 7500 runners! Powerful emotions, exceptional athletic performances, and a unique slice of life will remain forever engrained; from the first to the last finisher, everyone experienced a truly amazing adventure this week.

For complete results for the event, go to: http://utmb.livetrail.net/

Key event statistics -

Stats valid as of 08:34:45 on 30/08/2015

PTL® in progress

Number at the start: 107 teams 
Number of teams finished: 6
Total number of drop outs: 67


Number at the start: 1435, total women: 358
Number of finishers: 1317, total women: 335
Total number of drop outs: 118


Number at the start: 1809, total women: 210
Number of finishers: 1214 total women: 145
Total number of drop outs: 595


Number at the start: 2129, total women: 278
Number of finishers: 1470, total women: 192
Total number of drop outs: 659 (30.95%)

UTMB® in progress

Number at the start: 2563, total women: 223
Number of finishers: 535, total women: 38
Total number of drop outs: 895


AKA how to experience a fantastic adventure through 5 ultras around the Mont-Blanc Range!

UTMB® [Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®]: 3 countries - 170 km and 10,000 m of vertical gain, semi self-sufficient - 2300 runners stood at the starting line on Friday, August 28, at 18:00, to run from Chamonix to Chamonix in 46 hours max.

CCC® [Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix]: 3 countries - 100km and 6000 m of vertical gain, semi self-sufficient - 1900 runners stood at the starting line on Friday, August 28, at 09:00, to run from Courmayeur to Chamonix in 26.5 hours max.

TDS® [Traces des Ducs de Savoie]: 119 km and 7250 m of vertical gain, semi self-sufficient - 1600 runners stood at the starting line on Wednesday, August 26, at 06:00, to run from Courmayeur to Chamonix in 33 hours max.


PTL® [Petite Trotte à Léon]: 3 countries - approximately 300km and 26,000 m of vertical gain, completely self-sufficient. A non-stop effort with no ranking open to 100 teams (Maximum of 250 runners). Started, Monday, August 24, at 17:30, to run from Chamonix to Chamonix in 142 hours max.

OCC [Orsières-Champex-Chamonix]: 53 km and 3300 m of vertical gain, semi self-sufficient - 1200 runners at the starting line on Thursday, August 27, at 08:15, to run from Orsières to Chamonix in 14 hours max.

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