The Ultra Trail Mont Blanc is a 150km tour of the Mont Blanc massif for all nationalities - part race, part personal challenge - you don't have to win to take part. More commonly the Tour de Mont Blanc takes several days and often done as a week's trekking, however most entrants in the Ultra Trail will be looking to finish between 20-48 hours after they set off.
On Friday evening, after a week of bad weather the skies cleared giving just about perfect conditions for almost 1580 participants some of whom would be racing against the clock, a large crowd gathered behind the start line. Seven valleys, 71 glaciers, 400 summits later they would be returning the the same place.
The signal for the off was given on time at 8pm, where from the centre of Chamonix competitors would call through most of the neighbouring communes: Les Houches, St Gervais, Les Contamines, Les Chapieux (Bourg St Maurice), Courmayeur, La Fouly, Champex, Trient, and Vallorcine - with a number of other villages on the way, through France, Italy, and Switzerland.
The race inspires great local support for runners as they make the way round the massif - chearing crowds, motorists blowing their horns and a fantastic atmosphere between competitors themselves.