The UTMB races continue today with TDS runners, who set off this morning at 06:00 from Courmayeur just across the border in Italy. 1792 runners are taking part in the race and they have a challenging 119 kilometres of trail ahead of them with a massive 7,250m of vertical gain.
Not only will these runners have to tackle the highest pass of the week at 2,603m on the French / Italian border, but they're going to have to deal with incredibly hot running conditions too.
Afternoon temperatures in Chamonix have been really hotting up here this week, with forecasters predicting a maximum of 30 degrees C today and tomorrow. Hopefully up on the mountain it's a little cooler, but as the first finishers arrive back in Chamonix at around 20:30 tonight they're sure to be feeling the heat.
TDS Race Profile
Runners in the OCC race also set off this morning, at 08:15 in Orsieres, Switzerland. This is the shortest race of the UTMB week at 55km but by no means easy. The fastest runners are expected back in Chamonix at around 13:40 today - look out for Xavier Thévenard as if he wins today, he will be the only athlete to have won all four UTMB race formats in the history of the competition. Thibault Baronian (FR) and Spaniard Marc Pinsach, short-distance specialists, will also be frontrunners. For the women, Marta Louise (ESP), Élisa Bollonjeon (FR), and Sonia Locatelli (ITA) have a podium finish in their sights.
OCC Race profile
Tomorrow at 18:00 (Friday 26th August) the UTMB race sets off through the centre of Chamonix. I'ts always a great spectacle to come and watch, as thousands of trail runners stream through the streets at the beginning of their 170km challenge.
Here's a quick round up which races are taking place, and when to see the first runners over the finish line:
|Race||Start||First Finishers||Last Finishers|
|PTL||Mon 22nd Aug 09:00||Fri 26th Aug 18:00||Sun 28th Aug|
|TDS||Wed 24th Aug 06:00||Wed 24th Aug 20:30||Thu 25th Aug 15:00|
|OCC||Thurs 25th Aug 08:15||Thurs 25th Aug 13:40||Fri 26th Aug 22:45|
|CCC||Fri 26th Aug 09:00||Fri 26th Aug 20:00||Sat 27th Aug 12:00|
|UTMB||Fri 26th Aug 18:00||Sat 27th Aug 15:10||Sun 28th Aug 16:30|
Location: Chamonix / Mont Blanc Valley