After setting a fastest known time in the Himalayas earlier this year, Ryan Sandes will be lining up for what many are calling the World Championships of Trail Running at this year’s Ultra Trail Mont Blanc on Friday 31 August in Chamonix. 2018 sees the “who’s-who” of trail running taking part with names like Jim Walmsley, Kilian Jornet, Luis Hernando and Tim Tollefson to mention a few all looking to take the title of King of the Mountain.
“UTMB is a race that has never gone well for me and I think in the past I have put too much pressure on myself. It was really refreshing to pre run the UTMB route over a few days with a group of friends earlier this year,” says Ryan. “It was a pretty unplanned disaster style lap of the Mont Blanc. On the first night we ended up sleeping in a cow shed to take shelter from a storm as all the accommodation was fully booked, but we had an awesome few days on the mountain with lots of laughs. I have so many good memories from the trip and I will take that positive energy with me into the race.”
“Running the Great Himalaya Trail earlier this year took a lot more out of me both physically and mentally than I initially thought,” explains Ryan. “I took quite a long break from training to properly recover, but I have started feeling a lot better over the past few weeks and I am really looking forward to lining up at the start line of UTMB.”
UTMB will see roughly 2300 of the toughest runners in the world to taking on the French, Swiss and Italian Alps over 100miles. Known as one of the most difficult foot races in Europe, the 170km loop race, has more than 10 000m of positive altitude change before it ends - a total climb which is higher than Mount Everest.
The race loop around Mont Blanc follows the Tour du Mont Blanc hiking path that normally takes hikers between 7 to 9 days to complete, but the lead runners will complete this course in just over 20hrs, with the final cut off time after 46hrs30min. The race is termed semi-self-sufficient, with 10 food/ drink posts situated on the course where the participants can take whatever food and drink they need.
For more information on the race please visit www.ultratrailmb.com, and follow Ryan live on his Facebook Page @Ryan.Sandes.Ultra.Marathon.Runner, Twitter and Instagram account @RyanSandes. For live coverage of the race on race day please visit http://www.ultratrail.tv/en