The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc is an event of epic proportions for an epic genre of human: ultra-runners. Here we outline the official favourites chosen by and published in the UTMB 2017 programme as well as our own picks from the Chamonix All Year office.

Official UTMB® Elite Males favourites:

UTMB 2017 © UTMB Cyril BUSSAT - Kilian JORNET BURGADA approaches the finish line in 2011

© UTMB Cyril BUSSAT – Kilian JORNET BURGADA approaches the finish line in 2011

  1. Jim Walmsley (USA) UTMB®
    Jim Walmsley has the younger legs in the elite mix, at 27 years young. An American ultra-trail specialist, he holds the fastest known time for the double crossing of the Grand Canyon in 2016 and won the JFK 50 Mile in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
  2. Kilian Jornet (ESP) UTMB®
    29 year old Spanish alpinist Kilian Jornet, a specialist in extreme high mountain races known as sky running, is showing the world that he (like the sky) has no limits. Check out our recent blog about Kilian here.
  3. Sage Canaday (USA) UTMB®
    Sage Canaday is an open book endurance runner; self-coached and very public with his training he posts most of his workouts on the activity-tracking website Strava. He dropped out of the of UTMB® in 2015 with a knee injury but is reportedly bang on form for this year’s event.

Official UTMB® Elite Females favourites:

© UTMB Pascal TOURNAIRE Caroline Chaberot on the podium in 2016 with Ludovic POMMERET & Laurence DUPONT

© UTMB Pascal TOURNAIRE Caroline Chaberot on the podium in 2016 with Ludovic POMMERET & Laurence DUPONT

  1. Caroline Chaverot (FR) UTMB®
    UTMB®, UTWT and World Trail Champion, Caroline Chaverot won everything in 2016! She was named female ultra-runner of the year in 2016 and is tough as French bread…after all the French eat ‘Pain’ for breakfast.
  2. Megan Kimmel (USA) CCC®
    Colorado native Megan Kimmel has been dominating the trail running scene for years.  Her accolades include a second place finish in the highly competitive international 2015 Skyrunner World Series.  A “Jill of all trades” let’s see if she can jack a win at the CCC® as part of UTMB 2017.
  3. Stevie Kremer (USA) OCC
    Not only is Stevie Kremer a primary school teacher in her home town of Crested Butte, she’s a force to reckoned with on the trails and sure to school us all this August!

Top ‘fan favourites’ ranked by Chamonix All Year staff

Zach Miller CCC UTMB 2015 ©Michel Cottin/ULTRA-TRAIL DU MONT-BLANC

Zach Miller CCC UTMB 2015 ©Michel Cottin/ULTRA-TRAIL DU MONT-BLANC

  1. Zach Miller (USA) UTMB®
    Not yet 30 years old, Zach Miller has won some of the premier ultras in the country and abroad, including the CCC® (the ‘little sister’ of the UTMB®). He is a ball of energy known as “the Speedster” and our good friend Corky will be in his support crew this year.
  2. Rory Bosio (USA) TDS®
    We all love a fellow Yogi at the Chamonix All Year Office. North Face, her main sponsors, say “Rory gets her inspiration to run from the beautiful scenery of the Sierra Mountains, literally in her backyard. She has competed in ultras for the past 4 years and plans to do so for many more.” Our Sales Manager Lisa has run with her before and Fergal the accountant once rented an apartment to her!
  3. Ruth Croft (NZ) CCC®
    Running around in circles just didn’t do it for this Kiwi former track start turned ultra-runner. The flightless bird still flew to become the first female runner to win the overall title in the MSIG HK50 Series last year! Kirsteen who wrote this article is also a Kiwi who studied in Christchurch and is personally gunning for Ruth.
  4. Andrea Husser (SUI) UTMB®
    After being selected as “Ultra Runner of the Year” in 2015, Husser surpassed all expectations and crowned a sensational 2016 season with 2nd place at last year’s UTMB. Andrea is 43 years old from Alt Sankt Johann in the ancient Swiss commune of Canton de Saint-Gall (the patron saint of birds).

Follow in the footsteps of UTMB® runners

Considering becoming an epic human too? Then you’ll want to go running “in their shoes”. Their very specific ULTRA shoes! The North Face Chamonix have picked some of their favourite athletes to take you on two guided runs in the Valley, during which you can literally wear their shoes:

  • AUGUST 28th – 9:30am with PAU CAPELL and FERNANDA MACIEL
    Meeting point: The North Face Store Chamonix, 31 Avenue Michel Croz
  • AUGUST 29th – 9:30am with LIZZY HAWKER and SEB CHAIGNEAU
    Meeting point: Sanglard Sports, 199 Place du Mont Blanc – Chamonix

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