An ambitious but successful wager for this first edition of the Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs. The UT4M started on August 23, 2013, in Paul Mistral Park, located in the heart of the city of Grenoble (France). This event stands out from other trail ultras by linking together the 4 mountain ranges that surround the capital of the Alps, without ever losing sight of the city. Three courses, 4 climbs to an altitude of almost 2400 meters, 10,000 meters of vertical gain, and more than 950 participants for this first edition! Petzl would like to express its gratitude to both the participants and organizers of the UT4M…
Looking down instead of up
Most trail ultras circumnavigate a mountain range, whereas the UT4M decided to do the exact opposite: runners looped around Grenoble by crossing through and over the 4 surrounding mountain ranges. An extraordinary course that sometimes had participants wishing they were birds. At one point you could see the summit of Chamrousse while standing on Taillefer’s summit, yet a more than 1500 meter descent and then a 1500 meter ascent separated the two. In other words most runners’ morale (and legs) took a hit at one point or another! In spite of the technical difficulties, participants thoroughly enjoyed such an original course.
Running at night
When the darkness finally arrives during a night race, runners usually feel “out there and all alone.” Petzl is by their side to help make forward progress easier over such difficult and technical terrain.
Prior to the start of the UT4M, the Petzl booth offered headlamp assistance, with advice for programming and using the NAO headlamp. A special “UT4M” program was developed with runners from Team Petzl, allowing participants to optimize lighting power and the battery life of their lamps.
A Petzl night-assistance team was also positioned at Poursollet Lake. Beyond helping runners with changing their headlamp batteries, it was also the opportunity for them to share in the powerful nighttime running experience. Petzl would like to congratulate each and every runner for taking on this extraordinary challenge.
Ultra Solo reference distance (168 km and 10,000 meters of vertical gain)
1 - Arène, Fabrice - 29:25:52
2 - Moyroud, Nicolas - Le Mottier 29:55:20
3 - Durand, Jean-Marc - 30:32:52
Ultra Relay (same distance and vertical gain) teams of 4 runners (one runner per range)
1 - Tamanini, Marc - 22:31:13
2 - Foure, Benoit - Aaa Du Lyonnais 24:00:32
3 - Ballot, Jean-Yves - Team Endurance Shop Besancon 24:45:27
Long 90 covering 90 km and 5000 meters of vertical gain over 2 ranges, the Belledonne and Chartreuse Mountains
1 - Schneider, Christophe - Endurance Shop Echirolles 9:19:56
2 - Gay, Anthony - Team Inov8 France 9:41:30
3 - Humbert, Lucas - Team Trail Jura 10:15:00
UT4M by the numbers
- 4 mountain ranges
- 36 towns, 5 resorts and 3 Olympic sites
- 168 km long
- 6000 trail markers
- 2394 meters: the high point of the race
- 10,115 meters of total cumulated vertical gain
- 950 runners (total for the 3 races: solo, relay, long)
- 20 countries represented
- 350 volunteers
- 16 checkpoints (including 15 aid stations)
- 3 base camps
So we'll see you next year for the second edition, right?
For more information
- Petzl's Trail Running page
- The Petzl range of headlamps for trail running
- The Petzl video on youtube, "RUNNING at NIGHT"
- Article on petzl.com : "UT4M: the first edition of Grenoble’s Ultra Trail - 30-07-2013"
- The official website for UT4M
- The UT4M facebook page