Renault Group

With a 171 km route and a vertical drop of 10,042 m, the UTMB Mont-Blanc race is the ultimate test

22 August 2022

Keen to help people engage with nature, connect with themselves and find joy in simplicity, Dacia and the organisers of the UTMB World Series have signed a multi-year partnership. Of the 25 UTMB World Series trail running events scheduled worldwide in 2022, the most prestigious is the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc – one of the most gruelling ultramarathon events in the world. The alpine village of Chamonix is the starting point for the UTMB – the longest race of the week-long event, which we have condensed into some key facts and figures.


Last March, Dacia became an official technical partner and exclusive automotive partner for UTMB World Series trail running events in Europe and Africa. Increasing numbers of people are taking up trail running, a sport that provides runners with a sense of freedom, love for nature and an opportunity to surpass themselves. The UTMB World Series includes 25 events across four continents. Each year, over 10,000 of the world’s top trail runners take part in one of the eight races held as part of the famous week-long Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc event.

Over 10,000 of the world’s top trail runners take part in one of the eight races held as part of the famous week-long Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc event / © UTMB Mont-Blanc - Pascal Tournaire

While the unique UTMB race treats runners to astounding views of the sunset as they weave their way through valleys and passes in the Mont-Blanc mountain range, it is, above all else, a uniquely personal exploration of physical and mental strength. But it is also a shared history, a spirit of solidarity that can be found on every route, among all the runners. With a vertical drop of 10,042 m, this 171 km course is the dream of many ultrarunners. Time to take a look at some key figures to find out more about the race!

Courtney Dauwalter, 7e au scratch, remporte son 2e UTMB en 2021
Courtney Dauwalter, 7th overall, wins her 2nd UTMB in 2021 / © UTMB Mont-Blanc - Franck Oddoux

3 countries along the route – France, Italy and Switzerland

Part of the unique beauty of trail running is that it knows no borders. The UTMB Mont-Blanc route takes competitors through three alpine countries with world-class scenery – France, Italy and Switzerland. The starting point is the “Place du Triangle de l’Amitié” square in Chamonix, France. All competitors need to focus on before crossing the finishing line several hours later is soaking up every second they spend in the Mont-Blanc mountain range.

A 171 km route with a 10,042 m vertical drop

Does the thought of running the equivalent of one journey from Paris to Le Havre (as the crow flies), four marathons, 33 trips up and down the Eiffel Tower or one return trip in an airliner make your head spin? Spare a thought for the runners who take on the notoriously hilly 171 km route, complete with a 10,042 m vertical drop!

4 first-place finishes for François d’Haene

Of the 2,300 runners who started the race last year, 1,521 made it over the finishing line – including trail running superstar François d’Haene. Having already won the race on three occasions, he continued on his winning streak in 2021 with an impressive time of 20 hours, 45 minutes and 59 seconds, over twice as fast as the last person to cross the finishing line (who completed the race in 47 hours, 47 minutes and 32 seconds) – not that passion can be quantified!

A starting line shared with the world's trail elite included Kilian Jornet, Jim Walmsley, Thibaut Garrivier, Katie Schide, Audrey Tanguy and Mimmi Kotka, whose presence certainly did not go unnoticed by their fellow competitors.

L’élite du trail mondial se donne rendez-vous à Chamonix
Between 19 and 46 hours of trail racing await the participants / © UTMB Mont-Blanc - Franck Oddoux

73%, the lowest blood oxygen level reached by competitors

At 2,565 m above sea level, the Col des Pyramides Calcaires is the highest point along the route. Competitors’ blood oxygen levels are at their lowest there, dropping to 73%. This means that their blood carries around 25% less oxygen at this point of the route than at sea level. Enjoy the oxygen‑rich air while you can!


3 kg of supplies stored in competitors’ backpacks

Before this unique race begins, competitors double-check that all the supplies they need to safely participate (including a plastic cup, two head torches, a mobile phone, an elastic adhesive bandage and a space blanket) are in their backpacks...which are to be worn throughout the race!


The 1492 soundtrack played to set the scene

If you can hear the song Conquest of Paradise by Vangelis (from the film 1492: Conquest of Paradise) in Chamonix, you’re either getting ready to take part in the race yourself or standing alongside us to support the competitors as they set off to experience the impossible becoming possible. Enjoy the race and see you at the finishing line!


2,300 trailers set off for 171 kilometres in the mountains / © UTMB Mont-Blanc - Laurent Salino