Race report: The 2018 Ultra-Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB)

One of the most celebrated races of the mountain running scene, the 2018 Ultra-Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB) saw 2,500 runners take to the starting line in Chamonix on Friday night for a grueling 171K race that tracks across the peaks and valleys of the Alps throughout France, Italy, and Switzerland. So grueling is this race, that 582 runners have already DNF’d from the race.

Just over 20 hours after the race began, the winner crossed the finish line: Frenchman Xavier Thévenard with a time of 20:44:16. It was the third UTMB victory for the 30-year-old ultrarunner.

Italian ultrarunner Francesca Canepa took the victory for the women’s race with a time of 26:03:48, right ahead of Uxue Fraile Azpeitia from Spain, who grabbed second place at 26:08:07. Jocelyne Pauly from France took third with a time of 26:15:11.

For the UK contingent, it was an amazing performace from RW contributor Damian Hall, who finished 5th overal in a time of 22:35:1 and Beth Pascall who finished 40th overall, 4th in the women's race, in a time of 26:26:40. 

Check out the race highlights below.