Remember this date – 9th September 2018. This marks the beginning of the third Montane Tor des Géants. At 205 miles or 330kms, this mountain ultra effectively circumnavigates the Italian Alps. In it’s second year and accompanying it’s elder sibling is the Tot Dret (TD) Ultra, shorter in stature, at 80 miles / 130kms, but as challenging in many ways. The team at TdG describe the race as “beautiful in its brutality’ – the human body and spirit is pushed beyond the edges of endurance against a romantic backdrop of iconic Alpine scenery, sporting some of the most iconic peaks in the world.”
The TdG has been classed as one of the five hardest races in the world, those who chose to toe the start line, face a daunting yet rewarding challenge ahead. With 24,000 meters / 78,200 feet of ascent (3 times the height of Everest), mental and physical strength are demanded at all times, over 7 challenging days. Altitude, sleep deprivations, changing weather and a cut off time of only 150 hours, combine to make this a full sensory assault. Only those with the complete set of skills and experience will make the 40% who complete the full course. Yes, an attrition rate of 60%.750 runners will line up, picked from a pre registration of over 2,500 applications, spread across 71 countries, as far a field as Madagascar, Afghanistan and Korea.
The Tot Dret runs for the second time, with 80 miles and 12,000 meters of ascent standing in the way for all competitors. Due to bad weather in 2017, on the inaugural running, the overall cut off has been increased to 44 hours, 6 more than the previous year. 500 runners will start from Gressoney-St-Jean on Tuesday 11 September at 21:00. It follows the second half of the longer TDG route, traversing some of the more fearsome Cols of the TDG – Col di Nana (2,770m), Col Champillon (2,709m) and the final, Col Malatrà (2,936m).Montane Tor des Géants 2017, day 5 Col Vessona. Image by Jeantet Stefano
The race draws a small army of volunteers – approx. 2000 ‘Volontors’ come from all over the world to man life stations, providing refreshments, physiotherapy and vital encouragement to runners as they push themselves to and often beyond their expected limits.
This year, Montane will be represented by an elite team of diverse athletes on the TDG including; Popular ultra-runner and TDG finisher Jenn Gaskell (UK), 2017 Montane Spine Race Winner Tom Hollins (UK), 2017 TDG finisher Kevin Hadfield (USA), Montane Lakeland 100 course record holder Terry Conway (UK), Pablo Criado Toca and with international ultra-running superstar and 3 x Montane Spine Race Winner Pavel Paloncy (CZ) joining the team this year too.
KEY TOR DES GÉANTS FACTS
- The TDG is a non-stop 205 mile / 330 km ultra-trail race through the Aosta Valley, starting and finishing in Courmayeur, Italy.
- With an average 60% completion rate, racers must complete the route in less than 150 hours.
- The minimum altitude is 300m (985ft) and the highest is 3,300m (10,800ft). The total elevation gain is about 24,000m (78,700ft).
- It is considered to be one of the world’s greatest endurance trail races due to the beautiful and unforgiving terrain.
- The 2018 race takes place from the 09-16th
KEY TOT DRET FACTS
- 2017 marks the very first Tot Dret.
- The Tot Dret is a non-stop 80 mile / 130km race starting from Gressoney-St-Jean and finishing in Courmayeur, Italy.
- The route follows the latter stages of the TDG.
- An increased roster of 500 racers will be unleashed at 21:00 on Tuesday 11 September and must face 12,000m of ascent within a cut-off time of 44 hours.
So keep any eye out in early September for the drama to unfold, on one of the most brutal, yet spectacular multi day ultras out there.
More information can be found HERE Montane Tor des Géants