The Race that Changed Running

(Release date: June 13, 2023)

Get an inside look at 20 years of Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) from the eyes of Kilian Jornet, François D’Haene, Catherine and Michel Poletti and others.

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The Race that Changed Running

The Inside Story of UTMB

Twenty years ago, a small band of runners came up with an idea: hold a race around the Alps’ highest peak, covering more than 100 miles through Italy, France and Switzerland. They expected a few crazy souls. Instead more than 700 runners showed up. Running was changed forever.

This is the improbable story of how Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) became one of the world’s great sporting events even as it set new limits of human endurance. It is a story of how world’s best runners, in the historic home of mountain adventures, brought about a revolution in running that has been felt across the globe.

For this unbiased and inside look at the past, present and future of the UTMB, author and trail runner Doug Mayer, was given unfettered access to the UTMB archives, and spoke to more than 100 people, from race organizers and winners, to experts and scientists, to those who love the UTMB, and even those who hate it. The result is a book with more than 200 photos, maps and infographics that is the most comprehensive perspective into trail running’s greatest race.

“Doug is passionate about trail running and the history of our sport. That passion fills these pages. His words about the UTMB experience will be of interest beyond those who toe the start line.” – Krissy Moehl, Winner of the first edition of UTMB

“Doug Mayer leads us along the UTMB’s magical trail.” – François D’Haene, Four-time UTMB Winner

“Doug Mayer recounts the history of the most important trail race in the world, which is changing running itself. This is a book I highly recommend.” – Meb Keflezighi, Winner Boston and New York Marathons, Olympic Silver Medalist

“Doug understands the very depths of this sport, from the inside out, and the trail running world is fortunate to have him documenting our most important moments.” – Katie Schide, Winner 2022 UTMB

  • A look into the fastest growing segment of the world’s most popular participation sport.
  • With firsthand accounts from decorated winners Kilian Jornet, François D’Haene, Katie Schide and many others.
  • A key resource for anyone hoping to qualify for UTMB races.
  • Beautiful photos of the world’s most-loved trail running region in the French Alps.
More Information
Author Doug Mayer
ISBN 9783039640140
Pages 208
Dimension 17 x 24 x 2 cm
Brand Helvetiq


Doug Mayer

Doug Mayer is an author, journalist and founder of the trail running tour company, Run the Alps. He has co-authored two other books with Helvetiq, Trail Running Illustrated and Run the Alps Switzerland: 30 Must-Do Trail Runs. Doug lives in Chamonix, France, with his partner, English Knowles and their trail running labradoodle, Izzi. Doug is a past producer of the Peabody-Award winning show Car Talk, and has run the UTMB race twice.

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