Ep 126: The Iconic UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc) – History and Race Qualification Criteria with its Founders, Catherine, and Michell Poletti
In this episode of Run with Fitpage, we have the Founders and Race Directors of the iconic race, UTMB(Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc), Catherine and Michell Poletti to discuss all the history and race qualification criteria, with our host Vikas Singh.
The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) is one of the most renowned and challenging endurance trail running races in the world. Held annually in the breathtaking mountainous region of the Mont-Blanc massif, spanning France, Italy, and Switzerland, the UTMB attracts elite athletes and passionate trail runners from across the globe. The race covers approximately 170 kilometers (105 miles) with a staggering total elevation gain of over 10,000 meters (32,800 feet). Participants endure treacherous terrains, unpredictable weather conditions, and grueling ascents and descents, pushing their physical and mental limits to the extreme. The UTMB is a true test of endurance, strength, and determination, offering a unique and awe-inspiring experience in the heart of the majestic Mont-Blanc mountain range.
About The Founders:
Born in Saintes in 1953, into an intellectual sphere where the passion was for music and the arts, Catherine, a pianist (1st prize in the regional conservatory), was the eldest of five children. Until adulthood, after 5 years in Morocco, her education was in Valence ending with two years of law before entering Pierre Mendes France University in Grenoble to study the “IT and mathematics applied to human and social sciences” program before continuing with psychology and then biology. It was while studying at this university that she met Michel in 1975. Born the second in an entrepreneurial family, Michel spent a childhood marked by the mountains, skiing, and above all cross-country skiing. After studying “IT and mathematics applied to human and social sciences” he did a masters in IT. After their marriage in 1977, and the birth of their first daughter Isabelle in 1979, they left Grenoble « returning to the country » and Chamonix. Michel’s enthusiasm for cross-country skiing has stayed with him throughout this time and participated in long-distance races.
About Vikas Singh:
Vikas Singh, an MBA from Chicago Booth, worked at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, APGlobale, and Reliance before coming up with the idea of democratizing fitness knowledge and helping beginners get on a fitness journey. Vikas is an avid long-distance runner, building fitpage to help people learn, train, and move better.
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LinkedIn: Vikas Singh