15-05-2019 - News

Val d’Aran by UTMB®, the new trail-running event in the heart of the Pyrenees

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The first edition will be held in July 2020.

Exact dates and format will be presented in August during the 2019 UTMB® Mont-Blanc.

Val d’Aran by UTMB®, the new international trail running event to take place in the Spanish Pyrenees, has been announced and will run as a long-term partnership between UTMB® International and InAran Sports, with the collaboration of Conselh Generau d’Aran.

The organizers have confirmed the race, whose first edition will run in July 2020, will be part of the international UTMB® labelled events, integrating from 2020 into the international ultra-trail running circuit, resulting from the recently signed partnership between UTMB® and the Ultra-Trail® World Tour, whose calendar will be unveiled this summer.

The inaugural event will take place across several distances in the spectacular scenery of Val d’Aran, at the heart of the Spanish Pyrenees. Full course and registration details will be announced in August 2019, during the UTMB® Mont-Blanc week.

Val d’Aran, referred as “The Essence of the Pyrenees”, is an Atlantic facing valley located in the core of the Catalan Pyrenees, with peaks rising to 3000m, a unique climate and a strong cultural heritage. More than 90% of the territory of the Valley is pure nature, a greater part located into the National Park “Aiguastortes y Estany de San Maurici”.

Val d’Aran means “Valley of the Valleys” as it offers everything one could possibly ask for and endless possibility to enjoy its mountains.

“Val d’Aran will offer its renowned hospitality to welcome runners and their families. This will be a unique opportunity to showcase our territory, a territory which might seem small in extension but that presents the greatest mountains. The event will be a land-discovery for many people and for Val d’Aran it will represent another occasion and important step to enrich its summer offer. In the past years, Val d’Aran has been a successful host for international and world-class sporting events, including the Ski Mountaineering and Snowboard World Cups, and the arrival and departure of the Tour de France” said Carlos Barrera, President of Val d’Aran Government.

“We are delighted to bring such a prestigious and well-renowned event to Val d’Aran and we are looking forward to welcoming a field of Spanish, French and international runners to our stunning mountains. The place has incredibly potential to be a leading trail running destination and we will be working closely with the UTMB® team to provide participants with a one-of-a-kind experience” added Xavier Pocino Moga, CEO InAran Sports.

Trail running has become very popular in Spain, with a large number of races to take place every year in the Country, runners from all over the world flying to Spain to enjoy the sport and a big representation of Spanish runners at UTMB® Mont-Blanc event; this in itself is clear indication of the kind of welcome the Val d’Aran by UTMB® will receive, and will be part of making it a highly successful event.

“The UTMB® brand means much more than a simple race. All events supported by UTMB® are organised with the highest quality standards, offering challenging courses in the mountains and an extraordinary experience and journey for both runners and supporters in iconic destinations”, said Catherine Poletti, UTMB® Mont-Blanc Director.

“This new event in the heart of the Pyrenees allows us to further enrich UTMB® offer in term of terrain diversification, presenting a new stunning mountainous course with a strong characterization, differing from the Alpine one” added Michel Poletti, UTMB® co-Director.

Val d’Aran by UTMB® will be the 5th event of the UTMB® family, joining other iconic and touristic destinations particularly appealing for trail runners keen to explore the world: UTMB® Mont-Blanc, Gaoligong by UTMB®, Oman by UTMB® and Ushuaia by UTMB®.

As on all others “by UTMB®” events, finishers of Val d’Aran by UTMB® will be able, from the event first edition, to collect “Running Stones” and get a direct entry for the UTMB® Mont-Blanc race of their choice without having to go through the lottery.

“We are excited to add Val d’Aran by UTMB® to our calendar, an event which will show to the entire world the most prominent side of the Pyrenees range and will bring additional value to the trail running world. This event is in line with the overall goal of UTMB® to develop prestigious and open-to-all events on all continents. Welcome on board Val d’Aran!”, added Rémi Duchemin, UTMB® International CEO.

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