On your marks, get set, go! Get ready for the fifth edition of the Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs, the amazing French trail – Meanderings through France n° 103
By Annick Dournes & Frédéric de Poligny
Registration is opened for the fifth edition of one of the major sporting events in the world of trail. From August 16 to 20, 2017, over 2,000 runners from 32 different countries will compete through a great variety of landscapes offered by 4 of the most beautiful mountain massifs of the French Alps: the Belledonne, Oisans, Vercors and Chartreuse massifs. The Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs (Ut4M) is open to all.
Figures are impressive: 169 km (105 miles) to run, more than 11,000 m (12,000 yards) of vertical gain and 10 formulas to suit all levels. Depending on his or her abilities, goals and ambitions, each runner can arrange his or her own trail. After only four years, the “Ut4M” is already considered by runners as an absolute must do. It comes as no surprise that more and more runners of all levels are tempted by this radical adventure set in extraordinary natural landscapes.
This unique trail doesn’t revolve around one summit but takes the runners up and down the four massifs that surround Grenoble, the city that became famous as the 1968 Winter Olympics city. The different formulas allow you to discover these four massifs at your own rhythm, alone or with your friends or family. Even children can take an active part in this exciting adventure.
The “Ut4M” 160 Challenge is a 169 km long race spread over four days. One massif per day allows the runners to enjoy the scenery during the day. Each day a jersey is awarded to the leader, to the best climber and to the best sprinter
The “Ut4M Xtrem” is the ultimate race: 169 km and 11,000 m of vertical drop in one go!
The “Ut4M 100 Master” is a 97 km long race to test oneself and run 2 massifs in one go.
The “Ut4M Relais” is the same 169 km long race but in relay, for the fun of sharing the effort to reach the end.
The “Ut4M Vertical” is only 2,6 km long but with a 1,000 metres ascent this race is a true challenge for all runners.
The “Ut4M Graine de trailers” is designed for budding champs, tailor-made for children who want to do like mom and dad!
The four other formulas are 42 km (26 miles) long races made for Marathon runners who wish to challenge themselves in a mountain race.
Thanks to the accessibility of the four massifs the “Ut4M”, unlike most mountain trails, allows many spectators to enjoy the show. Families, friends or guests can easily follow the runners throughout the magnificent landscape. It’s a wonderful opportunity to discover this mountainous area in summertime. The Belledonne Massif stretches from north to south and is almost 3,000m at its highest point. It offers a wide variety of landscapes between valleys and peaks to all its visitors, runners or not.
The Chartreuse Massif is a Regional Natural Park and a paradise for photographers and speleologists!
The Vercors Massif is the largest nature reserve in metropolitan France and one of its last undeveloped territories. The perfect place for wildlife lovers!
The Oisans Massif takes you to high mountains with peaks over 4,000m. It’s a paradise for climbers and hikers worth seeing all year round.
Registration for the “Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs” is now open until 31 July 2017.
Find out more and register here: http://ut4m.fr/en
All info about the region: www.isere-tourism.com
Text © Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny