Now its time for Lizzie to also pass on the other side, organizing her own ultra-trail race, based on her vast knowledge of mountain running and to an experienced organizing team. The result of months of hard work is a new beautiful ultra trail race around Monte Rosa on the Swiss / Italian border!
But why she chose this area? As Lizzie says: “I first went to Zermatt at the age of 6, and that is where my love of the mountains started. The opportunity to create a race here and to share this love means a lot to me. Having explored the trails in this region extensively, I am convinced they are some of the most magnificent in the Alps. My intention in founding this race is simply to give people an opportunity to explore these trails, and to experience the value of challenging themselves within the context of an ultra distance race. Running and racing has, over the years, given me so much, and this is what I would like to share with others now. ”
The route passes through Zermatt, towards and then away from the iconic Matterhorn, crosses 6 high passes, and has an average altitude over 2,000 meters. It is a circumambulation around the huge and imposing massif of the Monte Rosa. On often technical trails, and with more than 10,000 meters ascent and descent, it is firmly in the "hard" category. As Lizzie says: “It is tough, beautiful and alluring!”
As the race director of the new UTMR, Lizzie notes: “I would really like to encourage more women to participate and we will work towards achieving this in various ways. It will also be really important to us to support all our runners in their journey to reach the start line, and beyond, so that as many as possible can finish and enjoy their experience. Entry criteria for the ultra marathon will be tough, but we will encourage participation and greater access through our stage race and provision of training camps.”
The zero edition of UTMR will be a 4 day stage race in August 2015, and the full inaugural 150 km ultra marathon will start from August 2016. The fact that the full ultra-trail is 150 kilometers with 10,000 meters of ascend and 52 hours time limit indicates the toughness of the race in its full ultra marathon edition!
The technical details of the four stages can be found here: http://www.ultratourmonterosa.com/race-information-stage. The runners must cover each day distances between 33 and 40 Kilometers. The website of the race is: www.ultratourmonterosa.com, where all the information regarding every aspect of the new exciting race can be found.
As Lizzie describes, the concept of the race is the creation of “a beautiful 150 km mountain ultra marathon encircling Monte Rosa. From the village of Grächen high on an Alp above the Matter Vispa, a tributary of the Rhone, to Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn, into Italy, and returning on high wild trails, a host of 4,000 meters summits will be your companions. Take the challenge. Let the journey be your motivation.”
View this photo set on Flickr