Running alone on the 171km distance, but Pau Capell – the champion of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) 2019 terrain run – did not reach the sub20 target as planned.
On August 28, Capell finished in Chamonix, France with a time of 21 hours 17 minutes, much slower than its achievements in 2019. Last year, this Catalonian ultra-trail runner was the 171 km champions at UTMB. – the world’s most prestigious and harsh terrain runway – with 20 hours 19 minutes 07 seconds.
Although he failed to reach his target, Capell was still warmly welcomed when he finished. Hundreds of people, friends, and relatives greeted him at the finish line, most of them wearing protective masks, due to complicated spread of the pandemic in Europe.
At the square in Chamonix, hundreds of spectators crowded together to greet the UTMB champions at the beginning and at the completion of the race.
According to Territorio Trail, at the beginning of the race, Capell completed exactly the milestones according to his UTMB conquest last year. However, as the number of kilometers increased gradually and lacked the competition as in a normal race, Capell’s speed gradually decreased.
Another major problem he had while racing alone was that many of the tracks were closed and Capell had to turn around. Therefore, he does not go 100% of the official route of UTMB. In addition, Capell’s GPS signal was fluttering at the Las Chapieux slope, causing many people watching live via the internet to not grasp his route.
The timeline when Capell conquered UTMB this year
Les Houches (km8) 1h18 ‘
Las Contamines (km31.8) 2h39 ‘
Las Chapieux (km50.7) 4h52 ‘
Courmayeur (km81.3) 8:35 ‘
La Fouly (km112.8) 12h58 ‘
Col de la Forclaz (km140) 16:33 ‘
Vallorcine (km153.6) 18h25 ‘
Chamonix (km171) 21h17 ‘
UTMB usually consists of seven events that start in Chamonix every August, of which the most famous is the event running 171km along the Alps, stretching from France to Italy and Switzerland. But on May 20, the organizers announced the cancellation of the 2020 event.