Despite predicting this outcome because Covid-19 was complicated, the UTMB’s decision still caused great regret in the international running community. However, just two days after the announcement from the organizers, Capell announced that he would be running the UTMB route alone by the end of August.
Capell put the slogan “Breaking 20”, with the ambition to set a record running UTMB 171 km under 20 hours this year. However, experts say that it is amazing that he is close to the 20: 19-minute mark in 2019.
Some fans and support team members followed and cheered for Capell as he left Trient at the last stage of his journey to conquer UTMB on August 28.
As the plague raged, there were many factors that influenced Capell’s plan. For example, travel bans in many countries, or blockades in Spain, and France – where most of the UTMB route passes.
Since April 2020, many European countries have tightened the blockade, and only some countries have gradually loosened up. Due to limited travel, the UTMB 2019 champion chose to practice indoors to maintain fitness during preparation.
Pau Capell was born on September 10, 1991, in Catalonia, Spain. Before setting a record at 20 hours 19 minutes of winning UTMB 2019, Pau won the Ultra-Trail in Australia in 2016, and another three times on the podium of another prestigious ultra trail – Transgrancanaria – on years 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Capell alone on the run to conquer UTMB on August 28th, 2020
UTMB tournament is considered the World Cup of runners. With a distance of 171km (about 106 miles), the UTMB runway stretches over the Alps. It from France, through Italy, Switzerland, at an altitude of about 10,000 meters.
The prize has been in existence since 2003
Before Capell in 2019, Kilian Jornet reached 20 hours 36 minutes 43 seconds in 2011. Besides, Xavier Thevenarden reached 20h 34 minutes 57 (2013), 21h 09 minutes 15 (2015), and 20h 44 minutes 16 (2019).
Pau Capell Road alone conquered UTMB this year
In the first year of the organization, UTMB had only 700 athletes participating. But the number increased dramatically in the following years, forcing the organizers to select and choose the lucky number and limit the athletes to over 2,000 people per year.