Daan Coenen – Ultra Trail Runner

The running blog > Ultra Trail des Chevaliers by UTMB

Looking at the Ultra Trail des Chevaliers by UTMB

February 25th, 2024

Ultra Trail des Chevaliers - Trail Alsace Grand Est by UTMB

The second year

This trail is one of not so many. The first edition was a year ago, organized by the big UTMB being the first race by them in this part of Europe. This making it very popular for the Dutch, German, and Belgium runners since it is quite close to home. This was for me also a big factor in signing up for this race.

Ultra Trail des Chevaliers (UTDC)

RACE DETAILS

The basics

This one is classified as a 100 miler, but really is 171 km long. Having 6300 meters of climbing it is nowhere near the official UTMB which has 10 000 + meters. But with the location in mind being the north of France, it is understandable. The runners are allowed to take up to 40 hours of time for this one. The start is in Colmar at 20:00, so that will be a longggggggg day!

The Profile

That is one impressive profile, with some cool climbs. Looking at the peaks the longest ones are from the start of the race to the 70 km mark. Then it is ‘flat’ till the 120km mark. After that the runners get some more km’s for dinner till the finish! 

Some peaks even being around the 900 meters which is crazy. 

The route

The route from what I’ve heard is magical. Running through wine field and mythical forests, this race sounds really amazing. We run through 20+ castles on the way, which is as a Dutchy unheard of. In those 170+ km, we will have access to 12 aid stations, with the maximum distance of 20 km between them. This making it a rather simple planned race since the access to supplies is very easy. In my head, 20 km with some elevation is a maximum of 3 to 4 hours of supplies on me. That means it will be light packing mainly.

Last years reaults

The fastest runner took a little less than 18 hours

The fastest woman running the race in 20 hours and 20 minutes

One of my friends also ran this race, read about his experience down here!

Speaking to the pro

One of my buddies ran this race last year and unfortunately had to DNF. He said it was due to the lack of nutrition that beat him from finishing. He would’ve made it in time if he would’ve walked the rest of the way but decided to step out. The results of Matthijs Keij you can find here.

He mentioned that he could take the strain of this race and that even the hills were doable for him. Matthijs also lives in The Netherlands and is not able to train for hills on a regular basis. One tip he had for me was to train on hiking up the hill instead of running. In the race he was fast on the flat sections but got overtaken by people on the climbs. He had a slow pace going uphill because hiking wasn’t something he learned and practiced.

Matthijs is running this race again this edition, so we will be on the starting line together, which will be very fun!

Training for this race

Outside my normal schedule I will be doing an extra week of training in the Alsace which I will be documenting. Together with 2 friends, the week will be all about running!