Trail running (and hiking) Luxembourg style
If you like setting yourself challenging running or hiking goals, the Ultratrail Mullerthal is for you. Five races for athletes of all ages and ability will be held on 8th September 2018 in Luxembourg’s spectacular “Little Switzerland” region.
Trial running has emerged as a recognised sport over the last two decades, and races have tended to be organised in dramatic, somewhat extreme settings such as mountain areas or deserts.
The Grand Duchy offers a unique contribution to the range of events on offer in Europe. First staged in 2016, the Ultratrail Mullerthal is an event open to all types of athlete, with races going from 15km (9 miles) to 112km (70 miles). A difference is that participants have up to 21.5 hours to complete the course, rather than the stringent time limits enforced by some event organisers. Participants can either run or walk, and there are also races for children.
Although the Grand Duchy lacks high peaks, each trail features substantial climbs. The Mullerthal is known as Little Switzerland thanks to its stunning hilly woodland and open countryside, crossed with numerous rivers and streams, and dotted with fascinating rock formations, plus the occasional medieval castle.
The elite event is the “Ultra Trail”, run over 112km (70 miles) with more than 2,700m (8,850ft) of incline. Interestingly, the race begins at five minutes past midnight on 8th September, with up to 250 racers having a maximum of 21.5 hours to complete the race. That said, the fastest man in 2017 recorded a time of 11:03:14, with the women’s event being won in 17:29:13.
Still very challenging is the 75km (47 miles) “Long Trail” with 1,900m (6,225ft) of gradient, which starts at 6am, and with 15.5 hours maximum to complete the race. The “Trail” is 35km (22 miles) long and rises 1,100m (3,600 feet) with an 11.5 hour time limit. Finally, the “Shorty-Trail” is 15km (9 miles) with 700m (2,300 feet) of hills. There are also special events for children as young as six: two “Kids Adventure” runs.
“We wanted to create an event which would challenge the best athletes, but also provide opportunities for less committed runners and hikers of all ages,” explained Simone Kayser, one of Luxembourg’s leading ultratrail athletes and a co-founder of the Mullerthal Ultratrail. They also wanted to make the race family-friendly, and promote the Little Switzerland region.
The event provides everything elite competitors need, with regular food and drink stops, plus the opportunity to compete for qualification points for top-level UTMB races. Fun-runners and hikers benefit from this organisation too. Local hotels and hostels are working with the organisers to offer participants and their families the accommodation they need. Spectators are also welcome.
Upcoming date : soon to be announced