A Glimpse into UTMB and the Thrilling OCC Race

A Glimpse into UTMB and the Thrilling OCC Race

A Glimpse into UTMB and the Thrilling OCC Race

For avid trail runners and outdoor enthusiasts, the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) is a legendary event that needs no introduction. This extraordinary race series captivates the hearts and minds of athletes from around the world, offering a true test of endurance and a chance to traverse the stunning alpine landscapes of the Mont-Blanc region. In this blog post, we'll dive into the UTMB experience, with a special emphasis on the exhilarating OCC race, and provide insights on how to secure a spot in this renowned event.

UTMB is a renowned trail running festival that takes place annually in the French Alps, attracting thousands of participants and spectators alike. The event showcases a range of races designed to challenge and inspire athletes of varying abilities. From the jaw-dropping 171-kilometer Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc to the thrilling shorter distances, UTMB caters to runners seeking adventure, breathtaking scenery, and the chance to push their limits.

While the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc is the main attraction, it's the Orsières-Champex-Chamonix (OCC) race that provides an accessible entry point for many runners. Covering approximately 56 kilometers with an elevation gain of over 3,500 meters, the OCC offers a captivating taste of the UTMB experience. This race serves as a stepping stone for those who aspire to tackle the longer distances in the future or simply want to soak up the electric atmosphere of UTMB.

To participate in the OCC, runners must go through a registration process. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

1. Qualification:To qualify for the OCC, you need to complete an index race of 20k. For the CCC, you need to complete an index race of 50k. For the UTMB, you need to complete an index race of 100k or 100 miles. The index race must also be completed within the last 2 years to be valid. 

2. Registration Period: The registration for the OCC typically opens several months in advance. It's important to be aware of the registration opening date and time to secure your spot as soon as possible. The demand for UTMB races is high, and slots can fill up quickly.

3. Lottery System: The OCC race as well as all other UTMB world series final races there is a lottery system. Runners will receive "running stones" for each race in the UTMB series they run in. These running stones will go towards entering into the lottery. One running stone equals one entry. This adds an element of chance, and participants are randomly selected from the pool of registered runners.

4. Supporting Races: Engaging in other qualifying races affiliated with UTMB can increase your chances of acceptance into the OCC. UTMB provides a list of recommended races worldwide, known as "UTMB Qualifying Races," which award qualification points for various UTMB races, including the OCC.

UTMB, with its breathtaking scenery and thrilling race series, including the unforgettable OCC, offers an extraordinary experience for trail runners seeking adventure, challenge, and a sense of accomplishment. Securing a spot in the OCC requires planning, staying informed about registration details, and considering participation in qualifying races. So, lace up your shoes, train hard, and join the ranks of trail runners who have left their footprints on the magnificent trails of the Mont-Blanc region. The UTMB adventure awaits, and with the OCC as your starting point, your trail running dreams can become a reality.
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