2012 The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc Lottery

Ultra-Trail du Mont-BlancThe lottery for spots in the 2012 The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc was held last Friday. As you’d expect, the field will be stellar again this year with the race will be celebrating its tenth running. We can’t wait to head back to Chamonix to cover the race! Without further delay, here are some of the top entrants.

American Men

  • Michael Foote
  • Topher Gaylord
  • Neal Gorman
  • Dave Mackey
  • Luke Nelson
  • Michael Wardian

American Women

  • Meghan Arbogast
  • Rory Bosio
  • Helen Cospolich
  • Krissy Moehl
  • Amy Sproston

International Men

  • Patrick Bohard (France)
  • Jez Bragg (UK)
  • Jonas Buud (Sweden)
  • Adam Campbell (Canada)
  • Michel Cercueil (France)
  • Sebastien Chaigneau (France)
  • Julien Chorier (France)
  • Matthias Dippacher (Germany)
  • François Faibre (France)
  • Stu Gibson (Australia)
  • Miguel Heras (Spain)
  • Hiroki Ishikawa (Japan)
  • Andrew James (UK)
  • Iker Karrera (Spain)
  • Hiroaki Matsunaga (Japan)
  • Nico Mermoud (France)
  • Csaba Nemeth (Hungary)
  • Marco Olmo (Italy)
  • Gary Robbins (Canada)
  • Carlos Sa (Portugal)
  • Yun Yanqiao (China)

International Women

  • Katia Fori (Italy)
  • Tracy Garneau (Canada)
  • Nichola Gildersleeve (Canada)
  • Ellie Greenwood (Canada/UK)
  • Lizzy Hawker (Switzerland/UK)
  • Nerea Martinez (Spain)
  • Ruling Xing (China)

Notable Omissions

  • Darcy Africa
  • Kilian Jornet
  • Tsuyoshi Kaburaki
  • Mike Wolfe

Call for Comments

  • Which top entrants have we missed?
  • The race is a long way off, but who do you think will be the few competing for men’s and women’s wins?
  • Who would you most like to see added to the race field?
  • Did you gain entry to this year’s UTMB or one of its sister races? If so, how excited are you?

1/23/12 – Moved Csaba Nemeth from Omission to Interional Men’s list (thanks, Andras and Sz_Peter). Added Andrew James (thanks, Dan Afshar).

There are 69 comments

  1. Alex from New Haven

    The exciting dark horse for me on the women's side Rory Bosio. Met her on a trail work crew and then she crushed WS2010. Hope she (and everyone else) does well. Exciting stuff.

  2. Koichi Iwasa

    Recently, I had a chance to chat with Japanese Tsuyoshi Kaburaki, and he is very positive and preparing to run the race with world's top runners. I think he will soon to make himself registered (via TNF linkage, not for sure;).

  3. Trail Plodder

    Which top entrants have we missed? Scott Dunlap (top runner, blogger and photographer).

    The race is a long way off, but who do you think will be the few competing for men’s and women’s wins? Men: Julien Chorier, Jonas Buud (TEC 100 miles 12:32:04 in 2010). Women: Lizzy Hawker, Krissy Moehl.

    Who would you most like to see added to the race field? Myself.

    Did you gain entry to this year’s UTMB or one of its sister races? If so, how excited are you? Yes, CCC. I'm happy, but not as excited as those who qualified for UTMB.

    1. Ian Sharman

      More relevant to this is that Jonas Buud is the 5-time winner and CR holder of the Davos Swiss Alpine Marathon 78k. I think the fact he can do mountains (specifically the Alps) as well as the best, 100 miles as well as anyone and gets to fly in from the same time zone will make him a tough man to beat. He also happens to be a World 100k silver medallist.

        1. Ultrawolf

          I guess there shouldn´t be world records for trail races since you can´t compare one course with another. Running 12-ish on a flat course doesn´t necessarily make you the outstanding favorite for the same number of miles on a mountainous course. Look for example on Scott J. who recently became Vice World Champion for 24 Hrs. but had to abandon 3 out of 4 at UTMB (and even then was way down for a runner of his caliber).

          Bryon, IRunfar should run a contest for the top place finishes again like you did at Western the previous two years !

    1. Magnus Andersson

      Couldn´t agree more. But since he placed 1st when Killian wasn´t running, I´ll root for him, and our favourite Swede Jonas Buud…

  4. RUIZ Nicolas

    Julien CHORIER will win for sure ;
    Why ?
    – because killian wont run that year (obviously, they're both with Salomon ; and if one is running à big event, the other one is not (they cant be winning the two of them at the same time !!) / UTMB – LA DIAGONALE DES FOUS : one man a year / I bet Julien Chorier wont run the second one in 2012 !!)
    – because is french (its sometimes good to be patriotic a bit ;-)


        1. Bryon Powell

          To clear things up and hopefully make things less contentious, I aim to clarify the Catalonia/Spain distinction a bit even if imperfectly. Catalonia is an autonomous community within Spain and is recognized as a separate nationality within the Spanish Constitution itself. For international purposes, residents of Catalonia are likely to be recognized as residents of Spain (i.e., for purposes of UTMB registration), while they (and Spanish law) would consider their nationality to be Catalan.

  5. Benj

    Miguel, iker then Julien

    salomon 1,2,3

    Cant wait to see Wardian and Mackey there though hope they do well

    PS Karl where you at on this one? I want to see your hokas at mont blanc.

  6. Dan Afshar

    Spaniards Karrera & Heras will take some beating, but Jonas Buud will be vying for a podium as Ian S suggests above.

    Here's a dark horse from the UK – Andrew James; relatively new to ultras, but he claimed a big scalp in the summer beating Jez Bragg over one of his favourite tracks and has some good form here in Britain https://highlandflingrace.org/files/fling2011results.xls – Jez will obviously be there or thereabouts.

    Liz & Ellie will be a great battle in the ladies race.

    I got a place again (6th year running) with demons still to slay out there; also looking forward to catching up for that beer Bryon!!

    1. Bryon Powell


      Thanks for the suggestion of Andrew James. It's hard enough for me to keep up with all the US runners let alone all of them from around the world! :-)

      I hope to put something together in Cham either before or after the race this year.

  7. gary aronhalt

    Seb will have a shot, for sure, too… I also wonder if the Salomon gang will go out as a 'peleton' again?

    I'm glad that AK and Roes will dual it out at Hardrock, but I really, really want to see those two take a shot at the Europeans… aren't they the only two that have beaten/ come close to Kilian over the last couple of years?

  8. mayayo

    May i suggest you consider Aitor leal (España) as one moré top entrant. He Just won his two last ultras ran in Dec & Jan. Now headed for Transgrancanaria…

  9. Jared F

    Shooting for UTMB in either 2014 or 2015, kinda bummed that it went to lottery though but that seems to be the thing to do these days! Bryan do you know how it works for elites getting entry outside the lottery? Someone commented about that so I was wondering if you could offer clarification. Hard to see Kilian not running it again especially since he didn't get into Hardrock, but I here rumors he is heading for Pikes Peak so we will see. Good to see Mackey, Moehl, Foote, and Wardian in there though!

    1. Jared F

      On another note I am interested to see how the entry numbers change with the increase in points from 5 to 7 in future reases. I figure it should at least weed out a few hundred.

    2. Bryon Powell

      I don't know how the UTMB entry officially works for elites, but it's certainly better than that of non-elites. Heck, it's pretty much guaranteed. However, I crunched the numbers last year and UTMB let's a significantly smaller number automatic elite entrants into the race than Western States does. Obviously, that's due to size, but it's something I like to keep in mind.

      I can't say much about Kilian's plans, but I'm pretty sure he's publicly posted that he'll be at Pike's Peak.

  10. Ultrawolf

    I´m pretty sure it´s gonna be a race Spain vs. France. Miguel & Iker vs. Seb & Julien. Jonas is a great runner but I can´t see him finish anywhere near the podium. Swiss Alpine is famous but got not so much to climb, about 2700 meters on 78k is not that impressive compared to the 9500 he got to do at UTMB. And don´t forget, it´s not only the climbing, you got to descend that stuff, too. Something a lot of the top runners can relate to from last year.

    Hell, I got to say that since I´m from Austria, watch out for us guys, we got two strong runners in UTMB and two at CCC, we might not win or podium but certainly make (at least) one top 10 at each of the two races.

    My sentimental favorite is Csaba Nemeth from Hungary. Great runner but also great guy. Ran the UTMB 5 times finishing never worse than 8th so how about that ? By the way, if anyone can make it, he´s organising his own race the 22nd of April, check out http://www.mbtrail.hu . Relatively short but tough, tough race, 2800 meters to climb on 58k !

    See you there :-)

  11. deeago

    I'll be there at the start and I hope to get thru the race till the end.

    After 2011 Diagonale Des Fous, I would place my bet on Julien Chorier.

    Both facts (me being finisher, Chorier winning) will depend very much on preparation, injuries, weather day of the race…

    This is the good of trail running: you never know!

  12. DimitrisT

    Nikos Kalofyris from Greece is also a top entrant. He was third in CCC 2011 & CCC 2010 and second in CCC 2009. This year he is moving up to UTMB and I believe that if his condition is good he will have a great performance. He was also third at the "Solokhumbu Trail 2010" – of the 217 kms and 15.000 meters of positive ascent – in Nepal, and several times winner of Olympus Marathon in Greece. He is a Salomon athlete.

  13. Panos from Greece

    I would like to see Anton race because i am a big fan….

    but since i was lucky in the draw for the 3rd time in a row, i can't complain

  14. Morgan Williams

    I'm in after 2 years of CCC'ing. :-)

    Bryon, I hope that the iRunFar event gets off the ground; count me in!

    I hope all those who are in enjoy the miles in preparation.

  15. Fred

    pretty easy :

    Men Field : Iker Karrera, Miguel Heras, Julien Chorier, Seb Chaigneau

    Women Field : Lizzy Hawker, Nerea Martinez, Krissy Moehl

    Rem: I think that Chorier will have a very heavy 2012 season, he might not be able to handle the charge. But The Annecy grounded Salomon Team is made up of great & strong ultra runners thinking about the Ultra Tour du Mont-Blanc in mind everyday of their life.

    Regarding the Women's field, Lizzy is doing good… she won't miss the 10th anniversary :) Hope to see Krissy in the leading pack from begin till end…

    Pitty that Anton could not make it … next year maybe.

  16. Fred

    I keep thinking about Julier Chorier who's attempting to break Kilian's FKT (32h I think) on the GR20 crossing the island of Corsica.

    This will break him so close of the UTMB.

    Iker will win.

    1. Ultrawolf

      How did you know that, is there any webside to follow his progress ? Yeah, don´t believe either that´s a very good idea. I´m with you, even without Kilian (he might still show up last minute ?) the Spaniards will be the ones to beat with Iker and Miguel Heras. Guess the only one who can match them is Sebastien Chaigneau.

      1. Fred

        There : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-ousaunwcU
        A little video about a day in julien's life…. nothing new but the news about his attempt to break Kilian's record.

        enjoy :)

        Hope to see a video like those for Kilian (among others; check these about Corsica https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6E1EB1CA1037DC4C

        I keep thinking that Julien is not the guy to go below Kilian's time. (I remember that Jornet got lost several times, so maybe there's still some hope for Chorier)

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