2015 Ultra-Trail Du Mont Blanc Top Entrants Announced

Ultra-Trail du Mont-BlancThe lottery for the 2015 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc has taken place! Lottery draws/entrants lists for its sister races, the CCC, TDS, PTL, and OCC, were also announced today. Some 15,785 runners from 84 countries entered the lotteries/pre-registrations for these five races. This represents an increase of more than 1,700 individuals and 11 countries from 2014.

High-level athletes are generally considered separately, as the race administration holds a certain number of spots for them. A number of high-level athletes were additionally accepted into the race via the lottery.

Here you can search the full entrants list for all the races, and below we’ve pulled together a list of top contenders for the UTMB and a couple of its sister races, and we editorialize a bit on who is currently registered and who is not.

Please note that the UTMB allows late entries for high-level athletes and there are likely to be entries via the Ultra-Trail World Tour as well, so we’re certain that a number of elites whose names aren’t on the entrants list today will still start the race. This list, however, gives us a good baseline for who we’ll see at the pointy end of the field.

Editorial Notes on the UTMB (and Sister Races) Entrants Lists

While high-level runners will continue to be added to the UTMB (and its sister races) entrants lists between now and August, let’s take a moment to look at a few emerging leader themes.

Teams

First off, overall, there’s a striking absence of The North Face male and female athletes who’ve populated these races heartily over the years, clearly an indication of the changing of the UTMB’s sponsor guards. Though Columbia (and therefore Montrail and Mountain Hardwear) have taken over high-level race sponsorship, we don’t note representation of their sponsored athletes. As per usual, there’s a scarcity of Salomon-sponsored athletes in comparison to the number of them who exist around the world. Notably, as we mention in our men’s notes below, it looks like the USA-based Nike Trail Team is looking to make their presence known in Chamonix, France this year.

Men

On the men’s side, there’s a notable turnover of men from the previous year’s top 10. That is, this year’s top 10 is going to look a whole lot different than in 2014. Clear, early favorites emerging from the entrants list are Frenchman Xavier Thevenard, who stormed a win at the 2013 UTMB and then won the 2014 TDS without challenge, and American Sage Canaday, who has so far showed supreme talent up to the 100k distance and who will make UTMB his debut 100 miler. Other top men from the USA will include 100-mile master Jeff Browning, the always strong Dave Mackey, a guy who always races smart, Jorge Maravilla, Joe Grant, and David Laney. Top international men include Adam Campbell, of Canada, and Gediminus Grinius (Lithuania).

Notably, it looks like the USA men are looking to storm the CCC sister race, particularly the Nike Trail Team.

Women

Like the men, there’s strong turnover of the women’s 2014 top 10. While we wait for more high-level runners to enter the race in the coming months, we can see that early favorites are Stephanie Howe (USA), who was the 2014 Western States 100 Champion; Spain’s Uxue Fraile, who finished fifth here last year; and Italy’s Lisa Borzani, who finished second at the 2014 TDS and then took second at the Tor des Géants less than two weeks later. American Amy Sproston, who finished eighth here in 2012, has all the potential to podium on the UTMB stage.

Top American Women – 2015 UTMB

Here are the women from the USA who could go top 15:

  • Denise Bourassa
  • Stephanie Howe
  • Maddie Hribar
  • Amy O’Connell
  • Amy Sproston

Top American Men – 2015 UTMB

Here are the USA men who we think have a shot at the top-25 positions:

  • Dan Barger
  • Jeff Browning
  • Sage Canaday
  • Jamil Coury
  • Ryan Ghelfi
  • Michele Graglia
  • Joe Grant
  • Dominic Grossman
  • Fabrice Hardel
  • Lars Kjerengtroen
  • David Laney
  • Eric Lee
  • Dave Mackey
  • Jorge Maravilla
  • Sean Meissner
  • Ryan Smith
  • Michael Versteeg
  • Zach Violett

Top International Women – 2015 UTMB

These are the international women who we think could finish in the women’s top 15:

  • Ester Alves (Portugal) — 8th 2014 UTMB
  • Lisa Borzani (Italy)
  • Caroline Chaverot (France)  — Winner 2013 CCC
  • Stacey Cleveland (Canada)
  • Gill Fowler (Australia)
  • Uxue Fraile (Spain) — 5th 2014 UTMB
  • Luciana Moretti (Argentina)
  • Claire Nedelec (La Réunion)
  • Susana Simoes (Portugal)
  • Shona Stephenson (Australia)
  • Sylvia Trigueros (Spain)
  • Manuela Vilaseca (Brazil)

Top International Men – 2015 UTMB

These are the international male athletes who have a chance of going top 25:

  • Vajin Armstrong (New Zealand)
  • Sebastien Buffard (France) – 9th 2012 UTMB
  • Adam Campbell (Canada)
  • Erik Clavery (France) — 2011 IAU Trail World Champion
  • Kim Collison (United Kingdom)
  • Terry Conway (United Kingdom)
  • Matthias Dippacher (Germany)
  • Javier Dominguez (Spain) — 3rd 2013 UTMB
  • François Faivre (France) — 9th 2011 UTMB, 7th 2012 UTMB
  • Alister Gardner (Canada)
  • Ivan Geronazzo (Italy) — 20th 2014 UTMB
  • Paul Giblin (United Kingdom)
  • Gediminus Grinius (Lithuania)
  • John Ellis (Australian living in Hong Kong)
  • Hiroki Ishikawa (Japan)
  • Danny Kendall (United Kingdom)
  • Keita Kobayashi (Japan)
  • Nuno Manuel Mendes Da Silva (Portugal) — 12th 2014 UTMB
  • Matt Moroz (United Kingdom living in Hong Kong)
  • Shunsuke Okunomiya (Japan)
  • John Tidd (USA living in Spain) — 15th 2014 UTMB
  • Samir Tamang (Nepal)
  • Xavier Thevenard (France) — 2013 UTMB Champion

Notable Women Not Currently on the 2015 UTMB List

Here are the women from last year’s top 10 who are not currently on the 2015 UTMB entrants list, or the entrants lists of any of its sister races:

  • Rory Bosio (USA) — 2013 and 2014 UTMB Champion
  • Núria Picas (Spain) — 2nd 2013 and 2014 UTMB
  • Nathalie Mauclair (France) — 3rd 2014 UTMB
  • Fernanda Maciel (Brazil) — 4th 2014 UTMB
  • Ildiko Wermescher (Hungary) — 6th 2014 UTMB
  • Emily Richards-Chisolm (USA) — 9th 2014 UTMB

And some more women who have, over the years, finished well at UTMB and who are not on the entrants lists for the 2015 UTMB or any of its sister races:

  • Meghan Arbogast (USA)
  • Francesca Canepa (Italy)
  • Helen Cospolich (USA)
  • Katia Fori (Italy)
  • Lizzy Hawker (Switzerland)
  • Audrey Meyer (France)
  • Emma Roca (Spain)
  • Maria Semerjian (France)

Notable Men Not Currently on the 2015 UTMB List

Here are the men from last year’s top 10 who are not currently on the 2015 UTMB entrants list, or the entrants lists of any of its sister races. In short, only one man from last year’s top 10 is currently planning to return, Gediminus Grinius:

  • François D’Haene (France) — 2014 UTMB Champion
  • Tòfol Castanyer (Spain) — 2nd 2014 UTMB
  • Iker Karrera (Spain) — 2nd 2014 UTMB
  • Jason Schlarb (USA) — 4th 2014 UTMB
  • Andrew Tuckey (Australia) — 6th 2014 UTMB
  • Sondre Amdahl (Norway) — 7th 2014 UTMB
  • Carlos Sá (Portugal) — 8th 2014 UTMB
  • Bertrand Collomb-Patton (France) — 9th 2014 UTMB
  • Stéphane Brogniart (France) — 10th 2014 UTMB

And some more men who have finished well at UTMB in recent years and who are not on the 2015 UTMB entrants list, or the entrants list of any sister races:

  • Jez Bragg (United Kingdom)
  • Jonas Buud (Sweden)
  • Sebastien Chaigneau (France)
  • Julian Chorier (France)
  • Mike Foote (USA)
  • Miguel Heras (Spain)
  • Kilian Jornet (Spain)
  • Tsuyoshi Kaburaki (Japan)
  • Arnaud Lejeune (France)
  • Thomas Lorblanchet (France)
  • Timothy Olson (USA)
  • Mike Wolfe (USA)

Notable Women on the 2015 Sister Races Entrants Lists

CCC

  • Sonia Escuriola (Spain)
  • Sandi Nypaver (USA)
  • Mira Rai (Nepal)
  • Alicia Shay (USA)

TDS

  • Juliette Blanchet (France)
  • Stephanie Case (Canada)
  • Andrea Huser (France) — 7th 2014 UTMB
  • Delphine Roux (France)

Notable Men on the 2015 Sister Races Entrants Lists

CCC

  • Dylan Bowman (USA)
  • Zach Miller (USA)
  • Sebastien Nain (France)
  • Diego Pazos (Switzerland) — 11th 2014 UTMB
  • Philipp Reiter (Germany)
  • Brian Tinder (USA)
  • Tim Tollefson (USA)
  • Chris Vargo (USA)
  • Alex Varner (USA)

TDS

  • Jordi Bes (Spain)
  • Cyril Cointre (France)
  • Anton Guillon (France)

Call for Comments

  • Group think time! Which top entrants did we miss? With thousands of names to sift through, we’re sure we missed a couple key runners. Let us know if you think someone should be included on these lists.
  • Who do you think will be competing for men’s and women’s wins?
  • Who would you most like to see added to the field?
  • Did you gain entry to this year’s UTMB or one of its sister races? Tell us about how excited you are to visit the Mont Blanc environs this summer!
Meghan Hicks

is the Managing Editor of iRunFar and the author of 'Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running.' The converted road runner finished her first trail ultramarathon in 2006 and loves using running to visit the world's wildest places.