Registration for UTC 2020 will open 6 months before race day
(UTC 2020 tentative date: May 31, 2020 or June 7, 2020. TBC soon)
BRIEFING AND BIB PICK-UP
Payment & bib pick-up and briefing TBD soon. Stay tuned!
Course start / finish line: The three UTC 2019 courses have a common start and finish: the village of Maasser el Shouf. Inside the town square, facing the Shouf Cedar Reserve head office.
Course start times: The UTC75 start time is 3am. The UTC45 start time is 8am. The UTC25 start time is 10am. All participants must be present at the start line at least 40 minutes before their race start time.
Course trails: The three UTC courses (25km, 45km and 75km) are all inside the Cedar Shouf Reserve, and mostly on non-paved trails.
Water stations: There will be checkpoints and water stations every 7km to 12km.
Important: Participants MUST start with a minimum of 1 Litre inside a PERSONAL LIQUID CONTAINER – NO SINGLE-USE PLASTIC bottles please! All participants are also encouraged to bring their own PERSONAL PLASTIC CUP.
Food: There will be food stations along the way (though not for the 25km course). At some of the UTC75 and UTC45 checkpoints there will be: tea, coffee and hot food. Nevertheless, all participants are responsible for their calorie intake and must carry with them all the solid food they envisage to eat along the course.
To begin with, if you haven’t been to Lebanon yet, you need to forget everything you’ve seen or heard about this place on the news. Yes, there was a time when the Lebanese were dragged into a vicious war (mostly for others), but that was long ago. What hasn’t changed is this country being blessed with the Mediterranean on one side and, just 50 km away, 3000 meter snow-capped mountains.
Also blessed with four distinct seasons, Lebanon has everything from traditional villages and history-filled archaeological sites to exquisite cuisine and pristine national parks – home to the majestic millenary cedar trees, emblem of the Lebanese flag. Your stay here will be enhanced by warm and friendly people, as well as sights and sounds you’re not likely to forget.
Last but by no means least, and like many of you globe-trotting ultra-trail runners know, when exploring a new place through the sport that you love (ultra trail running), your endorphins will kick in to give you that sensational runners’ high earlier, stronger and longer, making your visit that more pleasurable.
Ahla ‘wou sahla bi Loubnan! (Welcome to Lebanon!)
Staging the Ultra Trail des Cèdres 2019 race was decided upon at very short notice. Rather than wait until the year 2020, the organizing committee (recently) agreed it would be a pity to waste a precious year. Knowing how rapidly Ultra Trail Running is developing around the world, we wanted to help spread the word (and runners’ high) in Lebanon without delay. Hence the decision to stage the first UTC in 2019 as soon as possible – meaning on July 7, 2019.
For this reason, there is not enough time for this website to be fully developed before race day on July 7. www.ultratraildescedres.com will not be complete before November 2019 – when its aim will also be to inform international participants about UTC 2020 well ahead of time so they can plan and organise their trip to Lebanon for the second edition (May/June 2020). Until then, this website will only contain the few necessary pages for participants of the first edition of the race on July 7, 2019 and only in English (French to follow soon). For any additional info, please write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call course race director Ali at +9613351590.
A birds-eye view of the large loop of the 45 km Trail.
Although I have never been a pure runner, I’ve always loved long distance events and I have completed the 42.195 km distance numerous times and in several cities. These include New York, London, Stockholm and, as my very first marathon when I was still a high school student there, Athens. This was the original course, starting from the mythic village of Marathon. Then there’s Beirut, which I’ve so far run close to a dozen times, mostly for charity.
Evolving from 42km, I’ve recently taken a liking to ultra-running; more specifically Ultra Trail Running. As anyone who has experienced it will tell you, “once you go ultra, you never go back”. With all due respect to pure marathon runners (I’ll still be running Beirut for charity), it is infinitely more pleasant to run on trail as opposed to tarmac, in national parks as opposed to city centers, and up and down mountains as opposed to speed bumps.
Not only are ultras more gratifying; I can honestly say it is actually easier to complete a 50km or 60km ultra trail event than it is to run a 42km city marathon. And if you doubt this, I urge you to try.
In the words of my good friend Rich Roll, once ‘you find ultra’ your life will have taken a drastic change for the better…
Happy trail running!