2017 UTWT continues with Patagonia Run, Marathon Des Sables and 100 Miles of Istria

While here in Australia we all focus in our own little worlds and look forward to UTA in just over a month or so, the circus continues its tour around the world with not one, not two, but three races this coming weekend for those of us with an international flavour to feast our eyes upon.

Many thanks to our Canberra correspondent, David Longo for painstakingly compiling his list of names to look out for this weekend. Unfortunately the Ultra168 private jet is grounded for maintenance this weekend, and with no corporate funding, we’re unable to watch these races unfold.

However we like to give our Aussie readers a flavour for who’s racing these events so you can keep tracker via the Interwebz and sound really impressive in front of your running mates as you chatter along the trails this weekend! To be honest, it’s not going to be a patch on the drama of Barkley where something as mundane as collecting books and watching grown men traipse across rough country can be so highly compelling for 60 hours. BUT, we do have a feast of international competition vying for honours. The big question I want to know is whether anyone other than a Moroccan will win the MDS this year. Let’s hope there’s no ‘accidental’ wrong turns… watch out for those Andy Symonds!

Patagonia Run 145k – April 7

The Patagonia Run is one of the new additions to the Ultra Trail World Tour (UTWT) in 2017 and takes place in the Andes in Patagonia, Argentina. The event showcases several distances but the showcase event is the 145k event that also includes 9000m of elevation gain and will be the first UTWT event on the South American continent. This looks to be an incredible race in a beautiful environment and is sure to attract a deeper field in the future. The main contenders are…


  • Adriana Vargas: 5th Transgrancanaria 2016, 3rd Patagonia Run 130k 2016, 14th Transvulcania 2016
  • Teresa Nimes: 3rd CCC 2016, 10th World Trail Running Championships 2016, 1st Transgrancanaria 82k 2017
  • Maira Mardones: 3rd Patagonia Run 100k 2012, 2nd Patagonia Run 130k 2016
  • Patricia Fernandez: 3rd Endurance Challenge Chile 2015, 5th Patagonia Run 130k 2016



  • Sergio Trecaman: 1st Patagonia Run 130k 2016
  • Nelson Ortega: 2nd Patagonia Run 130k 2016
  • Iazaldir Feitoza: 1st Costa Esmeralda Ultra Trail 100k 2014, 2nd Endurance Challenge Chile 80k 2015
  • Facundo Romera: 8th Endurance Challenge Argentina 50 Mile 2010, 5th Patagonia Run 100k 2012

100 Miles of Istria – April 7

The 100 Miles of Istria is also a new addition to the UTWT in 2017 and starts in the town of Labin and finishes in the town of Umag, Croatia. The event showcases several distances but the the main event is the 171k event that also includes more than 7000m of elevation gain. The main contenders…


  • Dylan Bowman: 1st Tarawera 2015, 1st Ultra Trail Australia 100 2015, 4th Lake Sonoma 50 Mile 2016, 9th Festival Des Templiers 2016
  • Ryan Ghelfi: 4th Gorge Waterfalls 100k 2016, 1st Pine to Palm 100 Mile 2016, 4th Formidable 50k 2017
  • Paul Giblin: 1st Javelina Jundred 100 Mile 2015, 18th Transgrancanaria 2015, 6th Black Canyon 100k 2016, 5th Western States 100 Mile 2016
  • Petr Zakovsky: 1st 110k of Istria 2016, 6th 80k du Mont Blanc 2016, 17th Epic Trail Aiguestortes 2016



  • Denise Bourassa: 1st HURT 100 Mile 2016, 3rd 100 Miles of Istria 2016, 5th Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile 2016, 6th Bandera 100k 2017
  • Francesca Canepa: 1st 100 Miles of Istria 2016, 1st Mozart 100k 2016, 6th Eiger Ultra Trail 101k 2016, 1st Monte Rosa Walser 114k 2016
  • Cristiana Follador: 4th Lavaredo Ultra Trail 119k 2016, 2nd Sellaronda Trail Run 2016


Winners are grinners – I was lucky to be in a tent full of great guys, all of whom finished at the MDS in 2009

Marathon Des Sables – April 7

The Marathon Des Sables (MDS) is a stage with a long history and has been part of the UTWT since the beginning. This year’s race will be its 32nd edition and consists of 250k spread over 6 stages as race participants battle it out across the Sahara Desert. I ran this eight years ago and it seems like a world away now, but it was good fun running with sand in your shoes all day long and desperately trying not to get a stomach bug. The main contenders are…


  • Nathalie Mauclair: 2nd Lavaredo Ultra Trail 119k 2015, 1st UTMB 2015, 4th Grand Raid Reunion 2015, 2nd MDS 2016
  • Melanie Rousset: 9th UTMB 2015, 5th Madeira Ultra Trail 115k 2016, 7th Eiger Ultra Trail 101k 2016, 4th Grand Raid Reunion 2016, 3rd Transgrancanaria 2017
  • Fernanda Maciel: 3rd Ultra Trail Mount Fuji 2015, 3rd MDS 2016, 3rd Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2016, 7th Tarawera Ultra 2017
  • Elisabet Barnes: 1st MDS 2015, 4th MDS 2016, 2nd Grand to Grand Ultra 2016, 4th Coastal Challenge 2017
  • Emilie Lecomte: 2nd Grand Raid Reunion 2015, 1st Grand to Grand Ultra 2016, 3rd Madeira Island Ultra Trail 115k 2016
  • Ester Alves: 6th Transgrancanaria 2015, 1st Madeira Island Ultra Trail 115k 2015, 3rd Coastal Challenge 2017
  • Lizzie Wraith: 3rd Dragon’s Back Race 2015, 4th Highland Fling Race 2016, 1st West Highland Way Race 2016
  • Amy Costa: 2nd Brazil 135 2014, 3rd Brazil 135 2016, 5th Badwater Ultramarathon 2016



  • Rachid El Morabity: 1st MDS 2014, 1st MDS 2015, 1st MDS 2016
  • Andy Symonds: 5th Transgrancanaria 2016, 1st Lavaredo Ultra Trail 119k 2016, 9th Transgrancanaria 2017
  • Samir Akhdar: 4th MDS 2015, 6th MDS 2016
  • Aliza El Akad: 5th MDS 2013, 3rd MDS 2015, 3rd MDS 2016
  • Damian Hall: 3rd Spine Race 2015, 3rd Dragon’s Back Race 2015, 5th Coastal Challenge 2016, 19th UTMB 2016.
  • Abdelkader El Mouaziz: 7th MDS 2014, 2nd MDS 2015, 2nd MDS 2016


Good luck to all global runners this weekend. Feature Image Credit: Patagonia Run

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Dan on Twitter
I'm a mediocre runner who can bat above his average when I train hard. A man of extremes, I do enjoy everything life offers and consider it an absolute pleasure just to be able to put one foot in front of the other and let my mind wander somewhere different.

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