An epic and surprise-packed edition of the UTMB® saw the BUFF® Pro Team pick up a win thanks to Marcin Swierc in the first race of the week, the 120-km TDS. Zaid Ait Malek also ran this race and managed to stay in the leading group during the first 60 km, but was forced to pull out due to severe knee pain. Marcin Swierc, on the other hand, started out slow but ended on a strong note, running in the lead position in the last 8 km of this iconic race to cross the finish line first.
Ania Kacka and Marcin Rzeszótko the Polish runners on the BUFF® Pro Team, were in the starting group of the 55-km OCC, and crossed the finish line in 12th and 16th place respectively.
Iván Camps, after training for this race as his main goal for this year, was at the starting line of the 101-k CCC. In spite of a strong start and overcoming runners until maneuvering into the top 5, Camps crossed the finish line in an impressive 7th place.
The UTMB®, the main event and most grueling race of the entire competition, was run by BUFF® Pro Team members Manu Vilaseca and Zach Miller. Miller, a race favorite, started out leading the pack alongside superstars Kilian Jornet and Jim Walmsley, but this ultramarathon, run by the highest level of elite runners, is brutal and challenging and dropouts are numerous.
Miller made it to the Courmaver checkpoint at KM 80 in strong condition, locked in a duel with Xavier Thevenard. He gave it his all to try and break Thevenard’s pace in KM 111 in the direction of Champex Lac, but finally had to drop from the race after such a titanic effort.
Manu Vilaseca ran a smart and solid race until he reached Courmayer, where he began to have problems with his vision; he slowed down but continued running, determined to finish. And he did, in 18th position. Núria Picas, winner of the UTMB® 2017, was unable to defend her title due to an injury; she traveled to Chamonix, however, and supported the team in its most challenging moments.