In a bid to provide its customers with a unique and rich experience, The North Face will offer live streaming video of the 104.3-mile Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc trail race on its website for the first time.
In its tenth year, The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), is growing on an international scale with 74 countries being represented in 2012. The race kicked off in Chamonix, France Friday (Aug. 31) and will be streamed live on the Internet at Ultratrail.tv.
The UTMB course spans three countries France, Italy and Switzerland and covers an elevation gain of 31,555 feet around the peaks of Mont Blanc, making it one of the most challenging and grueling ultra-distance races in the world. In a year that saw a record number of registration requests, fans will be able to experience the joy, pain and tension at the head of the pack as amateur and professional athletes alike take part in the race.
Participating again this year is The North Face runner Mike Foote of Missoula, MT, who was the first American to cross the finish line in 2011, placing 11th overall at a time of 24:25:12. UK ultra-marathon runner and The North Face athlete Lizzie Hawker, who won the 2011 women's field with a time of 25:02:00, will be seeking her fifth top finish this year. They will be joined by fellow The North Face athletes Rory Bosio of Truckee, CA and Helen Cospolich of Breckenridge, CO, all of whom will be wearing and testing an innovative new fall rain jacket prototype developed by The North Face, as well as The North Face Better Than Naked Crew with FlashDry.
“The scenery and support of the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc are unmatched anywhere in the world,” said Cospolich, who is running the race for the third time. “Running up and over high peaks, through small villages, across three countries and all to the cheers of large crowds make this race a very special event.”
The webcast, which can be viewed on The North Face Facebook page and Ultratrail.tv, will feature live news updates, behind-the-scene stories, commentary from previous winners and pre- and post-race conferences, as well as special feature episodes on race preparation, recovery and technical trail-running advice.
Select runners will also be allowing fans to follow their progress via the LiveTrail APP. Each participating runner, tracked by a chip, will provide data such as location, ranking and timing each time he/she goes through a checkpoint, with updates being linked directly to their Facebook© and Twitter© pages. Fans can access the LiveTrail APP on http://utmb.thenorthfacejournal.com, which will also feature daily text, video and photos posts.