Andorra Ultra Trail: A Mountain Running Event for Everyone
Attracting participants from all over the globe, the Andorra Ultra Trail Vallnord (AUTV) is an exceptional mountain running event for everyone. But, in its eleventh edition in 2019, the Andorra Ultra Trail of today looks quite different to the first event back in 2009.

In this post we’ll discuss the seven different races that make up the event, as well as ways for you to get involved. But first, a quick video to get you inspired and see the spirit of solidarity, participation, community and appreciation for the mountains that comes alive during the Andorra Ultra Trail.

What Is the Andorra Ultra Trail?

Back in 2009, founders Valérie Lafleur and Gerard Martínez realised that the gorgeous mountains of Andorra were all but deserted in the summer. Wanting to introduce the beauty of the country to the world through sport, they launched a two-race event; with a 112 kilometre ultra-trail and 35 kilometre trail.

The Andorra Ultra Trail has grown each year since; attracting more participants and seeing more courses included in the event. Yet, despite its growth, it has stayed true to its values. Encouraging the spirit of participation, self-improvement, teamwork and solidarity, the event isn’t about elitist athletes, but welcoming everyone to share in the beauty of the mountains.

In 2019 the AUTV saw the addition of its seventh course, the Tamarro, which has truly made this a race for everyone.

Eufòria

  • Distance: 233 km
  • Elevation: 20,000 m +/-
  • Average Altitude: 2,200 m
  • Duration: 66 – 110 hours
  • Course Map and Profile Map

The ultimate achievement in mountain running, the Eufòria sees teams of two athletes travel 233 kilometres over a whopping 32 peaks and passes between 2,500 and 2,900 metres above sea level, and 5 above 2,900. Passing unprecedented beauty on the peaks and mountain crests, the race highlight is surely the unobscured, 360° views of the entire country and beyond – with visibility into the North of Spain and Mid-Pyrénées region in France.

Both physically and mentally exhausting, runners are semi-autonomous and have to rely on GPS to navigate their way around the unmarked trail. The event has four accommodation/refreshment areas and is organised so that each runner has a single drop bag transported between rest points by the event coordinators.

Not for the faint of heart, the race is riddled with technical, rocky descents. In addition to the four cut-off points at 26, 47, 70 and 94 hours into the race, it is also a prerequisite of entry that participants must have completed either the Ronda del Cims, or a continuous race over 150 km with more than 7,000 metres elevation, or a race with stages over 200 km also with 7,000 m elevation, within the past 2 years.

Ronda del Cims

  • Distance: 170 km
  • Elevation: 13,500 m +/-
  • Average Altitude: 2,058 m
  • Duration: 31.5 – 62 hours
  • Course Map and Profile Map

Almost following the entire perimeter of Andorra, the Ronda del Cims takes athletes on a journey of panoramic views, alpine meadows, lush forests, glacial lakes and rocky terrain. An event of epic proportions, racers summit the highest peak of the country, Comapedrosa, while also experiencing the beauty of running with headlamps under the moonlight during the longest days of the year.

The course features 16 peaks and passes above 2,400 metres and offers 13 refreshment points. With six cut-off times at various hours into the race, it also has prerequisites for entry. Entrants must have either participated in the event within the past two years or have proof of completing a continuous race either over 100 km with an elevation gain of more than 4,500 m, or over 165 km with more than 2,500 m elevation.

Mític

  • Distance: 112 km
  • Elevation: 9,700 m +/-
  • Average Altitude: 2,048 m
  • Duration: 18.5 – 46 hours
  • Course Map and Profile Map

Similar to the Ronda del Cims, the Mític also takes runners over the peak of Comapedrosa and laps the country, albeit in a slightly shorter distance.

Yet don’t let the drop in kilometres fool you, the course is still plenty challenging with two rocky ridges to tackle. The longest climb is an 18% gradient over 8.5 km, while the steepest slope sees racers climb 882 vertical metres over 3 kilometres (a 30% gradient) from Pla de l’Estany to Comapedrosa peak.

With 10 on-course refreshment points, and seven cut-off times, runners can enjoy grassy ridges with spectacular views during this beautiful yet challenging trip around Andorra.


Gorgeous scenery and breath-taking views are awarded to those who take part in the Andorra Ultra Trail.

Celestrail

  • Distance:83 km
  • Elevation: 5,000 m +/-
  • Average Altitude: 1,760 m
  • Duration: 10 – 23.5 hours
  • Course Map and Profile Map

Guiding runners through the heart of Andorra, the Celestrail is an 83 kilometre course of beautiful landscapes.

While there are three significant mountain passes over 2,500 metres above sea level, this race provides several opportunities for athletes to ‘stretch their legs’ and recover; being able to run on wider, more gradual trails. Starting with an intense climb, runners also face the 5.5. km longest climb (with a 14% gradient) and the incredibly steep ascent to Coll d’Arenes (340 vertical metres in 1 km – a 34% incline) before descending to the finish.

The effort is well worth it, however, as participants traverse breath-taking wilderness. Running the ridge along Cap de l’Ovella is considered the highlight of the race.

The Celestrial has seven refreshment stations and four cut-off points at 11, 14.5, 17.5 and 19.5 hours into the race. The event also has the option to finish at Prat Gran, completing the shorter Marató de Muntanya diploma.

Marató dels Cims

  • Distance: 42.5 km
  • Elevation: 3,000 m +/-
  • Average Altitude: 1,928 m
  • Duration: 4.5 –13.5 hours
  • Course Map and Profile Map

An authentic alpine marathon set in the magnificent northern valleys of Andorra, the Marató del Cims features beautiful scenery and breath-taking views. With the longest climb of 800 vertical metres over 6 km (13% gradient), the course covers all types of terrain including forest single track, trails through sub-alpine meadows, and technical rocky sections.

The beautiful scenery of the Sorteny Valley and the epic views at the peak of Casamanya are the highlights of the course. While the rocky climbs and the steepest ascent (210 vertical metres in one kilometre) from Coll d’Arenes to Casamanya Nord Peak are considered the most technical and challenging sections of the trail.

With four refreshment stations on-course, the Marató dels Cims includes three cut-off points at 5.5, 8 and 10.5 hours into the race.

Solidaritrail

  • Distance: 10 km
  • Elevation: 750 m +/-
  • Duration: 1 – 3 hours
  • Course Map and Profile Map

Considered the mountain event for everyone, the Solidaritrail welcomes participants of all ages and abilities to enjoy the beauty of the mountains. Classified as a walk, the event sees the fittest of participants complete the 10 kilometres in approximately 1 hour, while other entrants jog at their own pace or walk the course to enjoy the stunning views of the Ordino valley.

A charity hike, the event was specifically designed to allow people of all abilities to discover the mountains. Providing the opportunity for those with physical disabilities to get involved, some entrants are assisted through the course on chariots pulled by volunteers – a truly inspirational sight to witness.

After climbing to Segudet and entering the forest, the track takes participants along Planes de Sornàs before descending the GR11 to La Cortinada and returning to Ordino via the walking trail and footpaths.

The Solidaritrail has one on-course refreshment point.

Tamarro

  • Distance: 2.5 km
  • Elevation: 50 m +/-
  • Duration: 30+ minutes
  • Course Map and Profile Map

The newest addition to the Andorra Ultra Trail, the Tamarro is an event for the littlest members of the family. A short walk open to everyone, including people with disabilities, the route allows participants to enjoy a pleasant walk along the river before returning to the Ordino town centre.

For an added level of enjoyment and participation, the Tamarro gives walkers the opportunity to learn about nature and safety by completing challenges and solving riddles along the way.


Even the littlest of family members are happy to participate in the Andorra Ultra Trail.

How Can You Be Involved In the Andorra Ultra Trail?

A truly awe-inspiring event, being involved in the Andorra Ultra Trail is something everyone should do at least once in their life time. While the distances and gains in elevation don’t have to put you off, if you’re not keen or able to participate in any of the events physically then consider volunteering.

Participate In a Run or Walk

For the seasoned athletes, or those of you looking to really challenge yourself, consider the longer events that the Andorra Utlra Trail is known for. Remember there are prerequisites for some events, so be sure to check that you qualify for entry before setting your intentions to participate.

If running isn’t really your thing, you shouldn’t let that stop you. The Solidaritrail and Tamarro walks are open to everyone, and a great way to get involved.

Volunteer for the Event

The success of such a spectacular event relies, in part, on the hard work of the fabulous team of volunteers. From distributing food and checking runners in, to keeping participants safe in the mountains, the volunteers of the Andorra Ultra Trail work selflessly to see that everyone runs their best race.

Sign up to assist during the event and you’ll receive a uniform, trail snacks, and other equipment and gifts to help you in your role and thank you for your participation.

Andorra: The Destination for Outdoor Events

With breath-taking views and gorgeous scenery, it’s no wonder that founders Valérie Lafleur and Gerard Martínez chose to share their love of this country through sport. But the Andorra Ultra Trail is not the only event to put us on the map. Whether it’s running, biking or fuel-assisted sports that you’re into, Andorra has the event for you. Consider checking out:

And, as always, the team here at Sant Moritz are happy to help you plan the perfect holiday around whichever event you want to attend. Contact us today to learn more.

Feature image courtesy of Andorra Ultra Trail Vallnord via Facebook.

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