As long as you have not walked the earth in the Moroccan High Atlas, you will not understand !
Some trails offer beautiful scenery and demanding profiles. Others take you on trails where the sky seems to be one with the peaks. The UTAT 105 is more than all of this. The UTAT 105 is a unique adventure in the world. It requires a total engagement, but provides you with incredible emotions, deeply moving encounters and unexpected exceeded your limits.
The race starts at 6 am. It is still dark.
After a few miles of a rising track (450m D+) you reach a ridge where you can contemplate a stunning view of the mountains in the rising sun. Then a descent into the valley of the Ourika river announcing Berber country. A winding hilly course to the first village Agouns and to the second CP Timichi (12,5 miles).
You then cross a number of picturesque villages and reach the first stop, Setti Fatma (30,5km – 19 miles) before fording the Ourika river. This is when you begin one of the most magical and challenging moments of the run : 40km (25m) of paths (tracks) isolated from the rest of the world. The ascent to Tamatert is steep and continues until the second pass.
Azib Likemt offers a supply and advanced medical post for a restful halt. Follows the ascent of Tizi n’Tifourhate, then a short descent leading you to the foot of a giant : Tizi n’Tarharate (3456m – ). Most competitors do the climb by night although it demands an immense physical and mental effort.
You will then reach the highest point of the run, Tizi Tichki (3550m – ) followed by a chilling technical descent (1200m vertical drop in 4 negative linear km…). A wide path leads to the Around circus and first houses. After crossing a river you will head for Imlil where harira soup 1, pasta and mint tea will seem Heaven sent ! A quick review by the medical staff, a possible break or sleep after the 88.5km effort and back to business : a path following the river and a rise before the penultimate pass at 2,200 m.
New downhill, new village, new valley, then a small rise through walnut trees and the streets of Amskere to the last CP and ultimate difficulty, the climb to Oukaïmeden. The change in atmosphere is drastic: the red earth contrasts with the bright green of the junipers. Step by step along a merciless last ascent, you finally reach Tizi Oukaïmeden with its Moroccan flags flapping in the wind. By then you will be able to see the UTAT village. A final descent … and the highly emotional moment when you cross the finish line.
1 Lentil and mutton soup
*If you choose to take the sticks, it’s for the whole duration of the race.
Full equipment will be checked on the course and / or arriving for the first 3 in each event and randomly for other riders. Failure will result in a penalty.
This post is also available in: French