UTAT is it accessible to all trailers?
The answer is … yes and no! The UTAT 105 km is not accessible to all but only to riders who have already completed a test ultra trail. Why ? Because UTAT is set in a mountain environment particularly difficult and inaccessible. Competitors must be able to handle long hours of high altitude without endangering effort. The organization must ensure that each starting from 105 km is able to assume not only the distance, but all the race parameters (high altitude, insulation, semi-autonomy …).
But the UTAT remains accessible to all because it also offers two shorter distances. The Marathon de l’Atlas (42 km) and the Virée d’Ikkiss (26 km) do not require prior experience in trail. If you loop the Challenge de l’Atlas (42 km + 26 km in two days), you can even sign up on 105 km the following year.
How far choose?
Two major parameters must be taken into account in the UTAT: altitude and technical terrain. With a start at 2600 m and crossing over 3000m (or 3600m for the UTAT 105), but also with hostile terrain (boulders, rocks, steep slopes, weather conditions …), all the tests are harder that European races the same distance and the same height difference. You must therefore take into account these two parameters before selecting your test. For example, a runner who would complete in about 2:30 the distance of 26 km and 1400 m D+ in Europe will rather 3:15 to cover the same distance and the same vertical drop in the High Atlas.
Nevertheless, we can say that :
le Challenge de l’Atlas is a great challenge for all those who wish to learn about the long distances or who want to prepare an ultra.
What the UTAT is it different from the other trails?
UTAT is definitely not a trail like the others, and this in various ways:
it allows to discover another continent, another landscape, another culture: it inevitably comes back transformed from UTAT !
What are the characteristics of terrain?
The High Atlas is a rocky massif where running requires good technical skills. The course not only borrow rather fast tracks, little technical, but also more demanding single tracks. In addition to the technical nature of the field, we must take account of climatic conditions: because it is held in high altitude, the UTAT exposes riders to sometimes wide variations in terms of temperature (sometimes close to 0 ° C at night and often above 30 ° C in the sun) and climate (in cold wind, rain, snow in the passes …). Organizers draw the attention of riders on the compulsory dimension of the requested material: the material list may seem long or exaggerated, but it is necessary to carry around this minimum equipment to be able to handle any situation ’emergency.
What is the "ephemeral village" of UTAT ?
The time of the event, a temporary village is erected on the plateau of Oukaïmeden. It consists :
This ephemeral village is complemented by health “hard” close to the riders tents, by the CAF of the building (where there are dormitories, toilets and a bar) and a welcoming physios building and chiropodists and the room press.
UTAT, he has the same security guarantees that European races?
Managed by a French outdoor sports enthusiast and orchestrated by a French team, the UTAT meets the same safety standards as their European counterparts. A medical staff is distributed along the course and equipped with all the necessary equipment and medicines. A radio network is specially installed for the race so that the organizers have a real time view and ongoing with all control posts along the different routes.
In the current international context, the issue of security is particularly sensitive. Some Muslim countries, such as North African countries, Morocco serves as the exception. The country has always advocated a tolerant Islam and fought against all forms of extremism. His organization, based on a close network of referral to the Government woven deep in the remotest regions of the Atlas, enables the authorities to know almost in real time who is where. For example, in every village of the High Atlas, a person is responsible for monitoring a territory and daily transmit reports to competent authorities. The Berbers, open and tolerant people, rich with immense hospitality, wish to maintain peace in their living space and are the first guarantors of the peace of their mountains. Furthermore, UTAT, as the first event of the mountain in Morocco, is supported and assisted by regional and national authorities. And are present on the event and all courses, government security forces.
What kind of certificate for any test?
To participate in the UTAT 105, a specific medical certificate is required. Why ? Because this event has special features: it takes place in semi-autonomy and at high altitude, which requires optimal health for the start. Even if the security conditions are provided by the organization, you must be able to physically withstand the difficulty of the test without putting you in danger.
Is it possible to participate in the UTAT receive benefits without exclusion?
No. For logistical and environmental reasons, it is impossible to propose several offers. Only the Spree of Ikkiss offers a formula “dry bib”, that is to say only the participation in the event, which is reserved for Moroccan residents on presentation of proof. Furthermore, UTAT is not just a race: it is also a human adventure that stretches over several days. As such, propose formulas without exclusion benefits would deprive the event of part of its substance.
How to get to Marrakech from Europe?
Marrakech North Africa is definitely the best destination serviced or better than most European cities. Many low-cost airlines (Easyjet, Ryanair, Transavia, Jetairfly …) are present on the destination, as well as regular company (Royal Air Morocco, Swiss Air …) from many European cities.
To book tickets or voting compare offers, you can go directly to the website of the companies or on comparison sites such as :
How to get in touch with the organization once arrived at Marrakech airport?
Upon arrival at Marrakech airport, a team identified by signage UTAT will welcome you. On airport parking, tent UTAT will allow you to drop your luggage, to gather information on the UTAT and Marrakech or to ensure your transfer.
How are the transfers organized ?
When you register online, you must choose the day and time of your shuttle. The latter will be waiting in the parking lot of the airport of Marrakech where the UTAT team will ensure your arrival (depending on flight information indicated in the registration form) and your boarding the shuttle selected. The journey from the airport to the race site (Oukaïmeden) will last about 1h30.
When you register online, you must choose the time of your shuttle. The latter will go directly to the airport of Marrakech and, subsequently, will mark a stop in Marrakech city center for those who wish to extend their stay.
What we eat to UTAT ?
Meals supported by the organization are :
How does one manage meals not included in the delivery UTAT ?
Several dining options are available on the website of Oukaïmeden :
Is the water drinkable ?
UTAT provides mineral water in sufficient quantities throughout your stay. A pack will be provided on arrival. When you make an empty bottle, the organization will give you a full bottle.
This post is also available in: French