Hour 7 Running Introduction Image

16th Overall at UTMB 2023

Race name: 



Tom Joly

Race description: 

172km race around the Mont Blanc Massif (Largely follows the TMB route)




16th . 22:25:20

(Hour 7 athlete Tom Joly, coming in to finish at the 2023 UTMB main event).


10,000 meters.

Training volume in build-up: 

208hrs of training in the 3 months prior to the race. 

45% cycling 

45% running 

10% gym

Training intensity distribution:

95% Aerobic

5% Threshold

Key sessions: 

Reconnaissance of the UTMB route (4 days) 3 days rest, and then the TDS route (3 days). All at easy to high aerobic effort.

Race strategy: 

Targeted a 22hr time. Not go out too fast, but to get to Courmayeur in 9hrs 15mins. Push from Champex-Lac.

Race nutrition:

(Worked out at exactly 100grams of carbohydrate/hour)

8x SIS Beta fuel gels 

8x Gu gels (40mg caffeine)

5x Maurten gels (100mg caffeine)

3x Veloforte chews

10x SIS Beta fuel Chews

10x SIS Beta fuel drinks

4x300ml cans of coke

2x Avocado and salami buns

1x Naak Bar

1x Banana

½ an Orange

(Tom and fellow Hour 7 athlete Damian Carr sharing a moment over a SIS gel at a pre UTMB training camp. Photo: Geoff Lowe)

Race hydration:

1L Race bladder

Started hydrated and drank an extra 500ml bottle in the starting pen.

Drank another 2L in the first 3 hours, however severely dehydrated at this point (headaches).

Used speed cup (150ml) at every stream on the way to Courmayeur to drink more. 

Suffered again in the midday heat on the climb out of Trient.

(Tom hydrating after crossing the finish line. Photo: Gilly Photography)

Race shoes:

Asics Fujispeed 2

Key items of kit:


Key lessons: 

1. Take it a bit easier until Les Contamines! losing 5 mins here will gain 20 mins on the way to Courmayeur.

2. To make the top 10, you need to be at Courmayeur in around 9 hours (Jim8:36- Ludo9:22)

3. Positions don't change much after Champex Lac.

4. "The race starts in" Trient.

5. Either carry an extra 500ml bottle for the hotter/day time parts of the course, or switch back to 2x500ml bottles for greater flexibility of refilling on the go. 



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