Pau Capell UTMB
Photo credit: Mathis Dumas

Pau Capell Tackles Mont Blanc Solo, Misses FKT Mark

We have corrected a previously published story. Pau did not break his established FKT as reported earlier.

The only runner on the course, Pau Capell completed the Tour du Mont-Blanc an hour over his previous record.

UTMB 2019 winner and ultrarunning athlete Pau Capell began his FKT attempt of the iconic Tour du Mont-Blanc (TMB) yesterday in hopes of breaking his own standing record of 20 hours 19 minutes. Running through the night, the 28-year-old ultrarunner came up shy, in a time of 21 hours, 17 minutes, 18 seconds.

Due to safety measures surrounding COVID-19, officials have canceled countless races across the world. But many athletes have taken this opportunity to continue to run iconic routes, like the Tour du Mont-Blanc.

As such, Capell ran the course without any competitors, a stark contrast to the annual crush of ultra-endurance athletes that embark on the world-renowned trail race through the Alps.

“Pau felt compelled to take on the course and inspire all those who continue to face challenges in this difficult year, including all those runners who were unable to take part,” wrote The North Face in a press release announcing the FKT attempt.

“It was incredible to run this year, truly one of the best experiences of my life,” Capell said after the finish. “It’s been such a difficult year for everyone, and the support I’ve received from people all around the world has been amazing. For now, I’ll take some time and rest with my family, and then who knows!”

You can see his full Mont Blanc route, time, and pace here.

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Mary Murphy

Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.