Kilian Jornet and Francesca Canepa to star at Volvic Volcanic Experience races

World’s greatest trail runner Jornet is ambassador for the festival in France

Kilian Jornet (second from left) will be guest of honour at VVX on May 30-June 1

Kilian Jornet (second from left) will be guest of honour at VVX on May 30-June 1

Kilian Jornet will be guest of honour at the Volvic Volcanic Experience on May 30-June 1, while UTMB champion Francesca Canepa leads the elite field.

The world’s best known trail runner is continuing his ambassador role for the running festival in the Massif Central region of France. As last year, the Spaniard will be guest of honour at a weekend which combines five races of up to 220km with a cultural experience in an area famed for its volcanoes and the sourcing of Volvic water.

Canepa, who last year became the first Italian winner of the UTMB’s flagship race, will be joined in the line-up by American Meghan Laws, who was sixth in the Western States 100 in 2016, and Portugal’s Sarah Verguet.

Having last year won the 83km race, Auvergne local Anthony Gay is back, this time to take on the new 110km. Also in the line-up is Nepal’s Dawa Sherpa, the first ever winner of the UTMB in 2003. He said: “I’m excited to discover the volcanoes of Auvergne for the first time!” Compatriot Sange Sherpa should also be among the favourites.

The VVX this year has added the XGV “Great Volcanic Cross Experience” - a 220km event for individuals or duos with 7500m of ascent.

The Chaine des Puys - Limagne Fault Experience, for solo runners or teams, includes 3500m of climb. Organisers describe the event as a “a trail for the toughest runners through the very heart of the Auvergne volcano” and the reward for the runners will be a visit to the legendary Puy de Dôme (1,465m) to view the spectacular sunrise.

Options are also available at 45km, 23km and 15km, plus a kids’ race.

Organisers are keen to involve runners in the culture of the area and a variety of experiences for all the family include a “gastronomic hike” and beginner courses in several outdoor activities. There will also be tours include a tour of a Volvic stone workshop and Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Nature Park, plus a closing ceremony concert.

Click here for entry and other details.