Ourea, Trail & Ultra: the birth of the only race of its kind in Europe at Avoriaz 1800

  • 3 races with 8, 4 and 3-day legs
  • a choice of 9 day-long races
  • Up to 250km and a 19,000m uphill gradient
  • Amateurs in contact with the world elite
  • Unprecedented prizes to rightfully reward the Elite trail runners
  • A unique start and finish venue, Avoriaz 1800 in the Auvergne Rhône Alpes region

From 11 to 18 July 2020, the first edition of OUREA will be run at the Avoriaz 1800 resort (Haute-Savoie region). A new event created with the aim of gathering together amateurs and the world’s top athletes in the discipline around what is an atypical event in trail running: a race split into legs and offering up multiple formats. In this way, competitors will be able to choose the distance that best suits their ability. It’s at Avoriaz 1800, a model, eco-friendly resort, that Europe’s first event of this kind will be hosted.

The concept:

OUREA’s idea is to offer an innovative event, which groups together amateur athletes and the world’s ELITE over 3 races with legs and 9 one-day races along a variety courses. The races will start and finish in Avoriaz 1800 each day, thus facilitating logistics for the athletes and providing the perfect setting for their supporters. Indeed, the OUREA concept also revolves around its ability to offer an extensive range of leisure activities and entertainment for the competitors’ families and friends and for spectators. The organisation will be geared around an eco-friendly, educational approach year-round and during the race week.

The race formats:

The first edition of OUREA will run from 11 to 18 July 2020 in Avoriaz 1800 and will be an exceptional event due to the format on offer, the beauty of the landscape and the quality of the courses. French and international trail runners will discover a series of 7 demanding legs spanning 5 to 61km. Competitors will be able to choose to compete in one of the 7 races or link together the following events:

  • OUREA Xtrem: 8-day race, 7 legs, 250km in total and 19,000m of uphill gradient. Ourea Xtrem, from 11 to 18 July, may be run individually or in relays (2 runners). A maximum of 350 athletes will be admitted, individuals and relay teams combined.
  • OUREA 130: 4-day race, 4 legs, 130km in total, 10,000m of uphill gradient. From 11 to 14 July 2020, the athletes will compete in the first 4 legs of the Ourea Xtrem. OUREA 130 is solely run individually by a maximum of 400 competitors.
  • OUREA 120: 3-day race, 3 legs, 120km in total, 9,000m of uphill gradient. From 16 to 18 July 2020, the athletes will compete in the last 3 legs of the Ourea Xtrem. OUREA 120 is solely run individually by a maximum of 400 competitors.
  • OUREA Solo: A race for competitors of every level. OUREA Solo offers the opportunity to participate in a leg of your choice. Competitors will be able to choose their perfect course from among the 7 legs on offer in the OUREA Xtrem + 2 Portes du Soleil Trails.

Elite Trail Runners:

OUREA will offer up an unprecedented prize purse of €200,000 spread across the week (details on the website) for the Elite Women and Men. 50 Elite Women and Men will be guests of the organisation (transport, accommodation and inscription fees all covered).

6 renowned ambassadors are already signed up for this 1st edition of the OUREA Xtrem:

  • Jonathan ALBON (GB), World Champion 2019
  • Pau CAPELL (ESP), World Champion Ultra-trail World Tour 2018
  • Nicolas MARTIN (FRA), World No.2 2016
  • Patrick BRINGER (FRA), 3rd in the World Championship 2015
  • David HAUSS (FRA), 4th Olympic Games in London in the triathlon and 2-time champion of the Trail de Bourbon
  • Alexis SEVENNEC, 22nd in the ITRA ranking and Ambassador Athlete of the Morzine-Avoriaz

Gaël Mainard, organiser and Race Director:

“As people who practise and organise outdoor events, we’ve tried to build a different concept to that which already exists by creating fun races with legs that include a prologue, sprints, time trial legs, a surprise leg, and a pursuit race final for the elite athletes, in a bid to ramp up the daily suspense. The idea is to gather together the world’s top runners for an unprecedented sports confrontation and to rightly reward them for their efforts thanks to a hitherto unmatched prize fund. In order to ensure that the event is not just for the elite athletes, we’ve opened up each leg to athletes wishing to run for more than one day. We are also keen for this to be a family event giving trail runners the opportunity to share this unique experience at Avoriaz 1800 with their nearest and dearest (accommodation in the same apartment, activities for kids/families, access to the hotspots using ski lifts to cheer on the athletes, etc). From the get-go, the choice was made to have an eco-friendly approach in line with our values, those of trail running as a whole and Avoriaz 1800, shining a spotlight on this approach through an educational element designed to raise awareness among our young generations about preserving our environment. Together with the athletes, the 400 volunteers and our partners, we are keen to create the ‘ideal’ event”.

Avoriaz 1800, the ideal venue:

Avoriaz 1800 will host the OUREA athletes and their families from 11 to 18 July 2020. A model resort in terms of the eco-friendly approach it has adopted since its creation in 1966, it was created by men with seemingly crazy and innovative ideas, whose concept was to invent a car-free resort, perched on a clifftop at 1,800m. A site whose minimalist architecture respects the mountain codes, it is a resort in a wild region that is full of life, which includes areas of reforestation and the preservation of species. It’s a vision that has continued to grow and thrive over the course of the controlled development of the resort. And though Avoriaz 1800 was built around winter activities, the resort has quickly embraced the summer season in its development target, with an abundance of leisure activities and sports on offer, together with a large accommodation capacity that boasts some 18,000 beds.

Situated at the heart of the Portes du Soleil domain, a reference in Europe for mountain biking and trail running with some 600km of marked tracks for mountain bikes, 350 of which are for electric mountain bikes, and 400km of marked tracks for trail running, Avoriaz 1800 is the ideal venue for hosting athletes and their supporters.

Of course, Ourea couldn’t be run without the support of its highly committed partners who rally round to make this happen. In addition to Avoriaz 1800, the village of Morzine, where the resort is situated, will be a major protagonist in ensuring the success of the OUREA project. Armed with a wealth of experience of organising major events, Morzine-Avoriaz will place significant human and technical means at the organisers’ disposal to guarantee that the event runs smoothly. The Portes du Soleil domain will facilitate the passage of the races which stretch as far as Chatel and Abondance to the north, Morgins, Val d’Iliez and Champery to the east, Le Biot and Morzine to the west.

Michael Ruysschaert, Director of the Avoriaz 1800 Tourist Office:

“For years, Avoriaz, the only pedestrianised, eco-friendly resort of its kind in the world perched at an altitude of some 1800 metres, has been working with the Portes du Soleil domain to embrace sport, family and, of course, trail running. The arrival of OUREA is a logical and thrilling progression for all those who love a challenge and are geared towards performance! At the beating heart of a UNESCO Global Geopark, the domain culminates at 2,400m and offers a series of unique uphill and downhill gradients and unique courses with sumptuous panoramas that span France and Switzerland. Myself and all the team are especially keen to be a part of this first OUREA adventure and we’re determined to offer up an event that has strong values. Full-on for some, accessible for others, with a single philosophy, to have fun and create something memorable! See you very soon in our mountains.”