UTH 2022 race director’s report
And we were there again. Runners, volunteers, fans. After two cancelled UTH (2020, 2021) the tribe of trail runners gathered up again to celebrate together. We closed a very challenging period and I am personally happy to leave it behind us. There were people who were skeptical about the race, I assume for them it was a bitter disappointment, that the ship of UTH didn’t sink, quite the opposite, we never had this many registrations for the race. At the end there were 1.139 runners from 38 countries toeing the line on Hungary’s largest trail running race.
It was exciting to organize a race in Szentendre again, especially, because compared to last year’s races there were a lot of new things and changes. The shortest distance was moved to Saturday, the race center and the storage were moved to new locations and the locations of two aid stations were changed as well. Thanks to the European level quality (and size) of the sports hall the race center and the expo finally represented such a nice experience, that I could only dream of until now.
On Saturday morning it was still pouring down rain, but by the time of the start of the Visegrad trail at 3pm it turned to be sunny, therefore the runners were greeted by extremely humid weather conditions in Visegrad. This was the first year, that the shorter distance was held on Saturday, so I was eagerly waiting how much this change will fulfill the expectations. It seemed that the runners accepted this change, so next year, the Visegrad trail will again be held on Saturday.
The runners were still about to get their race packages with the bibs, while the trucks were already on their way to the aid stations with all the refreshments and gear. Due to the heat, I asked for the help of the Firefighter unit of Szentendre and thanks to them we moved 2.000 liters of water to the aid station of Pap-ret, so all runners could wash up during the race. Also due to the heat the aid stations of Visegrad, Pap-ret and Skanzen were welcoming the runners with ice.
As usual there was a smaller crowd gathering up for the start of the UTH, creating a really good atmosphere for the midnight gun. Surprisingly the Szent Laszlo trail is still playing the role of the little brother, so I need to work on getting the right amount of respect to this distance. The runners of the Szentendre trail took off before the city got awake, so all three distances started from the empty downtown and arrived back to the streets full of buzz from the tourists.
I would like to say special thanks to the welcoming cities – Szentendre, Visegrad and Pilisszentlaszlo, to the supporters – Salomon, Compressport, Leki, Outdoor Paradise, Petzl, Rudy Project, Runner’s World Magazine, Squeezy Sportnutrition, Profirent for their help and last but not least the work of the more than 250 volunteers.
The organization of next year’s race is already ongoing. We are awaiting all trail running fans on the next UTH on the 27th and 28th of May 2023.