New film chronicles champion Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc runner’s solo bid

Pau Capell breaking 20 film
Pau Capell running the UTMB course solo (Image credit: James Poole)

When the 2020 outing of the Ultra-Trail Du Mont Blanc (UTMB) was cancelled, the 2019 winner and record-setter Pau Capell decides to take on a solo challenge.

The champion Spanish runner, who is supported by The North Face, sets himself the task of a sub-20 hour finish for the 171km route through the Alps, with a total ascent of more than 10,000m.

Pau, who wore the new Flight VECTIV™ running footwear for the solo challenge, also hoped to break his own record for the course, aiming to shave 19 minutes from his 2019 time of 20:19:07.

But running solo is a very different experience from the race where supporters, aid stations and other competitors contribute to an athlete’s performance.

A new film, Breaking 20, has been launched by The North Face and chronicles Pau’s inspiring UTMB solo run last August.

Pau Capell breaking 20 film

Pau Capell attempts to break his own record for the UTMB course (Image credit: Mathis Dumas)

Pau Capell breaking 20 film

Pau Capell is a champion ultra runner (Image credit: James Poole)

Who is Pau Capell?

After a football-career-ending injury, Pau turned to trail running for rehab. Just a few years later he had become one of the world’s best ultra-runners, winning the Ultra Sierra Nevada, the Ultra Trail Mallorca and Transgrancanaria.

He was crowned Ultra Trail World Tour champion in 2018 and 2019.

What is the UTMB?

Considered as one of the most challenging and prestigious trails in the world, the route extends to a gruelling 171km and 10,000 metres of elevation gain, taking in some of the most breathtaking parts of the Alps and crossing France, Italy and Switzerland in the process.

But does Pau Capell do it? Find out in the film Breaking 20.

Fiona Russell
Outdoor writer

Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favorite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing (both downhill and backcountry). Aside from her own adventures, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy getting outside and exploring, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.