The 4th edition of the VVX will bring the UTMB 2019 and UTWT winners to the Chaîne des Puys – Faille de Limagne Trail Experience (110 km). As the trail running elites finish planning their 2020 race calendar, the names of those participating in the 4th edition of the VVX are being announced! First, last December, the VVX organisation committee had announced that Pau Capell, elite Spanish runner, would be participating in the Chaîne des Puys – Faille de Limagne Trail Experience (110 km). Then, beginning of January, the American runner, Courtney Dauwalter, also confirmed her participation on the same 110 km race. Just like Pau, Courtney both won the UTMB® 2019 and last season’s Ultra-Trail® World Tour. This 4th edition of the VVX will therefore be hosting two of the biggest names in trail running, thus becoming one of the major events of the 2020 trail running calendar!

Let’s begin with a video of Kilian Jornet (ambassador of the race) talking about VVX.







Following the success encountered in 2019 during its previous edition, the event’s organization has announced the same formats for its trail races, hikes and entertainment with, as usual, a myriad of activities and concerts each evening. The Volvic Volcanic Experience – also known as the VVX – offers an athletic immersion into what is one of France’s most iconic landscapes: the Chaîne des Puys – Faille de Limagne, recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site! And it’s precisely at the heart of this unique natural site, shaped over the years by volcanoes, stone and water, that the VVX embarks all athletes, trail runners and hikers on an odyssey of the senses through its pristine natural landscapes.

The VVX is compound of 5 races, 110km, 43km, 25km and 15km, located in the heart of a region shaped by volcanic eruptions. A compound of races that will allow runners to come with their families as there will be races for all and many, many adventures to discover these fabulous place.

The Chaîne des Puys – Faille de Limagne Trail Experience has just recently joined the Ultra-Trail® World Tour circuit and yet, already attracts many of the international elite runners. For many of them, the VVX is a perfect race to start the season with. Taking place on demanding terrain, the race doesn’t require extreme technicality and is therefore a perfect season debut! All the VVX race formats, from the 15 km to the 110 km, offer a discovery of paths and landscapes beautifully shaped by mother-nature: Volvic Impluvium (water catchment area), stone quarries, and of course the famous Muletiers path that leads to the top of the Puy de Dôme. Those who take part in the VVX are therefore sure to discover this little-known area of France, still very much uncharted by most trail runner. It’ll also allow them to meet the local inhabitants and artisans, all so eager and proud to share their heritage and natural landscapes. This year’s impressive line-up of international elite runners will, without a doubt, waken Auvergne’s volcanoes! Therefore, Paul Capell and Courtney Dauwalter will participate in 2020 edition.



Since the VVX’s 110 km race format counts towards the UTWT’s final 2020 ranking, we’ll also be keeping an eye on the numerous other elite runners already registered as well! Amongst the men, Sangé Sherpa (NEP), winner of the Chaîne des Puys – Faille de Limagne 2019 edition, who therefore already knows the race well. The American Dylan Bowman (901 ITRA index) could take us by surprise. The same goes for the Italian, Francesco Cucco, winner of the MaXi Race’s Ultra race in 2018 and 5th on the Mont-Blanc Marathon in 2019 ; as well as the Spanish, Jordi Gamito (2nd on the UTWT in 2018), looking to surpass himself after a mixed review of his 2019 season. Pedro Hernandez (SPA), winner of the Volvic Impluvium Trail Experience (43 km), is now going to challenge himself on the 110 km format. Anthony Gay (FR), other VVX champion, winner of the 2018 edition, will also be back for another round. On the women’s side, the leading trio is, at least to this day, very American since two other American runners will come challenge Courtney for the first place: Charli Mckee (1st on the Javelina Jundred 2019) and Meghan Laws (5th on the Tarawera 100 Mile Endurance Run in 2019), seeking for revenge after she was forced to abandon during VVX’s previous edition.

Elite runners aren’t the only ones participating in the VVX. Many amateurs, more or less experienced, are also lining up to take part in this weekend. However, trail running isn’t their unique motivation… Sports, culture, and ambiance are the three elemental ingredients that make the VVX such a unique experience. It’s an invitation to explore the region as a whole, from the hiking paths to the most emblematic landmarks, not to forget the local traditions, craftsmanships and ambiance. At this point in time, almost all the races are full! Approximately only 30 spots are left on the Chaîne des Puys – Faille de Limagne Trail Experience (110 km) relay version, in teams of 3. The XGTV’s solo version is also full, but 30 spots are still available for those who want to run in teams of 2. All the other races are now full! Here, in the Auvergne volcano region, the number of registrations is intentionally limited (maximum of 600 runners / race) because one of the VVX’s main goals is to protect the environment, and the local fauna and flora. Deliberately kept as a smaller, human scaled event, it boasts a people-friendly and eco-friendly environment in which everyone looks out for one another.



The VVX pays particular attention to the quality of its races, the surrounding nature and the local heritage. And in order to ensure this stays true, they’ve put in place a partnership with the Regional Natural Park of Auvergne’s Volcanoes. In fact, part of the VVX’s entry earnings are given to the Park in order to ensure the trails upkeep all year-round. Having its races located at the heart of an environment as pristine as the Chaîne des Puys – Faille de Limagne, recently designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the VVX organisation committee actively works to protect its surrounding environment. Sustainable development, a limited ecological footprint, short supply chains, and social cohesion are all at the heart of the VVX’s spirit. Runners, families and friends all come for the same thing: to share a convivial weekend and have a great time!



Let’s have a look at the different races here:

The Great Volcanic Crossing Experience XGTV (220 km – 8110m+): Solo competitors and 2 person teams, limited to 20 teams of 2 and 20 solo competitors.


The Chaîne des Puys-Faille de Limagne Trail Experience (110km – 3500m+): A trail for the toughest runners through the very heart of the Auvergne volcanoes, it can also be completed in relay teams of two or three. Designed to take in the entire Chaîne des Puys zone, which recently became a UNESCO world heritage site, this race allows you to explore this exceptional region in a completely new way, thanks to the balance of scenery and ascents up some of the area’s characteristic hills. Part of the trail includes an ascent to the summit of the legendary Puy de Dôme (1,465m) to view the spectacular sunrise. For this third instalment of VVX, the trail will have a few nice surprises and will be extended to 110km to give you the chance to explore the northern part of the Chaîne des Puys. The final 30km of the Volvic Catchment Area Experience trail will bring this spectacular volcanic experience to a close. Teams of 1, 2 or 3 people. Limited to 600 participants



The Volvic Impluvium Trail Experience (43km – 1700m+): A trail for the initiated runners amongst you, offering a route through the northern part of the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park and all around the Volvic catchment area, a protected natural zone which is the source of the mineral water that takes its name. This course offers superb views of the Chaîne des Puys that stretches more than  30km towards the south, between the Faille de Limagne, enclosed valleys and the Plateau des Dômes. Limited to 600 participants



Volcanic Experience Trail (25km – 1000m+): The Volcanic Experience trail will be back in 2018 for this third instalment with a new feature—part of the trail will pass through two active volcanic rock quarries! The trail will take you through part of the Chaîne des Puys/Faille de Limagne Experience trail to show you some of the main volcanoes in the northern part of the Chaîne des Puys, such as Puy de la Nugère, Puy de Jumes and Puy de la Coquille. Trail bonus: breathtaking views from Puy des Gouttes and others. Limited to 600 participants



The Lava Trail Experience (15km – 450m+): A short, accessible trail with limited climbing and natural surroundings between Volvic and its neighbouring villages. This race offers a number of exceptional panoramic views of the Chaîne des Puys, which recently became a UNESCO world heritage site. It crosses a prime area for Volvic stone extraction and includes unique pathways lining several of the territory’s characteristic quarries. Limited to 600 participants



VVX KIDS’ TRAIL RUN, new kids races: Kids also need their race! Takes place on the same site as the adults’ race. Waves of 20 kids will be sent off at a time; the next wave will leave as the last gets back to the starting line. Each child will be able to do as many circuits as they like during the 30 minutes allotted. This event is for children born between 2005 and 2013, divided into three categories:

The red course: 500 m / 10 m elevation gain. Open to children born in 2014, 2013, and 2012.

The blue course: 700 m / 15 m elevation gain. Open to children born in 2011, 2010, and 2009.

The yellow course: 1100 m / 20 m elevation gain. Open to children born in 2008, 2007, and 2007.

Limited to 250 participants.






CULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Whether you are a seasoned professional or a total novice, the VVX offers you a full programme of cultural discoveries in an exceptionally beautiful, rich and well-preserved natural setting. Beyond providing your athletic performance, follow in the footsteps of the men and women you’ll meet who are passionate about their local area and want to share a timeless experience with you, helping you discover a remarkable land shaped by volcanoes, stone and water. You can visit artisan workshops and some truly symbolic attractions, such as the Volvic impluvium, as you uncover the town’s rich heritage.

Everything is designed to give the runner and family an amazing experience in the heart of nature, but also amongst the history and stories of the region, its people and their expertise.

The VVX is an event that embodies strong values, combining authenticity, respect, friendliness… and SHARING!

The stone

  • Explore the workshop of a famous Volvic-based sculptor who gave life to the Volvic stone and contributed to its global fame.
  • All around the Volvic stone, you’ll find exhibitions, demonstrations, stone workshops, local craftworks, and more.

The water

  • Discover the Volvic Impluvium, a 38km² nature reserve and the birthplace of Volvic natural mineral water.
  • Visit the Volvic factory to learn about our unique expertise and a history spanning more than 50 years!

The region

  • Discover the heritage of this town of quarrymen and its amazing architecture, fountains and history as you take a stroll through the listed cemetery, a showcase of the wonders made by Volvic expert stonecutters and sculptors over the centuries.
  • Discover the Volvic region and its glorious food scene with a culinary tour that takes you from village to village and stove to stove for a true gastronomic journey of discovery


FESTIVE EXPERIENCE: The VVX offers you a festive experience in an exceptional setting, where you’ll share plenty of extraordinary and memorable experiences. Aperitifs and celebratory meals, lively refreshment, concerts and performances all bringing people together in a friendly atmosphere. Everything is designed to make sure you experience something truly memorable, meeting new people, sharing, laughing and living.

Opening ceremony

A grand launch party full of surprises and excitement!


Wonderful musical performances throughout the weekend, both in the town and at the sports village. Lots of concerts and musical dining opportunities are on offer where people from every walk of life can come together to share the fun and teach one another some merry songs.


There are plenty of surprises in store for young and old alike down in the village, all in the eco-friendly and welcoming spirit of VVX, with the help of a number of local groups, as well as games, rides, artistic workshops, storytelling, organic markets, picnics with flavours from all around the world, and much more.


A selection of diverse and high-quality shows will be on offer for free in various parts of the town, including comedies, showcases, mystery shows, stand-up, acrobatics and poetry, all in the spirit of sharing and friendliness, suitable for young and old alike.











Info by Abel de Frutos for Trailrunningspain