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the Haute Ariège Community of Communes: 


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Mr Alain NAUDY 


A colorful 30th anniversary!

The Montcalm Challenge has become over the years the Pyrenees must event. Admired, feared and eagerly awaited each year, the strength of these races lies in their diversity, from the vertical kilometer to the mountain ultra-trail. Designed by mountaineers for mountaineers, the Challenge is above all an encounter with nature. It's an adventure and a personal challenge for each participant.

This 2019 edition has a special flavor: the Montcalm Challenge is celebrating its 30th anniversary! This anniversary will certainly be one of the highlights of this summer season! For the occasion, a new race of 109km has been designed and I am sure, will also bring its own surprises.

It is a source of pride for the Haute Ariège Community of Communes to be a partner and support this extraordinary event. Its growing attractiveness and international reputation make it a showcase and an asset for our mountains. It also contributes to the dynamism and vitality of our valleys.

I salute all the members of the association as well as the volunteers, without whom this race would not be possible. I wish each of you a great adventure in the Ariège Pyrenees.

And happy 30th birthday to all!



President of the Haute Ariège Community of Communes.

The Ariège departement  :

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What can we say that has not already been written about the Montcalm Challenge and its crazy races deep in the Marc valley, in the prestigious domains of the 3000 m summits? Few things really. This is why the tireless volunteers who mobilize every year in the footsteps of Gilles DENJEAN, as they did from the beginning with Bernard PIQUEMAL or Alain LEPLUS, have been working for two years now on a new adventure, even more extreme: the PICaPICA and its 100 km of race in high, very high altitude.

Last year, the 210 or so runners on the trails of the first edition had to turn back because of dreadful weather conditions. Their safety was at stake, and the Montcalm Challenge’s organizers never compromised with safety. This year, no doubt that the same requirement will be there and that the trailers of the month of August 2019 will be able to devote themselves to their passion up to the summits, while animating intensely the Vicdessos valley.

Because it is an inextinguishable passion, a pronounced taste for surpassing oneself, which animate these runners of the extreme. Undoubtedly, the Montcalm Challenge is the Lord of the Ariège trails, these fifty races that attract each year more and more athletes, 11 000 competitors in 2018, men and women together, great champions and runners of the weekend mixed together.

The Departmental Council of Ariège played the "Older Brother" in this shift, in this very social and sporty trend. It was the first to save the Montcalm races in 2015 when some public disengagement could have jeopardized this famous mid-August festival. Then, on my proposal in 2016, the elected officials of the Department launched "Ariège Terre de Trails" with its two challenges of the Summits (with the Citadels, the Peaks and the Montcalm Challenge) and the Heritage, all coordinated by the Departmental Committee for Out Stadium Races and the Tourism Development Agency, the support of the Department enabling to pool the necessary equipment and a winning communication.

The Montcalm Challenge will be this year again the brilliant symbol of these events that stick so well to the image of Ariège, this territory where it goes up and down but where it is never flat or flattened.




President of the Ariège Departmental Council. 


The Occitanie Region


Mrs Carole DELGA


The Montcalm Challenge is one of those incredible human challenges that exceptional athletes face each year, a wonderful demonstration of the ability to surpass oneself that men and women can have. For its 30th edition, the Montcalm Challenge reiterates the ambition of last year to include in its program a new circuit with the organization of the PICaPICA, a race designed by mountaineers for mountaineers with characteristics making you feel dizzy. It is difficult to imagine the mental and physical resources into which the participants will have to tap, during this event, to overcome the 100 km of the race, the four summits at more than 3000 meters altitude and the 11 000 meters of positive altitude difference. Let's hope that for the 2019 edition, the weather conditions will not trouble the race of these athletes of the extreme. 

Beyond the PICaPICA, the Montcalm Challenge includes a marathon, very difficult too and five other races of various levels. A total of 1500 athletes will cross the start line and for each of them, we must pay tribute to the work carried out by the organizers who place at the heart of their concerns the safety, the quality of the races and their markings but also the food supply points and the welcome of the runners and their families.

 I would also like to congratulate the Montcalm Challenge team for their exemplary commitment to respect the environment and for the deeply human and supportive dimension of their organization, which counts people with disabilities among its 400 volunteers.

It is with pleasure and conviction that the Region supports the Montcalm Challenge, so that sport can live and that the magical landscapes of our mountains can be an opportunity for all, organizers, volunteers and participants to create unforgettable memories.


Carole DELGA

President of the “Occitanie / Pyrénées Méditerranée” Region