T-minus 10 days and counting until the start of UTMB® Mont Blanc

By in Health & Fitness, People & Places

Friday 18th August

The excitement is building, can you feel it? The organizers, 2,000 volunteers, 8,000 runners, and world’s trail running elite have started to trickle into the Mont-Blanc Range, spending their days acclimatizing and adjusting to the time change…

Some scan the skies, some scout the course, others rest and relax,

while the organizers are already in the starting blocks ready to go!

UTMB®, TDS®, CCC®, OCC

Last-minute changes to the course

This year, for the first time in UTMB® history, runners in the OCC will pass through the villages ofMontroc and Argentière. This adds 2km in distance and shaves off a little vertical on the now 56km course. An exciting atmosphere guaranteed!

As part of our commitment to the environment, the TDS® course includes a short detour around LakeVerney. A 1.5km path was created to bypass the lake’s fragile wetland area, just prior to reaching Col du Petit St. Bernard Pass.

Along the UTMB®, the section over Col des Pyramides Pass (new in 2016) has been improved. AostaValley, working closely with the UTMB® Course and Environment Committee, built a 1.5km long trail covering 200m of vertical gain from Casermetta (300m below Col de la Seigne Pass) to the pass. On the descent, the team cleared unstable rocks and boulders for smoother running.

Hikers will benefit from these improvements all year long.

Backup courses that abide by the original distances, vertical gain, and times

Whether a heat wave with high temps, rain with high winds, or even snow, event organizers have a planned for everything!

Contingency preparations for this 15th edition include the possibility of having to cope with adverseweather conditions during the week that could prevent a race or races from running smoothly and potentially endanger participants and volunteers along the originally planned courses.

When possible, organizers will maintain the original course using, if needed and when possible, slightdetours and variations. However, some sections are not conducive to variations and so a backup course exists as a plan B.

The CCC®, TDS®, and UTMB® each have a backup course that covers the same distance, vertical gain (and drop), and times as the originally planned courses. These contingency itineraries will run over less exposed terrain, avoiding the high-mountain passes that become too treacherous in bad weather.

The OCC does not cover as exposed terrain as the other races, so does not require a full backup course.

Each backup course offers a high level of certainty to participating runners that their race will still be held in the event of bad weather. Nevertheless, since the UTMB® takes place outdoors and in the mountains, there is still a residual risk that adverse conditions could render even the backup course for each race unrunnable. In this extreme case, organizers will be forced to make the right, safe decision.

The Race Committee will meet at least one or two times per day from Sunday, August 27, throughFriday, September 1, and approve conditions and the final course at 14:00 the day before each race, and Friday morning at 08:00 at the latest for the UTMB®. The official decision will be announced immediately after being made, and in the event of a course or start-time change, runners will be informed individually by SMS (as well as all relevant services, municipalities, transportation, media, registered companions, partners…).

A second “bib” with two sides and two uses!

Provided by organizers and reusable for other races, one side displays a runner’s last name/first name and nationality, making it much easier to converse with race volunteers and spectators. The 92 different nationalities present will make for a flag parade like no other!

On the other side, “PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB” is printed along with a sketch of someone sleeping, allowing runners to let others know that they are fast asleep and that there is no need to wake them up every 5 minutes to ask (rightfully) if they are okay…

Following an original idea from the Medical Committee, Dr. Remy Hurdiel and his team from ULCO (Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale), after conducting a study on sleep, hope to build greaterawareness among runners of the reduced alertness induced by severe lack of sleep.

We recommend that runners avoid pushing beyond their limits in terms of sleep and when possible take short 8 to 20-minute naps. To sleep peacefully on the side of the trail, all a runner needs to do is flip their bib around to display the “PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB” sign.

15 years and winners: Thursday, August 31, at 18:30

On stage at Triangle de l’Amitié Plaza

To celebrate this 15th edition, organizers wanted to invite all of the men and women who have won one or several of the past 14 UTMB®.

The following runners will be present:

 

Dawa SHERPA
Vincent DELEBARRE
Christophe JACQUEROD
Lizzie HAWKER
Marco OLMO
Kilian JORNET
Rory BOSIO
François D’HAENE
Nathalie MAUCLAIR
Xavier THEVENARD
Caroline CHAVEROT
Ludovic POMMERET

UTMB® Schedule

Monday, August 28 – Chamonix

09:00: Start, PTL®

Tuesday, August 29 – Chamonix

13:00-19:00: Salon Ultra-Trail® expo village and bib pickup for the TDS®(*)

16:00-20:00: Bib pickup for the TDS® in Courmayeur for runners who made this specific request

Wednesday, August 30 – Courmayeur and Chamonix

06:00: Start, TDS®, Courmayeur (Italy)

10:00: Start, #YCC

10:00-20:00: Salon Ultra-Trail® expo village and bib pickup for the OCC(*)

16:00-20:00: Bib pickup for the OCC in Orsières for runners who made this specific request

20:20: First TDS® finishers

Thursday, August 31 – Chamonix

08:15: Start, OCC, Orsières (Switzerland)

All day long, runners finishing the TDS®

10:00-19:00: Salon Ultra-Trail® expo village and bib pickup for the CCC® and UTMB®(*)

16:00-20:00: Bib pickup for the CCC® and UTMB® in Courmayeur for runners who made this specific request

16:00-17:30: Official press conference

13:30: First OCC finishers

18:30: Celebrating the 15th edition of the UTMB® with winners present from the 14 past editions

Friday, September 1 – Courmayeur and Chamonix

09:00: Start, CCC®, Courmayeur (Italy)

10:00-14:00: Salon Ultra-Trail® expo village

18:00: Start, UTMB®

20:00: First CCC® finishers

All evening long, runners finishing the PTL®

Saturday, September 2- Chamonix

All morning long, runners finishing the CCC®

15:00: First UTMB® finishers

Sunday, September 3 – Chamonix

All day long, runners finishing the UTMB®

10:00-11:00: final press conference

16:00: official UTMB® closing ceremony

16:30: last runners finishing the UTMB® & PTL®