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A first assesment of the 2012 The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® from the organisers

by Press Release
Sunday 2nd September 2012
Tags  The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc   |   The North Face   |   ULTRA-TRAIL DU MONT-BLANC   |   UTMB   |   TDS   |   CCC   |   PTL

Race news: The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® 2012

As the sun shines once again upon Chamonix it is time for an initial assessment, after the arrival of the last finishers on Saturday night shortly before 10pm at the Place du Triangle de l'Amitie.

"It is in the spirit of trail running and mountains to adapt to weather conditions. This year volunteers, organizers and athletes have had their plans disrupted by bad weather, but everyone was able to adjust, and everything went smoothly in the end." After a few hours of apprehension due to weather disturbances and changes to the course, Catherine Poletti and the organizing committee of the North Face ® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc ® can now breathe. Despite ommision of the major high points of course, which were at times encumbered by drifts of 40 cm of snow, organisers have done their best to preserve the spirit of the world summit in trail running, and the 15 communities were traversed by at least one of the four races.

The athletes, 2000 volunteers and 15 communities gathered to play the game, braving the elements in hopes of reaching the different finish lines.

The TDS, the only race of the weekend to have maintained it's original course in its entirety, had the highest number of abandons with nearly 57% of the athletes dropping out of the race. Dawa Sherpa and Agnes Hervé were the main heroes of this race along with the other 631 finishers.

The CCC crowned two new winners: Spanish Tofol Castaner and Scottish Ellie Greenwood. Following them were 1582 competitors crossed the line despite the rain, glacial wind, mud and darkness.

The UTMB saw its route shorted to 100km over 5300 vertical meters. The dissapointment in the hearts of the 2482 runners was quickly remedied by an intense and emotional start. François d'Haene proved the most skillful and fastest in the night, while Lizzy Hawker did not find an opponent who was up to her pace amongst the women. She won her 5th title, beating the majority of her male counterparts (16th overall, only 1:57:39 behind the winner).

The PTL also saw many difficult hours, with competitors having to cope with with atrocious weather and having to anticipate dangerous situations. Even if the ascension of the main summits, like the Col de l'Ane at 3033meters - the highest pass on the course, left unforgettable memories for the 67 teams, the night from Friday to Saturday was more than a little chaotic. Only five teams reached the summit of Col de la Seigne (2516m) with knee-deep snow. The remaining teams were re-directed from the original route onto the UTMB course in reverse.

This epic 2012 edition has been well received worldwide through various means of media platforms. 134,000 unique visitors were able to follow the progress of the competitors via livetrail.net. 203,000 other users have gone through the website www.ultratrailmb.com to experience the event. Web TV, new in 2012, attracted 660,000 unique visitors throughout the week, many of whom followed the snowy climb to Col Ferret during the CCC. The peak moment was recorded on Friday with over 8000 visits. All the reports will remain available over the next year on: ultratrail.tv

Rendez-vous in 2013 for the 10th anniversary from August 26- September 1, 2013


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