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Record entries for the The North Face Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc!

by Press Release
Wednesday 15th January 2014
Tags  The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc   |   The North Face   |   ULTRA-TRAIL DU MONT-BLANC   |   UTMB   |   TDS   |   CCC   |   OCC   |   PTL

Race news: The North Face® Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc® - Chamonix, August 25 - 31, 2014

More and more trail races are confronted with the growing success of the discipline which means that obtaining an entry to popular events is turning into a pre-race competition

Registration: control, equity and security

Since the first year, 2003, the UTMB® has been very successful with 700 runners registered, followed by 1,600 requests the following year. The numbers have continued to increase, which is why the organisers chose to put a limit on the number of runners in 2005, firstly for the UTMB® (2,300), then for the other races.

In 2007 a qualifying system was brought in, with points being obtained by runners for finishing various races on a list. Points from almost 1,200 races organised on the 5 continents, in one or more stages, open the door to one of the 3 races: UTMB®, CCC®, TDSTM.

Finally, since 2009, entries have been chosen from the applications by a draw.

The principle of the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® races is that they take place on paths, sometimes a simple track, on the route around Mont-Blanc. The need to limit the number of runners arises out of considerations for security as well as the impact upon the environment and out of respect for trail-runners, many of whom arrive from afar, who have not come to run in a 'queue'.

The points system also means that all those on the starting line have a minimum of experience and fitness and the draw is the best solution to give everybody an equal chance.

The 12th event: 14,000 requests, 75 nations, 5 races, 7 000 participants

Pre-registration opened on December 19th and closed on January 6th and more than 14,000 runners, representing 75 nations applied for one of the 5 races on offer in 2014.

In its first year, the new kid on the block, the OCC (Orsières-Champex-Chamonix, 53km and 3 300m ascent) has been very popular with more than 2,500 requests from 50 different nationalities.

The PTLTM is full with 113 teams registered, representing 25 nations.

4,000 people (62 nationalities) wanted to be one of the 1,900 runners who will be on the starting line for the CCC®.

More than 6,000 applicants from 67 nationalities are awaiting the results of the draw to know if they will be amongst the 2,300 at the start for the UTMB®.

1,400 people from 46 nationalities are pre-registered for the TDS™. They have no need for a draw because 1,600 places are available. The remaining places will be taken up quickly by those who were unlucky in the draw for the other races, on a first come first served basis.

A worldwide success

The event is becoming more and more international, and the number of French runners has for the first time fallen to below 50%: only 41% for the UTMB®, and 39% for the PTL™!

Spain is the second most represented nation, followed by Italy, the United Kingdom and Japan; then come Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and The United States. Among the 20 most represented countries, seven are non European: Japan (592 requests), The United States (292), China (135), Argentina (73), Brazil (71), Canada (68) and Australia (58).

Results of the draw

On January 15th, the results of the draw will be announced.

Unfortunately, more than 6,635 runners will not be able to take part, almost as many as will participate...

The organisation, conscious of the deception this will generate, tries every year to explain this choice and Catherine Poletti explains the how it functions:

"Of the total number of runners admissible, some places are reserved for our partners' teams, for international elite athletes, based on the performance index complied by the ITRA for the Ultra-Trail® World Tour, for journalists who report from the inside, as well as for the solidarity race-bib wearers who in exchange make a donation to charity. After that we calculate the level of over-booking possible so as to guarantee that, despite last minute withdrawals, there are no fewer runners on the starting line for each race than the limit imposed for each race, which will be very frustrating for those runners unlucky in the draw. This ratio is applied country by country for each race. Following that on an Excel chart, each name will be allotted a random number between 1 and 0, multiplied by the runner's co-efficient (those runners unlucky the preceding year have a co-efficient of 2)... All that then remains to be done is to put the lists in order and select the participants from the top of the list".


Schedule of events

Monday August 25th - Chamonix
17:30 : Start of the PTL

Wednesday August 27th - Courmayeur et Chamonix
07:00 : Start of the TDS, Courmayeur (Italy)
Ultra-Trail® Salon
22:00 : First TDS™ finishers

Thursday August 28th - Chamonix
08:00 : Start of the OCC, Orsières (Switzerland)
All day, finishers of the TDS™
Ultra-Trail® Salon
TDSPrize Giving

Friday August 30th - Courmayeur and Chamonix
07:00 : First PTL™ finishers
09:00 : Start of the CCC®, Courmayeur (Italy)
Ultra-Trail® Salon
17:30 : Start of the UTMB®
20:30 : First CCC® finishers

Saturday August 30th - Chamonix
All morning, arrival of CCC®  finishers
CCC® Prize giving
14:00 : First UTMB® finishers

Sunday August 31st - Chamonix
All day, arrival of UTMB® finishers
14:30 : Last PTL™ finishers
UTMB® Prize giving
The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® official closing ceremony
14:30 : Last finishers of the UTMB®


For more information, visit the race website: www.ultratrailmb.com

Further links: ultratrail.tv, Facebook: www.facebook.com/UltraTrailMontBlanc - Twitter:twitter.com/TNFUTMB


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