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The North Face Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc - Figures and scientific and environmental studies!

by Press Release
Wednesday 30th July 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

Since 2003, The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® has grown to become the world-summit of trail-running and an event which attracts thousands of runners, motivates 2000 volunteers, unites three countries, 19 communities, around 50 partners, about 20 suppliers, thousands of  local inhabitants and a larger and larger general public ... at the same time keeping its authenticity while respecting the environment and people.

It is without doubt this which makes it such a great success not only in France but also world-wide. A true showcase for open country races, it welcomes the best trail runners from the five continents as well as 7200 unknown runners who travel here for Mont-Blanc and to experience great emotion.

For this reason, the organisation deploys a big logistical machine and the knowledge gained during the 11 years of the races. This way the runners are happy and proud to participate in this event, the environment is respected and every community through which the event passes is in party mode.

Figures which speak for themselves (total of the 5 races)

  • 7500 runners of whom 87% are male
  • 3 countries, 19 communes,  71 glaciers, 400 summits,  7 valleys
  • 82, the age of the oldest competitors on the OCC (one French and the other Austrian)
  • 43, the average age for the UTMB®
  • 5 continents, 77 countries
  • 1, 6 M€
  • 378 km of way-marked itineraries  + the 300 km of the PTL® and  300 km of alternative routes
  • 26, 691m of ascent + the 28,000m of the PTL®
  • 554,086 km (or 14 times the tour of Earth) run by all the 2013 finishers
  • 15, 000 way-markers made by volunteers
  • 2000 volunteers
  • 48 control points
  • 150 first aiders
  • 35 doctors
  • 80 nurses
  • 11,000 sacks to manage
  • 19,000 persons transported, 150 buses
  • 8,000 runners' T-shirts
  • 38 refreshment posts
  • 3000 kg of cheese
  • 9000 bananas
  • 9700 L of soup
  • 55,000 tuc biscuits
  • Nearly 100 000 fans on Facebook
  • 21 000 subscribes to  Twitter
  • 6 000 000 pages seen in 163 countries/territories
  • WEB-TV: > 1 000 000  videos seen

The medical commission: new studies for 2014

The medical commission was created in 2007, with the Club de Cardiologues Mont-Blanc Cœur et Sport (CMBCS) and the École Nationale de Ski et d'Alpinisme (ENSA).

It comprises of diverse members, medics and para-medics who actively participate in the event. Its first aim is to optimise the quality of the medical supervision of the runners. It has validated several research subjects, certain topics which have been the objects of official publications. Among the numerous studies that have been carried out: the trail-running population and their cardio-vascular risk, the different pathologies encountered while racing, the causes of abandonment, self-medication, the fatigue of great endurance and the problems of recuperation, digestive problems, addictive profiles, the effect of kinésiotaping, osteo-articular lesions and the pathology of feet in 2013. 

Following the scientific reports, the results of these questionnaires are presented (in a form which is comprehensible to most non-scientific people) on the event's web-site.The analysis of the results of these studies mean that preventative actions can be taken and/or information can be given concerning health problems specific to ultra-endurance. Each year, profiting from the very large number of athletes united for this event, specialists from all areas of medicine are interested in the physical and psychological health of ultra-endurance runners.

For 2014, there are new subjects on the programme; Notably three subjects will be tackled:

The work of this medical commission as well as the research initiated also help to considerably improve the quality of medical arrangements for the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®.

Health policy

To maintain the spirit and authenticity of the event, the organisation has for several years taken controlling and preventative actions concerning health issues so that the races are run fairly and even "ethically".

The runners benefit from all the services offered by  SPORT Protect :

  • A database of French medicines which gives their exact status with regard to the anti-doping legislation.
  • The presentation of the 10 Golden rules for keeping the integrity of competitions.
  • A database of food compliments, dietetic or cosmetic which conform to the anti-doping norm  NF V94-001.
  • The "Sportif Info Service" plan, which helps to easily find answers to all questions. A pharmacist, a scientist, a quality engineer and a psychologist are ready to answer your questions

The  SPORT Protect applications are equally available from smartphones which gives an accessible protection, anywhere in the world !

The organisation also shares information with

  • The web-site of the Worldwide Anti-doping Agency (AMA) www.wada-ama.org
  • The web-site of the French Agency for the Fight Against Doping www.afld.fr
  • Doping Prevention www.dopage.com
  • Wall Protect, anti-doping label for food compliments  www.wall-protect.com
  • National free phone number Ecoute dopage 0800 15 2000

Preventative action

The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® has set up a health policy; this action is steered by the Medical Counsel, internal to the organisation, composed only of doctors, who are able to ask the opinion of the specialists of their choice, and are charged to give  consultative advice to the race Jury concerning the medical state of participants.  Each runner, upon registration, agreed to respect the rules and therefore the decisions of this medical counsel. This action is not a substitute for national or international regulations concerning the fight against doping, the  Ultra-Trail® races being members of the  FFA, (Fédération Française d'Athlétisme) and to controls organised by the  AFLD (Agence Française de lutte contre le Dopage).

In 2013, checks using blood samples were carried out at the race-bib distribution on numerous runners and principally on the 60/80 favourites of the three races as well as a check of the first placed runners.  [more information at  www.ultratrailmb.com/page/5/Dopage.html]

The Health policy, which has been in place for the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® events since  2009, has evolved this year with the help of devices and support put in to place by the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) through its health pages.

The environment commission: so that the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® week becomes a model !

Created in 2006 and chaired by Jean-Claude Marmier, its mission is to measure the impact engendered by the event upon the environment, and to propose concrete action to protect it. Then a report is written on the event and suggestions of improvements or new actions which should be taken forward are made.

Waste management: preference for the re-usable and locally resourced

Everywhere where possible, the use of normal washable crockery for serving meals. In a country where spring water is abundant, "tap-water" is prioritised: this economises on 8000 plastic bottles and their transportation. The food present at the refreshment points is, by preference, bought locally (cheese, cold meats ...) to avoid unnecessary transportation and to involve local players.
Selective sorting of waste with pictogram labelling.

Ambassadors for the environment

In partnership with the Université de Savoie and Aster, 2 referents and around twenty volunteers on the ground  [the ambassadors for the environment ] have as their mission, to make the public aware of, and to respect ,the rules in natural environments. They are equally involved with the cleaning of the route before and after the event to measure the quantity of rubbish generated by the races. They are able to issue penalties in the case of not respecting the environment ! See the video of the 2013 action by going to: www.dailymotion.com/video/x1ls4xl_ultra-trail-l-environnement-est-une-priorite_sport


In partnership with Espace Mont-Blanc and the Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley's community of communes, an important communal transport plan has been put in place. More than 19 000 people  are transported by bus in order to limit the number of cars. Car Parks, free parking to compliment the panoply which has been set up.

This year, the transport plan has been improved again with a transport guide and a smartphone  application « Urban Pulse » which gives better up to date  information, for accompanying persons, runners, spectators etc..

All the actions, labels and collaborations at: www.ultratrailmb.com/page/59/Eco-responsabilite.html

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 OCCOrsières (Switzerland)
All day, finishers of the TDS™
Ultra-Trail® Salon
TDS™ Prize 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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