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2014 PTL - a homage to Jean-Claude Marmier

by Press Release
Tuesday 19th August 2014

Race news: The PTL® (La Petite Trotte à Léon) - Monday August 25-31, 2014

On August 25, 2014 more than 100 teams will start out on this adventure, with one thought in particular.

On Thursday July 24th, the  PTL® was orphaned: while on a reconnaissance trip for the  PTL® accompanied by Jacqueline and Guy Ecochard and Isabelle Juchat ( Project assistant, PTL® ), its director Jean-Claude Marmier was the victim of a heart attack.

Colonel Jean-Claude Marmier was the founder of the Groupe Militaire de Haute Montagne, then  President of the Fédération Française de la Montagne et de l'Escalade. He wrote the most beautiful pages of the history of French mountaineering, participated in numerous expeditions,  realising 'firsts' in both the Alps and the Himalaya. His passion for the mountains then led him to trail-running and ultra-endurance racing. He was one of the band of nine "pals" who founded the Trailers du Mont-Blanc and his strategic vision and experience was of great service to the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®.

Michel Poletti, on behalf of all trail-runners paid a vibrant tribute to him : "You were  one of a small group of nine people  who conceived the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®. In 2003, you were on the starting line for the first UTMB®... Of 663 participants, only 67 crossed he finishing line in Chamonix and, naturally, you were one of those valiant finishers. But listening to you, it wasn't much, just a long walk... nothing more difficult... In 2004, once again you were at the start, but not alone.  With Natacha who had broken her wrist, you knew how to convince her that being unable to climb to the summit of Mont-Blanc you were going to run the UTMB® together : «you just have to walk at 4kph  » you told her, and of course, you made it to be, hand in hand, "Finishers".

"During these last 12 years you devoted yourself to the event, without counting the hours. For eight years you were our treasurer; In 2006, when we created our environment commission, you quite naturally accepted the presidency.

"Your love, you respect and your immense knowledge of mountain and its people provided the guide lines for our work. You were a man who didn't make concessions so, every time something displeased you, you did not hesitate to say so loud and clear. You were a man who, at first sight seemed to have a thick shell, sometimes prickly, but in fact you revealed, to those who had the chance to be close to you, a rare compassion.

"In 2008, your thirst for adventure lead you, naturally, to become the director of the PTL®. This new event, which we wanted to be different from other races, was intended to relight the flame of the pioneering spirit of the first years, to transcend our values of authenticity, sharing and solidarity. This challenge, you achieved beyond our wildest dreams. You made the PTL® a school of fraternity, gathering around you a team - your team - of impassioned volunteers, united, devoted and who have woven, throughout the years, bonds of friendship with the runners. You have designed enlightening routes, which only a lover of trail-running and the high mountains could ever have possibly imagined. Routes within the confines of hiking, opening out onto the higher mountain, more mineral and wilder. Routes which were renewed each year, offering each time a new and more marvellous journey of 300km on foot in the heart of our mountain massifs."

The organisation confirms the start of the Petite Trotte à Léon on August 25th at 17:30, under collective management.

Certainly all the runners, the organisation and above all the dedicated team of PTL® volunteers are particularly anxious to direct each moment of this 2014 event as a homage to Jean-Claude Marmier throughout the 300km of the route.

Because Jean-Claude and his knowledge can not be replaced by one single person, a race committee has been formed in order to gather together all the necessary competences required for directing this event:

  • Patrick Deschamps and Guy Ecochard, assistants to Jean-Claude over the last couple of years, have the knowledge of the finer details of the organisation of the PTL® 
  • Isabelle Juchat,  PTL® trainee, will ensure the general coordination of the  organisation of the PTL®  
  • Alberto Motta, Italian vice-president of the Trailers du Mont-Blanc and one of the founders of the  PTL®, who, with his knowledge of the route and his experience, will assure the coordination of security
  • Lucio Trucco, mountain guide from Courmayeur, responsible for security on the ground
  • Michel Poletti, initiator of the  PTL®, who, with his knowledge of the route and his experience, will ensure the coordination with the totality of the event.

For more information visit: www.ultratrailmb.com/page/23/PTL%C2%AE.html


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