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Keeping ultra runners healthy and the sport ethical - The ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® races

by Press Release
Thursday 16th July 2015
Tags  ULTRA-TRAIL DU MONT-BLANC   |   UTMB   |   CCC   |   COURMAYEUR-CHAMPEX-CHAMONIX   |   TDS   |   SUR LES TRACES DES DUCS DE SAVOIE   |   PTL   |   La Petite Trotte a Leon   |   Chamonix

Race news: Race news: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® - August 24-30, 2015

The medical counsel was created in 2007, with the participation of the Club Mont-Blanc Cœur et Sport (CMBCS) and the École Nationale de Ski et d'Alpinisme (ENSA). It is made up of diverse doctors and paramedics who actively participate in the event.

One of its objectives is to optimise the organisation of the runners' medical follow-ups. It contributes, at the end of each year's races, by producing a report on the medical activity during the races, actions against doping and advises the race management on the measures which should be taken.

It has validated several research projects, some of which have been officially published. Among the numerous projects which have been realised are: The trail-running population and their cardio-vascular risk; The pathologies occurring in races, The causes of abandonment of races, self-medication, the fatigue of great endurance and the problems of recuperation, digestive problems, the addictive profiles, the effects of  Kinésio Taping, Ultra-Endurance and postural stability, etc..

Following some scientific interchange, the results of these enquiries are presented (in a comprehensible form for most non-scientific minds) on the web-site Ultratrailmb.com

Health, a priority

Each year, benefiting from the very large number of athletes gathered for this event, specialists of all medical bodies are interested in the physical and psychological well-being of ultra-endurance runners. The work of this medical counsel, as well as the research which is initiated, allows for the continued improvement of the quality of the medical plan for theUltra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®.

In 2014, three studies (Sport and femininity, Sleep and vigilance and Postural stability) were carried out during the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®. The results will be published on the web-site very shortly.

Three new studies have been agreed for this the thirteenth UTMB® in 2015.

They will take place thanks to voluntary participation of runners registered for the race.

1) Study on the prevention of hyponatremia linked with effort:

During an ultra-endurance event, runners suffer from serious dehydration with an import loss of salt. This phenomena is known by everybody and the major risk is hyponatremia which linked to effort can lead, in extreme cases, to cerebral oedema. 

The objectives of the study: To evaluate the impact of the protocol "when thirsty" (understanding that you drink when you feel thirsty) compared to other usual hydration methods on the evolution of serum sodium levels in the runners of the 2015 UTMB®.

2) Study of runners with a prosthetic hip or knee :

Doctors have noticed an increase in the number of patients practising sporting activities with their prosthetic hip and/or knee without being able to measure the exact number, nor the consequences. A study is therefore being carried out  to measure this phenomena during the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® races and to then evaluate the eventual consequences.

The objectives of the study:

  • To define specific training programmes.
  • To understand the eventual limits.
  • To continue to improve surgical techniques so as to favour sporting practise with a replacement joint.

3) Study of sleep and vigilance :

This study started during the 2013 and 2014 races, is continuing this year: testing the vigilance before the start, during and at the end of the race.

The objectives of the study:

  • To better understand at what moment the loss of vigilance appears and to what extent it shows itself.
  • To formulate precise advice relative to sleep in the days preceding, and during, the race so as to improve the runners vigilance and therefore their security as well as their performance.


Health policy

To maintain the spirit of the event and its authenticity, the organisers of the UTMB®  have for several years carried out actions to control the regulations and matters of health, ensuring that the races take place equitably and even "ethically".

The Health Policy  in place for the the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® events since 2009 has evolved with the help of the tools and supports set up by the  International Trail-Running Association (ITRA) through its Health pages.

These Health pages, have been made available to runners free of charge by the International Trail-Running Association (ITRA), and were realised in collaboration with the Association Athletes For Transparency (AFT).

The on-line platform, named SHOL (Sport and Health On Line), allows for increased prevention and protection of the athlete's health.

The health page like the SHOL platform, allows for total respect of medical confidentiality. Only the runner has access to their page to keep it up to date and only doctors can consult it should the need arise.

Participants may also attach different information of a medical kind: medical certificates, declarations  of Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), medical history, treatments in progress, allergies...(free service). The declaration of the famous TUEs allow for the respecting of regulations concerning anti-doping and for the runners to be given treatments before, during or after the race in the best conditions.

The organisers, via their Medical Counsel, may study the  information supplied by the runners and complete the participants' medical profiles through the analyses realised in situ.

The platform may also contain information on who to contact in the case of an emergency or any other information which could help gain precious minutes in an emergency treatment.


Or how to experience a fabulous adventure through 5 ultra-endurance events around Mont-Blanc !

UTMB® [Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®] : 3 countries
170km and 10 000m ascent in semi-autonomy
2300 runners at the start on Friday August 28th  at 17:30
from Chamonix to Chamonix in 46hrs max.

CCC® [Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix] : 3 countries
100km and 6 000m ascent in semi-autonomy   
1900 runners at the start on Friday August 28th at 09:00
from Courmayeur to Chamonix in 26 1/2 hrs max.

TDS® [sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie] :
119 km and 7 250m ascent in semi-autonomy
1600 runners at the start on Wednesday August 26th at  06:00
from Courmayeur to Chamonix in 33hrs max.

PTL® [la Petite Trotte à Léon] : 3 countries
Around 300km and 26,000m ascent in complete autonomy
A non-stop event without ranking open to 100 teams (250 runners max).
Starts Monday August 24th at 17:30
from Chamonix to Chamonix in 142hrs max.

OCC [Orsières-Champex-Chamonix] :
53 km and 3300m ascent in semi-autonomy
1200 runners at the start on Thursday August 27th at 08:15
from Orsières to Chamonix in 14 hrs max.



Monday, August 24th  - Chamonix
17:30 : Start of the  PTL®

Tuesday August 25th  - Chamonix
13:00- 19:00 : Ultra-Trail® Salon and  TDS®Race-bib distribution

Wednesday August 26th  - Courmayeur and Chamonix
07:00 : Start of the  TDS®, Courmayeur (Italy)
10:00-19:00 : Ultra-Trail® Salon and Race-bib distribution
22h00 : First TDS® finishers      

Thursday August 27th  - Chamonix
08:00 : Start of the OCC, Orsières (Switzerland)
All through the day TDS® finishers
10h00- 19h00 : Ultra-Trail® Salon
13:00 : First OCC finishers

Friday August 28th  - Courmayeur and Chamonix
09:00 : Start of the CCC®, Courmayeur (Italy)
09:00- 13:00 : Ultra-Trail® Salon
17:30 : Start of the UTMB®
20:30 : First CCC® finishers

Saturday August 29th  - Chamonix
Throughout the morning CCC® finishers
14:00 : First UTMB® finishers

Sunday August 30th  - Chamonix
Throughout the day arrival of UTMB®finishers
15:00 : Official Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® closing ceremony 
15:30 : Last arrival of UTMB® and PTL® finishers


To find out more, please check out www.ultratrailmb.com
Facebook : www.facebook.com/UltraTrailMontBlanc


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