One of the toughest endurance events in the world got underway earlier today, and then was promptly canceled part way in. The North Face Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc was stopped 31 miles in due to severe weather on the trail, particularly at higher altitude. Detail are still a bit sketchy at this time, but a press conference is expected to take place shortly with the race director explaining the situation. As of this writing, the athletes are all being shuttled back to Chamonix.
The UTMB is an ultramarathon that takes place annually crossing through the Alps and covering more than 100 miles, and passing through France, Italy, and Switzerland. It routine attracts some of the best long distance endurance athletes in the world, and is considered one of the crown jewels in the ultramaraton schedule each year. The trail is a loop around Mont Blanc that typically requires about 20 hours to complete, with the bulk of the racers finishing in the 30-40 hour range
From reports from the race, it seems that many of the racers are quite upset with this turn of events. I’m sure that the race management team only has their best interest in mind, but after training for months to prepare for the run, it can be quite disappointing to have it end like this.
I’m sure we’ll know more on this story soon.