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.
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4 thoughts on “Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc Canceled Due To Bad Weather!”
this is such a shame for all those who have mentally and physically prepared. I understand that the welfare of the runners is important but for those running it must feel like a dream has been taken away.
My heart sank this morning when i read about the cancellation. I really feel bad for the 2 South Africans, Leo Rust and Guy Jennings that didn't have the opportunity now to fulfill a dream.
Canceling mountain races is rarely done, but definitely a part of the sport. BUT, the UTMB requires everyone to carry mandatory gear, which is a total PITA. So to require everyone to schlepp all this stuff during 10 years of good weather, then cancel the event during the one year of bad weather, is quite annoying. OTOH, the field is so large, rescues would be logistically impossible. Bottom line: the RD can always do whatever they want to do.
I was there.The cancellation has certainly been wise. The only real problem has been that not all the partecipants of UTMB as well as the ones of TDS (cancelled also) were given the possibilty to partecipate to the second start in Courmayer the day after. This second shorter race (similar to CCC) has been considered the 2010 UTMB. I verified by myself many complains for this decision.
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