UTMB TDS’ First Tragedy

Image Source: UTMB

The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) is a single-stage mountain ultramarathon, first held in 2003, that follows the route of the Tour du Mont Blanc.

The UTMB races consist of the following:

  • UTMB: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (171 km +10,040 m)
  • CCC: Courmayeur – Champex – Chamonix (101 km +6,100 m)
  • TDS: Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (121 km +7,300 m)
  • OCC: Orsières – Champex – Chamonix (56 km +3,460 m)
  • PTL: La Petite Trotte à Léon (approx. 300 km +30,000 m)
  • MCC: De Martigny-Combe à Chamonix (40 km +2,300 m)
  • YCC: Youth Chamonix Courmayeur (15 km +1,100 m)

First time in the history of UTMB TDS that a fatal tragedy happened when one of its participants have died due to a serious accident on the descent of the Passeur de Pralognan.

https://utmbmontblanc.com/en/mag/231

At 12:25am CET on Wednesday 25th August, the UTMB® Mont-Blanc Race Committee was informed that a TDS®runner had a serious accident on the descent of the Passeur de Pralognan. This section of the course has been a part of many previous editions of the TDS®. There were dedicated safety and security resources present to support athletes in this part of the course.
The runner involved in the incident is a Czech national, and out of respect for the family, the organizers will respect their anonymity.
The rescue team at the top of the pass responded to the scene immediately after the accident. State services were then notified, with a request for helicopter support. Despite all the care given to him, the runner succumbed to his injuries. The runner’s relatives have been informed.
The large family of trailers, and more particularly those of the UTMB®, are deeply saddened and join the organizers in offering their condolences to the family and friends of the victim.
Neutralization of TDS® at Passeur de Pralognan
During the helicopter evacuation, runners were stopped at the Passeur de Pralognan. Due to the duration of the evacuation effort, and to ensure the safety of the runners, the race committee determined that the safest course of action was to stop the race for some 1,200 runners who were instructed to turn around and go to Bourg Saint-Maurice.
The current focus of the race organization is to ensure the safe return of the runners to Bourg Saint-Maurice where they are being met and transported.
293 runners had already passed the Passeur de Pralognan before the accident and continued their race. They are expected to finish from 10am CET onwards at the Place du Triangle de l’Amitié in Chamonix.

The TDS is an Ultramarathon race which is part of the UTMB Festival. It covers a distance of 119km and a healthy 7250m of ascent. TDS is an acronym for “Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie” (following the footprints of the Dukes of Savoie).

The winners for the 2021 Ultra-Trail Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie…

  • Erik-Sebastian Krogvig of Norway won the men’s division in 18 hours and 49 minutes.
  • Frenchwoman Manon Bohard became the winner after 23 hours and 11 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the Ultra-Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) 2021…

  • French François D’Haene won the event for the men’s category of UTMB 2021. This is his fourth win for UTMB.
  • And, American Courtney Dauwalter won the for the women’s category of UTMB 2021. This is her second wind for UTMB.

Sources:

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