From the dream to reality, there is only one step …
... and then all the rest !
The first step to being at the start of one of the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc® races is to dream about it. It is this dream which led thousands of people to pre-register for this, the 10th edition.
Certainly, in reality, there are fewer places available than the number of runners who wish to participate. However, the main ally of the ultra runner is time; time to get ready, time to run, time to dream and …the time to place your feet on the ground.
If some people can, as from August 2012, pass into the phase of reality, others will have the possibility of achieving their dream in 2013, although they have time to get ready for it.
A draw which was severe, but necessary
The limitation of the number of runners on the start-line is essential for several reasons : to assure security, to adapt to the environment, the structures and the villages concerned, to respect the local authority authorisations, to respect the runners by avoiding "queues" on the sometimes narrow paths…
However we take no pride in the fact that we have to refuse so many runners. So, in order to avoid finding ourselves totally blocked, the 2013 registration criteria have been altered.
This letter concerns you whether you are running this year, in 2013 or at a future date.
A back-ward glance…
Since its first race in 2003, the UTMB® has been astonishingly successful with 700 runners registered, then 1600 in 2004. Since 2005, the UTMB® has had to be limited to 2000 participants. In 2006 registration was completed in 3 weeks. In 2007, a system of qualifying races was introduced to reduce the number of applicants, without resorting to financial or sporting competence choices which would have been against the ethics and our wishes. Despite that, registration was completed within 10 hours! The paroxysm was reached in 2008, when registrations were completed in less than 8 minutes, with around 7000 requests for the UTMB® and the CCC®.
In 2009, to accommodate this craze and in trying to find solutions which respected the runners, the organisation produced a new race (the TDS), a more demanding system of qualifying races and a system of pre-registration followed by an eventual draw.
From 2010, the number of requests once again soared (7 000) for the 4 races combined.
Despite the increase of requirements in terms of qualifying races (5 points rather than 4 for the UTMB®), the demands in 2011 still increased to a total of 7200.
This record has once again been beaten with a new high of 10 000 requests this year.
The 2012 figures :
75 nationalities represented !
Andorra, Argentina, Albania, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark, England, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Moldavia, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Norway, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Wales, Zimbabwe, phew!
44% of the runners are not French (40% in 2011, 38% in 2010)
This represents: 9% Spanish, 8% Italians, 5% British and, almost equally, 3% Belgium, Germans, Swiss and Japanese. We notice a rise in the number of Americans and a notable rise in the number of Polish, Portuguese and Argentinean runners.
The women? The level of participation is stable
8% on the UTMB®
13% on the CCC®
9% on the TDS
11% on the PTL
The average age increases with the distance
40,7 years old on theCCC®
42,8 years old on the TDS
43,2 years old on the UTMB®
45,5 years old on the PTL
54% of participants will be competing in one of the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® events for the first time:
UTMB® : 43% - CCC® : 76% - TDS : 36% - PTL : 24%