At last! At last it was good weather! The roguish sun which for three years was so cowardly finally made its presence felt. The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®, gathering the diversities of the four events of different characters, for each the music, enthusiasm and optimism provoked such emotion that we could have been performing Handel's Messiah, so intense was the feeling of liberation from good weather conditions. If rain is an almost unavoidable element of a race in the mountains, this fantastic light gave the 2013 Ultra-Trail® a special seal of approval. (...)
Since its first hour, The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® has been an adventure shared by runners, volunteers, partners… but not only them. We would like you also to share it with your family, your friends and the associations for whom you are running…! Whatever your role, whether you be a runner, a volunteer, a spectator, an accompanying person, or just curious, your adventure will be unique, personal and indelible. Live race coverage coupled with images from WebTV allows everybody, present at the foot of Mont-Blanc or not, to participate in the party. (...)
I am confident … That's normal I've trained well! The weather? … It should be fine, it has been complicated 3 times now, it will certainly be good this time!... If one thing is certain, it is that nobody can choose the weather and everybody, runners and organisers, must adapt themselves to it. To adapt several routes are possible; to have all which is necessary, not to be tired at the start, to have a moral of steel, to rely on oneself before relying on others… and the organisation will do the rest!? (...)
During the week of The North Face® Ultra-Trail of Mont Blanc®, we involve more than 150 persons, drivers and volunteers, to assure 600 bus departures. No need to push the equations any further to understand that this constitutes thousand trips by car which are avoided. Our role starts here: to organise a big party, to control its impact to the maximum, to guaranty the equity (...)[Click here to see the complete newsletter]
To an innocent spectator, a trail-runner's training could resemble a routine, run, run and run again to build up to their bodies and their mental capacity so they have endurance over big distances. It's the same, seen from the outside, for an organisation of trails, every year preparing the registration, the courses, the provisions, recruitment of the volunteers… a routine ! (...)
To run ultras, is to know how to improvise, to think differently, and even to think back to front. When a difficulty emerges, when we exceed new distances, when it is necessary to choose whether to stop or to continue, it is just necessary to able to think back to front. To be able to think back to front so as not to listen to the little devil of comfort, to make the dream accessible, to clench the teeth rather than resting the pack at the side of the path. But there is a particular point at which trail-runners have difficulty in distinguishing between back to front and in place. Must they put performance before thinking of their health or is it vice-versa? (...)
Practised at first by some nature lovers, trail-running naturally developed around common values such as authenticity, respect, solidarity and equity. During these last few years, we have seen a very large increase in the number of different races and followers (organisers and runners coming from different horizons and sometimes very different disciplines) who each in their own way have enriched the world of trail-running.
We have however recently observed a certain drift which could eventually tarnish the image of our beautiful sport (...).
Everybody agrees that the environment should be respected…. However, because one hears this kind of speech almost everywhere, it can lose its impact and finally not receive any firm action.
We are lucky enough to benefit from a grandiose stage on which the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® occurs and we have the immense pleasure of giving you the chance to discover, or rediscover, it each year. To protect it, it is advisable to become aware of its fragility, everybody is concerned: organisers, runners, spectators, accompanying persons and partners (...).
Extreme solitude. If you are going to run in the mountains at the end of August, 2013, it is maybe to feel this exhilarating sensation to finding yourself alone confronting yourself, alone confronting the elements, in the grand and merciless nature, confronting your demons, also, and why not confronting your guardian angels. Among the latter, certain are truly real, truly concrete…and really useful. Numerous of you come with your family, friends, club members or simply devotees. They are here with you, for you according to coherence - or an incoherence - which concerns only them. We have, always for our part, considered them to be an integral part of the party (...).
Bodies and spirits are in the process of being gently built up in order to cross all the passes of one of the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® events, we rely on you to arrive on-form and as motivated as ever for the start of the race.
However, physical or mental breakdowns are not the only risks which may affect you, it will also be necessary for you to avoid the affects of heat or cold, injuries, or getting lost … In brief to adapt yourself to the mountain, watch out for yourself and for others (...).
To answer all those who have said that you are mad to have signed up to suffer dozens of kilometres around the mountain you may tell them that: the pleasure starts today, here, now. The pleasure to have, at last, managed to gain entry for one of the most incredible events of which you are the heroes. The happiness of beginning able to cross off the days. The delight of planning, during each of your training sessions, by dreaming of future moments crossing passes on your roller coaster ride around the alpine mountains. The happiness that you find in the middle of a pack consisting of 74 nationalities. All that remains to settle is the question of the suffering…. Wait no longer; start training and building up your mental and physical strength progressively (...).
Has registering for the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® become banal? Thousand of trail-runners, men and women, have already done so before you, and maybe you are going to be tempted to register for a second, third, fourth or even eleventh time. Whether in the top ten or the depths of the pack, you nevertheless have something which sparks in you, which begins to spin like the calm before the storm. Is it the rendezvous of your life? Your heart is going to thump for sure that the moment you register, as if it were the rehearsal for the start from Chamonix or Courmayeur. This excitement which is born in you is the sum of the promises that you will keep to reach your objective. If it is so beautiful and if life is good, as from today, it is because everything was built patiently, over time, through the values that we all share(...)
Once again the weather conditions around Mont Blanc at the end of August proved to be particularly difficult. If you lined up at the start of one of the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® races this year you should know that it was a real challenge and one that you should be proud of (...)
This year Mr DURANT is running in one of the events of the North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® and all his family, friends, friends' families, neighbours, work colleagues, his maths teacher from school and his angora cat would really like to follow him. Yes well, he might have been a whiz kid at Tetris in his youth, but he won't manage to fit everybody who would like to go with him, to the Mont Blanc country, into a Twingo …
Never mind, we have thought of everything (except maybe for the cat) and nobody will miss a stride of his adventure! (...)
The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® has become an exceptional event, a summit in all respects, in which more than forty thousand runners have taken part. To hail the "tenth", we have chosen to publish a film and two books which will …stand out! (...)
I'm confident…..that's normal I have been training hard!
I am going to fly along the paths; no roots are going to trip me up because I have incarnate agility. No sudden fatigue can overcome my determination to get to the end faultlessly, I have been preparing for this for too long! I have a good jacket, I can thus face all types of weather and then in any case if the conditions become too bad the organisers will stop the race. In short, nothing can happen to me! (...)
The anti-doping legislation being extremely complex, very often makes it difficult to find one's way around it. Every month, new medicines and nutritional products are launched on the market which may contain forbidden substances. Furthermore, a lot of you come from far away and are not maybe used to the medicines sold on the French soil. When you consume a product, whatever it is, we would like remind you that your responsibility is systematically engaged (...).
Ein Auto ist angenehm, praktisch, nicht sehr umweltfeindlich und es bringt einen vor allem überall dorthin, wo man will. Wenn Sie Ende August an den Start des UTMB®, des CCC®, des TDSTM oder sogar des PTLTM kommen wollen, stellen Sie sich sicher nicht die Frage nach dem Wie, so selbstverständlich erscheint alles. Das ist jedoch schlecht ! Wenn wir uns die Mühe machen, Ihnen diesen Newsletter zu schreiben, so deshalb, weil wir Ihnen ein Schuldgefühl geben wollen, besser gesagt, weil wir Ihnen zeigen wollen, dass man auch anders denken kann. Und zusätzlich möchten wir Ihnen einige Ratschläge geben. (...)
Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc® … UTMB® … This name, this acronym, over the years, has become loaded with an incredible strength. From your memories, some of you will say to yourselves: " Ten years already … " Others will relive the emotions of the past, during a night-crossing of the finishing line or a passage over a col not necessarily well identified, a meeting, sharing, exploits, heroism … finisher… yes, it is good to become a finisher. As the outcome of a long journey which finds its climax under the roof of Europe, guardian of the alpine peaks, friendly host of both a monstrous and fabulous layout at the same time. The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc® is all this, and much more? (...)
Is it necessary to be healthy to be successful or is it the performance which leads to good
health? An illusory question which occurs to most of us, but which hides the essential, to know whether, health itself matters, without adding to it the stress at the notion of competition. Understand that trail running, and in particular ultra-trail running, needs, above all, a good general physical condition, one that gives the choice between sport and suffering, between pleasure and pain. Our medical commissions all work with this spirit: sport in good health, sport to be in good health. And as hallucinating as it seems, one finds more and more good reasons for recommending the ultra trail to achieve one's physical development. No you are not dreaming, but dream no more, it can hurt all the same when trying to finish a UTMB®, CCC®, TDSTM or PTLTM (...)
Nature… It is doubtless for this reason that you run one of the races around Mont Blanc at the end of August. It seems timeless thus indestructible, magnificent thus unchanging, but nevertheless in the same way that we are, it is affected by the passage of time and by being mistreated. We often believe we know it, because after all we are a part of it, but no, we are not marmots, nor chamois, and our passage leaves traces. Every year, we find evidence, every year we remind you that it is necessary to be extremely vigilant, and we shall continue to do so. Being extremely vigilant, means that it is necessary to pick up a gel packet, if you see one, even if you did not drop it. It means that you have no right to drop a wrapper whether deliberately or inadvertently. Extremely vigilant also means that you have to set an example, as a trail runner, for the walkers whose path you will cross, for your accompanying persons or for your children. And this exemplary behaviour naturally starts with you. To become, or stay, extremely vigilant, follow us by reading this new newsletter. Become a ghost, so that Nature stays as it was before your passage through it, timeless and indestructible (...).
[Click here to see the complete newsletter]
If you are reading this letter, there is no doubt that you are going to run the UTMB®, CCC® or the TDSTM. Yet, this time, we are not addressing you directly but those sympathetic people who will maybe help you to arrive at the finishing line in Chamonix. Generally known as "accompanying persons", but, maybe, you know them as "darling", "Peter", "Martina", "my mate", or some similar nickname, acquired through complicity and years of life together. You bring them to do, the Tour with you, a Grand Tour with a capital "G" and "T", a Grand Tour of Mont-Blanc, and they know nothing, or almost nothing about that which awaits them. So, therefore the best method of giving them all the key information, the best anti-stress recipes, is to get them to read this letter, which is addressed to them, attentively. By registering as "accompanying persons", they will benefit from a page dedicated to them where they will find all the necessary information: passing times of runners, opening times of refreshment posts, a guide especially for them, a detailed transport plan… No, that is not all! They can also receive SMS/text messages giving them all the information on timings of their runner, advice….And no, that is not the end, the rest is below for them to read, then act upon(...).
[Click here to see the complete newsletter]
If you think that a tutu is enough to protect you from hail. If you think that a pair of shorts and a T-shirt will help you to overcome the cold of the mountain. If you think, that at more than 2000 m altitude, there is always good weather because you are closer to the sun. If you think that in summer in mountains, at 3 am in the morning, you always see stars. If you think that by making a fire you can call for assistance. If you think that the other competitors have eyes which will resist the points of your poles. If you think you do not need water because you were a camel in another life. If you think that over-trousers just serve as a handkerchief. If you think that a head torch works even better with worn batteries … If you think of all this, or even the only one of these hypothetical beliefs, then do not hesitate any more, contact us or, please, read what follows. Certainly, it is good to float in imagination, to remain creative and to live in a world of dreams. A pinch of reason, a touch of practical spirit, a zest of lucidity, associated to this overflowing optimism and which will always amaze us, should always help you to become a finisher (...)
[Click here to see the complete newsletter]
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 (...)