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The medical commission

The medical commission, chaired by Dr. Laurence POLETTI, was set up in 2007, with the Club de Cardiologues Mont-Blanc Cœur et Sport (CMBCS) and the École Nationale de Ski et d’Alpinisme (ENSA).

It consists of diverse members of the medical and paramedical profession who actively participate in the event. One of the aims is to optimise the organisation of the medical follow-up of the runners. At the end of each event it contributes by making an assessment of the medical activity during the races and of the anti-doping actions taken advising the race directors on the measures to be taken.
It validates several research subjects, certain of which become official publications. Among the numerous studies carried out: the trail-running population and their cardio-vascular risks, pathologies present in running races, the fatigue of great endurance and recuperation problems, digestive problems, addicting profiles, the effect of kinesiotaping...
Following these scientific findings, the results of these surveys are presented (in a comprehensible form for the majority who are non-scientific) on the web-site.
The analysis of these studies allows the implementation of preventative initiatives and/or information in the domain of health problems specific to ultra endurance.

This vast field of study which is the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® may be open to every person who has already participated on the medical side of the event, or who has given their assistance during previous years. For this, those persons who are interested should contact the person in charge of the medical commission. The projects have to be submitted to, and approved by, the medical commission at their annual meeting, generally organised in March. A paper presenting the project should be submitted a month before this meeting, so that it may be circulated to all the different members of the commission.

Preventative actions concerning health matters

Initiated end of 2007 at the request of high calibre athletes with the following objective:

  • to conserve the spirit of our event and its authenticity,
  • to guarantee, by doing the best we can, that our races are run equitably,
  • to allow high calibre athletes to set an exemplary example by agreeing to perfectly complete transparency,
  • and, at the same time, addressing all runners.

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Cardio-vascular risks

The association Mont-Blanc Coeur et Sport, regional branch of the club of sports’ cardiologists, has been a partner of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® for several years. The presence of its members each year allows better information for the runners concerning cardio-vascular risks, giving the race’s medical team the possibility of specialist advice. The ultra-endurance theme is regularly tackled during scientific days organised by the club each year.

An "open door" for research

Each year, profiting from the very large numbers of athletes united for this event, specialists from all branches of medicine are interested in the physical and psychological health of ultra-endurance runners...

In 2012, the event supported several studies, such as a study on "Acute and chronic disorders associated with the practise of running ultra-trails", another on "The relation between sleep management and performance", the 2011 & 2012 study of "the effects of kinesiotaping" have been followed by, another study, "the 10th: what has become of the runners of the first UTMB®?" which was made to find out the consequences, mid and long term, of the regular practice of ultra-endurance.

Several projects will be carried out during the 2013 event:

  • Osteo-articular lesions in trail-runners
    Pr Julien GIRARD/ Dr Benjamin LEJEUNE (CHU of Lille)
    It will make known the current state of osteo-articular lesions in trail-runners and to specify the links between trail running and degenerative osteoarthritis of lower limbs. All with the aim of being able to offer suitable preventative measures, to adapt the training load of the arthritic subject, and to propose effective medical care adapted to runners suffering from degenerative osteoarthritis.
  • Injuries in Ultra-Trail
    Grégoire MILLET / Olivier BROGLIN (Institut des sciences du sport, Lausane)
    It envisages comparing the injuries experienced during trail races of Verbier, the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® races and the Tor des Géants. It will amongst others, pose the question of the influence of the race distance.
  • Pathology of feet and the traumatology of trail-running
    We also wished, this year, to develop a medical collaboration with the Western State Endurance Run, and we will offer you a questionnaire, common to the 2 races, at the beginning of August, studying the pathology of feet and the traumatology of trail running.

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