Security

SECURITY

The UTMB® is neither a marathon nor ordinary trail race. Security is everybody’s affair.

We as organisers must keep you informed and give you the tools which will help to ensure your safety.
Even the best runners are not sheltered from injury which may immobilise them during the night, in the cold under snow, or rain in the midst of the mountains. However, do not forget that various hazards, linked to the environment and the race, could mean that you have to wait longer for help than you might expect. Your security depends, therefore, on the quality of that you have put in your pack.

ENVIRONMENT
& THE WEATHER

The UTMB®, CCC®, TDS® and OCC are all races which take place in open country, in mountainous terrain, far from networks (roads, telecommunications…) with weather conditions which can change very fast even at the end of August (snow, hail, fog, heat (>30°) or intense cold (<-10°) with or without a violent wind…). Advice along the route:

  • Do not stop at high points
  • If you lose sight of the way-markers: turn round and go back to the previous marker
  • Stay on the paths

EQUIPMENT

Your safety depends upon the quality of that which you have in your pack.
The obligatory equipment is explained in the regulations on page 9 of this guide.

  • Anticipate the cold as well as extreme heat
  • Don’t wait to shiver before covering yourself up
  • Don’t change in full wind: anticipate or wait to be sheltered
  • Protect yourself against the sun

Walking poles: watch what you do with your poles particularly at the beginning of the race when there is a high human density. Do not wear the wrist straps on the descents:  in case of a rough fall wrist-straps prevent the suitable use of the hands (injuries to shoulders, wrists, forearm or more seriously the head).

EATING AND DRINKING

Hydration and the consumption of energising snacks must be adapted to the meteorological conditions and enriched in salt throughout the effort.
Keep a good balance between slow and rapid release sugars
Find our health advices here

FATIGUE AND VIGILANCE

Rest areas are available at refreshment posts for a few moments sleep. It is dangerous to stop to sleep alone in open country. Fatigue and the lack of vigilance can be the cause of an accident.
Run within your limits (above all over the first part) keeping your energy for later to surmount difficult situations which may arise such as a sudden change of weather conditions

ALERT IN AN EMERGENCY

You or another competitor are in difficulty and immobilised:

  • Telephone network available:
    Use your mobile/cell phone to contact race HQ, give your position and reference point.
    Contact race HQ on the emergency number +33 4 50 53 47 51
    or the emergency priority number 112 in France and Italy, 144 in Switzerland
  • Telephone network unavailable:
    Alert a member of the organisation or other competitors.

ATTENTION : It is obligatory that you don't leave a person in difficulty on their own
Check that the number that you have given us as an emergency contact number is that of the person who you wish to be contacted in the case of a problem.

*A mobile/cell phone is obligatory: with the option of international roaming activated throughout the race, with a full battery (think about de-activating certain options to save on battery use…). Do not for any reason deactivate your telephone because we must be able to contact you at any time before, during or after the race. Smartphones are highly recommended for using the LiveTrail® app which is indispensable for your security. It is obligatory that you can receive text alerts before, during and after the race (stoppage of the race, change of itinerary…)

Individual insurance Obligatory

Repatriation by helicopter costs between 800 and 3000 euros. Every year, runners are caught out by not having been farsighted enough. Nevertheless, the UTMB® regulation is clear: each runner has to be in ownership of individual accident insurance covering possible expenses of search and rescue in France, Italy and Switzerland.
Such insurance maybe taken out with any agent, of your choice.
For those runners who are members of the ITRA (International Trail Running Association) it is now possible to subscribe to an Assistance -Repatriation insurance which will cover any search and rescue costs world-wide. More information on www.itra.run

 

LIVETRAIL4RUNNERS

New LiveTrail® app for runners.
The equivalent of a personal pacer on your smartphone
The LiveTrail® app is by now the reference interface for security.
In the case of SOS, it will send, via text message, your GPS position to the organisation.
You will get helped a lot faster! Beware, you will need however to call the race HQ (PC Course) (Emergency N° +33 4 50 53 47 51)
Bring with you an external battery so that you can use LiveTrail4runners throughout the race.

Download: IOS  -  Android

Safety in the mountains

Safety in the mountains

A word from Christophe Boloyan, High Mountain guide and director of the  Chamoniarde.

The Chamoniarde is a society concerned with the prevention and safety in the mountains whose mission is to develop information, training and prevention on safety in the Mont-Blanc massif.  It also coordinates, in certain conditions, the means of rescue on the Chamonix territory. It collaborates actively with the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® in the development of security during all of the races.


UTMB - Safety and obligatory equipment (english) par UltraTrailMontBlanc

What are the principles of safety in the mountains ?

« Each runner is responsible for their own safety. In the mountains, autonomy is a key notion which must always take priority over that of the competition. To be autonomous, it is essential to take care of one's own health and know how to self-assess. Think about eating and drinking regularly. Be attentive to symptoms  which could a warning: nausea, difficulty in urinating, blood in the urine, tachycardia, hypothermia or hyperthermia. In the case of a problem, ask yourself the question: am I able to get to the next refreshment post without putting my health in danger?  In the case of being unable to continue, call the race HQ on  +33 4 50 53 47 51, or the emergency number 112. Be aware that even if the organisation has developed a successful and complete plan to help to guarantee the safety of competitors on all the race routes, various hazards connected to the mountain environment or the race may keep you waiting for help for longer than anticiapted. »

What do you think about the obligatory material required by the organisation of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®  ?

« All the obligatory material listed in the regulations as well as the additional material which is recommended by the UTMB® organisation is useful. There is nothing superfluous. In the mountains the weather conditions change very fast and these changes are not always foreseeable in advance. At the end of August at 2000m altitude, the temperature can descend to -10°, it can snow heavily or hail. Two pieces of practical advice: if you use your survival blanket, put it under your clothes and not over them and think about protecting your dry clothes in your pack by wrapping them in plastic. »

What to do when confronted by a runner who is injured or in difficulty  ?

«Solidarity is an essential value in the mountains. Assisting a runner who is injured or in difficulty is an absolute must. If you meet a person in difficulty, speak to them, ask them how they feel, give the alert and stay with them until help arrives.»

In case of a problem, what is the correct way to give the alert?

«The location of the victim and the nature of their problem or injury are the import pieces of information for the rescuers. To help you give a relatively precise location, and help the work of the rescue teams, there are reference points all along the race route (around every thirty minutes for the slower runners). These markers are composed of a colour, a letter and a figure. If you are in difficulty, you need to sate the last reference that you passed. These markers are conceived in such a way that even if you only remember one of the three elements, it allows us to reduce the search perimeter. According to the organisation's regulations, you must, obligatorily, have a mobile/cell phone with international roaming and a fully charged battery with you. To save your battery, think about de-activating the options such as bluetooth® and 3G functions.»

And performance  ?

Other than your safety, your performance will be optimal if you have adequate material. How can you open a zip when your fingers are numb with cold? Good light at night appreciably diminishes the sense of tiredness. A serious loss or excess of heat are sources of wasted energy... Save the maximum amount of energy for running !