UTMB® Mont-Blanc: The end of this emotional 2021 edition
There were many emotional moments on this UTMB® Mont-Blanc 2021. Memories too. Starting with the PTL® and its departure from Switzerland for the modern-day heroes who came to experience the adventure of a lifetime with their fellow climbers. The PTL® and its staggering figures, 300km and 25,000 metres of ascent to be completed in less than 151 hours. No ranking but teams finishing side by side, drenched in sweat, helmets attached to their bags, frank and emotional hugs and that mountain spirit so palpable at the finish.
There was also a good deal of emotional moments on the MCC with its 1,000 runners from the valley, partners, volunteers and members of the organisation. The explorer Mike Horn also came to have a go at trail running with his daughters. Everyone agreed that the race was outstanding, both for the atmosphere and for the trail. And all will remember running through the Balme pass, cheered on by the volunteers, the azure sky, its breath-taking views and all the wonderful moments of celebration, as if suspended in time.
On the YCC, the enthusiasm of the runners in the making thrilled the families who came to cheer them on, and the onlookers who came to enjoy the festive and friendly atmosphere. Congratulations to Lilian Burnet Vernier and Chiara Tramontana for their victory.
There was sadness too. On Tuesday night, the TDS® was in mourning, and with it the entire trail running family. Its winners were nonetheless celebrated, rising to the occasion of their performance: the Frenchwoman Manon Bohard and the Norwegian Erik-Sebastian Krogvig, and with them the Italian Giuditta Turini, the Hungarian Ildiko Wermescher, and the Frenchmen Benoit Girondel and Arthur Joyeux Bouillon, all six on the TDS® podium.
The start of the OCC lifted the spirits of the runners and spectators, with its exceptional line-up and the good weather holding up. In the end, two champions won for the first time on this race, the French Blandine L'Hirondel and the British Jonathan Albon, two discreet and endearing runners. Mathilde Sagnes (FR), Caitlin Felder (USA), Robbie Simpson (UK) and Peter Engdhal (SE) completed the podium of this OCC (56Km and 3,500m of ascent) which is increasingly popular with runners.
This was followed by the presentation of the elites and the tension was palpable around the main race, the UTMB®, announced the following day. Before that, it was the turn of the CCC® to occupy centre stage. Back from an injury, Thibaut Garrivier ran a perfect race and raised his arms in victory after 10 hours and 23 minutes of effort, accompanied by the Spaniard Marta Molist Codina, who was also very emotional. Scott Hawker (NZ) and Thibaut Baronian (FR) will pose with the winner for this CCC® 2021 finish photo! In the women's race, Abby Hall (USA) and Petra Sevčíková (CZ) will also be celebrated and awaited by photographers and the public to immortalise their moment of glory, as will the hundreds of enthusiasts who continued to cross the finish line, up until nearly 27 hours into the race.
On Friday and the start of the UTMB®, emotions were running high and a special tribute was paid to the deceased Czech runner. The runners set off for 170 km around Mont-Blanc and with them, the public who followed them along the route in an atmosphere of popular exhilaration: cheering on all along the paths, hands outstretched and chants of "go, go" pronounced in several languages for this splendid and great return of the UTMB® Mont-Blanc. François D'Haene was the main favourite and won the race to become the most successful runner of the event ahead of Kilian Jornet, with 4 victories. Courtney Dauwalter delivered a brilliant performance. Following her win in 2019, she repeated with ease to finish 7th overall and set the new record for the women's race in 22 hours and 30 minutes. An extraordinary performance set in stone here in Chamonix. Camille Bruyas finished second for her first participation in the UTMB®, accompanied by the Swede Mimmi Kokta who finally finished this event that was so close to her heart.
This Sunday, the runners contiinue to arrive, cheered on by the crowds, one last lap, one last tear before the big rest. See you next year, for the UTMB® Mont-Blanc 2022 which will be held in the last week of August.
Key figures – 23rd to 29th August 2021:
10 000 runners
2,500 volunteers and members of the organisation
100,000 spectators throughout the week
Over 10 million views on UTMB® Live
More than 50 TV broadcasters
350 accredited media from 21 countries
30,000 photos taken by official photographers
560,000 fans on the official social networks (32,000 new fans), 1,2 million engagements and 52 million impressions
1 million users and 8 million page views on the official website
22,500 registered runners on UTMB® Virtual Club of 110 nationalities
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