Trail Running Fest started

Report by Nik Cook
Monday 27th August 2012

The 10th has started!


The tenth rendezvous for the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® : Races, animations, conferences... lovers of running in open country from all over the world are here at the foot of Mont Blanc, between FranceSwitzerland and Italy! While the Ultra-Trail® Salon opens its doors on Wednesday morning, the first race to start, the Petite Trotte à Léon will leave in several hours time! Swiftly followed on Thursday 30th at 07:00 by the TDS™, the CCC® and the queen of the races , the UTMB® on Friday 31st at 10:00 and 18:30 respectively!


The Petite Trotte à Léon: starts this evening at 22:00, at the place du Triangle de l'amitié!


The 5th year and the 5th new route for the PTL™ which is really a very big tour of Mont Blanc! On the programme this year, other than that of Mont Blanc, the tour of the Grand Combin: 290km and 22 000m of positive height gain, all within a maximum allowance of 138 hours! Among the notable differences, the tour will be made clockwise.

Otherwise, one must remember that this event is run in complete autonomy, any assistance is, strictly, not allowed. Furthermore, planned as a team event, if as a result of the abandonment of one or two team members, a runner finds them self alone, then they will be stopped. The follow-up on-line has been improved so that Internet users can follow the runners more easily.


At the heart of the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®

Once again this year each of the 4 events were studied to enable supporters from world-wide to be able to follow their favourites :

Follow by text message/ SMS : This service, (for subscribers) allows the reception of all the information concerning the runners (time of passage at different control posts of which there are about twenty along the race route, a runner stopping....) directly on mobile phones almost in real time. If in addition the subscriber to this service is signed up as an accompanying person, they will receive more detailed messages, with in particular the time expected at the following village.

To know more click here.

Follow by GPS live: New for 2012! This year runners may rent a beacon which they put in their back-pack so that their friends and family can follow them, step by step, on Google Earth and Google maps! (Reservation necessary now at, because the number is limited!)

To know more, click here.

Follow by bus: An exceptional organisation of communal transport is planned for runners and those accompanying them to help limit the emission of greenhouse gases and  particles, and to allow  spectators to visit their runners in all the villages crossed without using their personal vehicles.

To know more, click here.


WEB TV: it's a first!

The first images, sounds,  emotions and a sense of the atmosphere ... as from this evening at 23:00, with the start of the PTL™ (Petite Trotte à Léon), Monday August 27th at 22:00, a slightly delayed broadcast.
This preview marks the launch of the official The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® Web-TV, which, as from Thursday August 30th - 07:00 - for the start of the TDS™, will broadcast direct day and night, until Sunday August 2nd. Live race coverage, TV studio, reports, television news, follow the races on the TV!.. And for all those who want to see it again and again playbacks will be accessible throughout the year.


The Ultra-Trail® Salon: The rendezvous for all the players in the field of open country running


On August 29th the Ultra-Trail®   salon , opens to the general public, welcoming around 112 exhibitors in the heart of Chamonix Mont-Blanc. Among them, the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® partners, equipment manufacturers, organisers of some of the greatest international trails...

On the  programme :

·        112 exhibitors united within  2 000m²  village of wooden exhibition chalets built in the style of mountain chalets (see the list of exhibitors)

·        3 days in which to share the philosophy of trail running with 6 000 runners from  5 continents (73 nationalities) and numerous members of the public from the Chamonix Mont-Blanc valley

·        1 area dedicated to exchanges: themed conferences, public debates, presentation of films...

·        1 convivial area with fast food

·        The Official Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®  shop

·        Sale and dedication of Olivier Bessy's book, "Un Mythe, un territoire, des hommes" jointly published by Le Petit Montagnard and Autour du Mont-Blanc which traces the history of the Ultra-trail du Mont-Blanc®

·        Lots of entertainments : lucky dip, treasure hunts, quizzes/tombolas, children's entertainments

·        And the mini trails which are taking place at the Champ du Savoy, around 600 children with the Micro CCC® - Mini CCC® - Mini TDS™ - Mini UTMB®... and this year, the Mini PTLtm


The first International Trail Running Conference, September 3rd in Courmayeur (Italy)


This International Conference is being run at the initiative of a group of organisers, in collaboration with the French Federation of Athletes, aims to bring together a maximum of international trail organisers to discuss the evolution of trail running as a sociable sporting practice with the aim of settling lines of federative conduct for the coming years.


The trail running is rapidly expanding and is also in full transformation: the stakes are more and more important. The objective is to determine for the short and mid term the convergent political lines between the various players in the field of trail running: organisers, federations, runners, brands, and media on an international scale. For that purpose, other players in the field of trail running (federations, brands and top-level athletes, press) are also invited to participate.

Considering the proximity of two key events at the foot of the Mont Blanc, The North Face ® Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc® and Tor des Géants®, and taking advantage of the presence of numerous international delegations at the Ultra-Trail ® Salon, the group has chosen to organise this conference at Courmayeur - September 3rd - Palais des Congrès from 9:30 to 16:30 and so confirms the international impact of this meeting.


Programme for the 10th

Numerous animations are taking place all along the route and in the 3 countries concerned.

All the races finish in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, from 23:00 Thursday August 30th until 16:30 Sunday September 2nd.  Great ambiance guaranteed!


Monday August 27th

15:00 : Race-bib distribution for the  PTLTM in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

22:00 : Start of the PTLTM from the place de l'Amitié, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc


Wednesday August 29th

10:00-19:00 : Centre sportif de Chamonix race-bib distribution CCC®/TDSTM/UTMB®

10:00- 20:00 : Place du Mont-Blanc, the Ultra-Trail® Salon


Thursday August 30th

07:00 : Courmayeur (Italy), piazza Brocherel  : Start of the TDSTM

10:00-20:00 : Chamonix, Place du Mont-Blanc, the Ultra-Trail® Salon

10:00-19:00 : Centre sportif de Chamonix, race-bib distribution UTMB® et CCC®

18:00-19:00: In the Majestic, pre-race official press conference, in the presence athletes from different teams with potential podium places, chaired by the Mayor of Chamonix.

21:00 : First TDSTM  finishers


Friday August 31st

09:00-16:30 : Place du Mont-Blanc, the Ultra-Trail® Salon

All day, arrival of TDSTM runners

10:00 : Courmayeur (Italy), piazza Brocherel  : Start of the CCC®

18:30 Start of the UTMB®

21:00 : First CCC® finishers


Saturday September 1st

All morning, last CCC® runners

12:00 : TDSTM and CCC® prize-giving

15:00 : First UTMB® finishers

Arrival of finishers throughout the night


Sunday September 2nd

Throughout the day arrival of finishers in Chamonix

11:30 - 12:30 :  Press conference in the Majestic with the CCC®, TDSTM and UTMB® winners

15:45 : Official The North Face® Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc® closing ceremony

16:00 : Last PTLTM and UTMB® finishers

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