UTMB® Mont-Blanc: the announcement you have all been waiting for
A message from Catherine and Michel Poletti, founders of the UTMB® Mont-Blanc
Dear runners, dear community,
We would like to thank you for your patience and trust. We sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe wherever you are in the world. We are all facing a new situation and because of its uncertainties, you will understand that we have taken our time. We wanted to consult with all those involved in the UTMB® Mont-Blanc to carefully examine the situation and its consequences on the event we have been organizing for you for 18 years. We regret to announce that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 edition of the UTMB® Mont-Blanc will not take place from August 24 to 31. Four pillars guided our decision regarding the 2020 edition of the UTMB® Mont-Blanc:
- The health and safety of all participants
As you know, the UTMB® Mont-Blanc brings together thousands of people from more than 100 countries around the world. Conditions which, to date, are not compatible with the health context and public health rules. Cancelling is the most responsible decision to preserve the health and safety of all participants, which include runners, inhabitants of the Mont-Blanc region, visitors, suppliers, partners and volunteers.
- The full and complete experience for all
Our wish is to offer the full UTMB® Mont-Blanc experience, as we have been doing for 18 years. A mythical route around the Mont-Blanc which crosses 3 countries and 18 French, Italian and Swiss municipalities. An international event with 10,000 runners from all over the world who meet, talk and make friends during and after the race. A week of emotions and conviviality shared by all those involved in the event: volunteers, visitors and local inhabitants. They all show up along the route to cheer, high-five you, animate the aid stations and the municipalities of the Mont-Blanc region, sharing with you a common heritage and passion. Our wish is not to diminish your UTMB® Mont-Blanc experience. You have been preparing for and dreaming of the UTMB® Mont-Blanc that we have been organizing for 18 years, the one that resembles you, that brings you together and encourages you to meet other runners.
- The mountain, at the heart of our decision
In the mountains, we are familiar with risk and commitment. When the conditions are not right, it's more reasonable to turn back and go home. Risk-taking is part of our culture, as is renunciation. To give up is to show courage. When you give up an ascent, you know that there will be other – and even more amazing - opportunities to come back, when the conditions are right and the storm is over.
- Our DNA: solidarity and equity
To date, there are still too many uncertainties about the health, economic and social context in the coming months. Giving up the UTMB® Mont-Blanc means showing solidarity and responsibility towards all the runners who couldn't come because they can't travel, because they haven't been able to train, because they can't afford it, because they fear for their health. Without these thousands of runners coming from the four corners of the earth, the UTMB® Mont-Blanc would not taste the same, nor would it have the same energy. The UTMB® Mont-Blanc is an amateur runner who sets off on the same starting line as an elite runner. It is an American runner sharing a part of the race with an Asian runner met at an aid station or while ascending a steep slope. The UTMB® Mont-Blanc is open to the world, to cultural diversity, it is about meeting other people and it is also about mutual aid and solidarity. When a runner is injured, the first thing a good montagnard does is to go and help him even if this means not finishing his race. .
In compliance with the regulations of the event, you will be refunded 55% of the entry fee. Besides the sadness of not being able to meet you this summer, the cancellation of the event is a real financial risk for the organization which has already incurred great expenses across all areas. If you wish, you can donate this amount to a charity association. To choose your option, you must log in to your runner's account before May 30th.
However, our decision does not call into question how far you have come. We know that taking part in the UTMB® Mont-Blanc is a long-term project: training, qualifying points, lottery. This is why we are offering you the opportunity to benefit from having a place reserved in the same race in either 2021, 2022 or 2023. You will receive the terms and conditions for this registration by email before the opening of the 2021 registration.
Despite the cancellation of the 2020 edition, the UTMB® Mont-Blanc organization team is not giving up. We are committed to uniting the global trail running community around a common cause, because we want to make the world a better place. We are therefore working hard on developing some new concepts to ensure we can still engage our partners, fans and runners around the world. We will keep you updated on the progress in the coming weeks.
Take care and see you soon.
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