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UTMB Mont-Blanc puts the environment at the heart of event with key measures and new features



Tempo lettura stimato: 5 min
UTMB Mont-Blanc

UTMB® Mont-Blanc 2022

This year UTMB organisers have focused on minimising the carbon footprint and are setting up an ecovillage for the first time in the village of Vallorcine.
Several initiatives have been implemented with the environment in mind, including waste collection before and after the race.
The transport scheme has also been improved with access to certain key points of the race being closed in order to encourage the various attendees to use public transport.
The four key measures implemented by the organisation in 2022 are as follows:

An improved transport scheme

Fewer cars, more adventures! Every year, the event improves its public transport scheme in order to allow spectators to travel with complete peace of mind and to reduce car travel as much as possible.
All members of the public have easy access to the existing public transport networks developed by the local authorities and improved by special UTMB® BUS lines.
This network is intended for all runners as well as their supporters and spectators who wish to experience the UTMB® Mont-Blanc adventure on the ground without polluting.
Shuttle reservations have been open to supporters to follow the UTMB® Mont-Blanc races for several years.

Continuing to innovate, the UTMB® Mont-Blanc organisers this year have created covered areas dedicated to supporters, the BASE CAMPS: accessible free of charge with the UTMB® Bus pass where they can wait in a warm and cosy atmosphere, enjoying a coffee or a good hot chocolate!
Supporters will be able to find 6 of these throughout the route of the UTMB®, the CCC® and the TDS® (only for Bourg-Saint Maurice) open day and night.

Reminder of road closures

The following access points will be closed to traffic during the race, and connected only by the UTMB® Bus:

  • Orsières-La Fouly from 12:30pm to 23:30pm on Friday and from 8am on Saturday at 1am on Sunday
  • Orsières-Champex Lac from 12:30pm to 23:30pm on Friday and from 8am on Saturday to 1am on Sunday
  • Les Houches: crossing closed on Friday from 5pm to 8pm
  • Saint-Gervais-les Contamines: road closed from Friday 5pm to midnight (compulsory shuttles to go to Saint-Gervais, Contamines and Notre-Dame de la Gorge)
  • Arnouvaz : road not accessible from Courmayeur – UTMB® Bus shuttles only from Friday 8am to Saturday 8pm
  • Lac Combal: access prohibited – No UTMB® Bus shuttle service, so the only access to the lake is on foot from Courmayeur (2-and-a-half-hour walk)

Vallorcine ecovillage

This is one of the new features this year, organised on the penultimate refreshment point of the UTMB in Vallorcine .
Called the ‘ecovillage’, part of the food available for spectators and supporters will be supplied locally with the support of the Vallorcine bakery and market gardener.
The cheese will be collected directly from the village of Montroc, in Chamonix.
Several associations of the valley will be present to raise awareness among supporters and spectators on various environmental themes.
The different audiences of the event will be able to find out about the work of POW, Ecotrivelo, Upcycling, la recylerie du Mont-Blanc, Asters and the Centre de la Nature Montagnarde.

The town associations will also set up a refreshment bar and a concert (from 3pm to 6pm) with times arranged to meet the organisers

Concrete measures for runners

To protect the environment in which the UTMB® Mont-Blanc races take place, some of the measures put in place for runners include mandatory personal drinking cups, waste bags, environmental ambassadors who ensure the cleanliness of the trails, and elimination of all disposable utensils at the refreshment stations.

Here are some concrete examples:

  • BYOU device: disposable plates and cutlery will no longer be made available to runners and volunteers. The latter must carry their own utensils if they want to eat hot meals. This device is called “Bring Your Own Utensils” (BYOU).
  • Raising awareness in the field: runners will meet environmental ambassadors whose mission is to support them in protecting the environment by sorting waste and cleaning the trails before and after the event. In total, just under 0.02g of waste is collected per runner, amounting to a total of 25kg.
  • Signage: in order to better understand the natural environment that the runners will be competing in, the UTMB® Mont-Blanc has devised specific signage (prohibited poles, sensitive areas, mountain pastures).

“With these different measures, we want to show that it is possible to reconcile event practices with environmental practices. The UTMB is a magnificent moment of communion among the trail community attending the event from all over the world. With the improved public transport scheme, ecovillage, waste reduction efforts and environmental ambassadors, we want to show that it is possible to manage the event responsibly by closely monitoring the impact left on its ecosystem”, commented the Race Director, Isabelle Viseux Poletti.

A partnership with Campsider

Campsider and the UTMB® Mont-Blanc join forces this year to promote giving trail-running and outdoor related sports products a second life.
From August 22 to 28, the first digital online platform dedicated to second-hand outdoor sports equipment (trail-running, winter sports, climbing, mountaineering, hiking, mountain biking, etc.) is organising a collection operation on its stand located in the Ultra-Trail Village of the UTMB® Mont-Blanc for all the entered runners and event visitors.
The equipment collected will then be sorted by Campsider, redistributed and sent to a trail community network in Nepal all coordinated through the Trailers du Mont-Blanc association.

“By giving a second life to thousands of pieces of equipment, we continue to fulfill our main mission: to limit our carbon impact and protect our trail paths. We are delighted to be associated with the UTMB Mont-Blanc, an iconic event in the outdoor sports world and together we will be sharing this commitment to giving a second life to products. We invite all runners and visitors to participate in the collection operation to help Nepalese trailers be better equipped thanks to the association of Trailers du Mont-Blanc who are associates for this operation.” Thomas Gounot and Arthur Rocle, co-founders of Campsider.

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