A Czech runner has tragically fallen and died from his injuries while taking part in the TDS race at Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc.
The runner, who is yet to be named, suffered a series accident on the descent of the Passeur de Pralognan.
The rescue team at the top of the pass responded to the scene immediately. The team notified state services and requested helicopter support but rescuers were unable to save him.
The runner’s relatives have been informed.
Race stopped for majority
Runners were halted at the Passeur de Pralognan during the helicopter evacuation.
In a statement issued at 10.15am this morning, UTMB race organisers confirmed that the race would no longer continue for those yet to pass Passeur de Pralognan:
‘Due to the duration of the evacuation effort, and to ensure the safety of the runners, the race committee determined that the safest course of action was to stop the race for some 1,200 runners who were instructed to turn around and go to Bourg Saint-Maurice.
‘The current focus of the race organisation is to ensure the safe return of the runners to Bourg Saint-Maurice where they are being met and transported.’
The 293 runners who had already passed the Passeur de Pralognan before the accident continued their race, with the first runner crossing the line at around 11am this morning. At the time of writing, the race is still in progress.
Response from UTMB organisers
The TDS course is 145km in length with 9,100m of elevation. It is one seven races taking place as part of the week-long trail running festival in Chamonix, in the French Alps.
This morning, UTMB organisers confirmed that the section of the TDS course where the incident took place has been part of many previous editions of the race.
They also confirmed that dedicated safety and security resources were present to support athletes in this part of the course.
UTMB organisers offer their condolences to the runner’s family and friends:
‘The large family of trailers, and more particularly those of the UTMB®, are deeply saddened and join the organisers in offering their condolences to the family and friends of the victim.’
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