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Even the best runners are not sheltered from injury which may immobilize them during the night, in the cold under snow, or rain in the midst of the mountains.

Do not forget that various hazards, linked to the environment and the race, could mean that you have to wait longer for help than you might expect. So as to evolve through your race in good conditions, here is our safety advices.

Mandatory LiveTrail app

The LiveTrail app is an interface reference for your security, while at the same time giving you precious information about the race (follow your race and your friends in real time). In the case of SOS, this function sends, via text message, your GPS position to the organization. This represents a precious time gain in getting help to you. Attention however, it will not be a substitute for phoning the race HQ.

Safety in the mountains

A word from Christophe Boloyan, High Mountain guide and director of the Chamoniarde.

What are the principles of safety in the mountains ? « Each runner is responsible for their own safety. In the mountains, autonomy is a key notion which must always take priority over that of the competition. To be autonomous, it is essential to take care of one's own health and know how to self-assess. Think about eating and drinking regularly. Be attentive to symptoms which could a warning: nausea, difficulty in urinating, blood in the urine, tachycardia, hypothermia or hyperthermia. In the case of a problem, ask yourself the question: am I able to get to the next refreshment post without putting my health in danger? In the case of being unable to continue, call the race HQ on +33 4 50 53 47 51, or the emergency number 112. Be aware that even if the organisation has developed a successful and complete plan to help to guarantee the safety of competitors on all the race routes, various hazards connected to the mountain environment or the race may keep you waiting for help for longer than anticiapted. »

What do you think about the obligatory material required by the organisation of the HOKA UTMB Mont-Blanc? « All the obligatory material listed in the regulations as well as the additional material which is recommended by the UTMB Mont-Blanc organisation is useful. There is nothing superfluous. In the mountains the weather conditions change very fast and these changes are not always foreseeable in advance. At the end of August at 2000m altitude, the temperature can descend to -10°, it can snow heavily or hail. Two pieces of practical advice: if you use your survival blanket, put it under your clothes and not over them and think about protecting your dry clothes in your pack by wrapping them in plastic. »

What to do when confronted by a runner who is injured or in difficulty? «Solidarity is an essential value in the mountains. Assisting a runner who is injured or in difficulty is an absolute must. If you meet a person in difficulty, speak to them, ask them how they feel, give the alert and stay with them until help arrives.»

In case of a problem, what is the correct way to give the alert? «The location of the victim and the nature of their problem or injury are the import pieces of information for the rescuers. To help you give a relatively precise location, and help the work of the rescue teams, there are reference points all along the race route (around every thirty minutes for the slower runners). These markers are composed of a colour, a letter and a figure. If you are in difficulty, you need to sate the last reference that you passed. These markers are conceived in such a way that even if you only remember one of the three elements, it allows us to reduce the search perimeter. According to the organisation's regulations, you must, obligatorily, have a mobile/cell phone with international roaming and a fully charged battery with you. To save your battery, think about de-activating the options such as bluetooth and 4G functions.»

And performance ? Other than your safety, your performance will be optimal if you have adequate material. How can you open a zip when your fingers are numb with cold? Good light at night appreciably diminishes the sense of tiredness. A serious loss or excess of heat are sources of wasted energy... Save the maximum amount of energy for running !

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