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UTMB faces changes to accommodate French sports ban

Even with major sporting events banned in France until September, UTMB organizers are still trying to make the race happen

How to qualify for UTMB

On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe confirmed that major sporting events would be cancelled until at least September. UTMB, one of the world’s biggest trail races, is set to run August 24 to 30 in Chamonix, France. Despite this announcement, Catherine Poletti, co-founder of UTMB, thinks that the race will go ahead, just with some changes to the original plan.

Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc
Photo: UTMB

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Poletti says that while the race won’t be able to accommodate their 10,000 entrants, if they capped the event at 5,000, it might be possible.

“We are working on the barrier measures, not only for the start, but on all fronts,” she told Le Dauphine. “We are committed to not giving up. We still want to organize the event in compliance with the rules. The entire economic community of the Mont-Blanc valley needs this. We are a race outside a mass stadium, which can adapt to the rules set by the government.”

How to qualify for UTMB
Photo: UTMB/Instagram

While UTMB will hopefully be able to run, events like the Tour de France are facing cancellation. The Tour, which was already rescheduled from June to August, will be well over the gathering cap of 5,000 people and is considered a major sporting event. No official statement has been made yet in regard to the Tour.

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