A Brazilian runner died in the early hours of Tuesday (23) in an accident during one of the Ultra-Trail de Mont-Blanc (UTMB) races, a mountain ultramarathon, the organizers of the event in France said.
The man, who participated in the event in the PTL category – an event by ultra-endurance teams, with 300 kilometers and 25 thousand meters of elevation gain –, was the victim of an accident, according to a statement from the race director.
The death happened before 1:30 am (local time, 8:30 pm on Monday in Brasília), when he was with his team, on the official route located between Col du Tricot and the Plan Glacier refuge.
“The helicopter rescue team arrived at the scene and confirmed the death,” said the organization, which decided to hold the event and informed participants of the situation. The victim’s identity has not been released out of respect for her family, the event’s website said.
The man was 59 years old and would have traveled from Brazil especially for the race. His teammate, who was also not identified, would also be Brazilian and would have abandoned the race for not having the psychological conditions to continue.
Also according to the press office, the most likely hypothesis is that the runner fell into a hole during the night, “although the route is very safe”. The police opened an investigation.
The PTL is one of eight races organized this week by the Mont-Blanc Ultra-Trail, which has nearly 10,000 participants. The main event of the UTMB, an ultramarathon of 171 kilometers, is scheduled for Friday (26) in Chamonix (eastern France), with 2,300 runners.
The event, which is in its 19thThe edition, takes place this year from the 22nd to the 28th of August and passes through three countries: France, Italy and Switzerland.
Located in southeastern France, close to the Swiss border, Mont Blanc is the highest point in the Alps. With an altitude of 4,808 meters, it is the highest peak in Western Europe and the sixth highest on the continent, taking into account the Caucasus Mountains.
Contacted by the RFI report, the Brazilian consulate in Paris said that it is already in contact with the family and helping with bureaucratic procedures.