Runner Dies in Fall at 2022 PTL

A Brazilian runner has passed away due to a fall during the 2022 UTMB Mont-Blanc festival’s 290-kilometer team event, the PTL.

By on August 23, 2022 | Comments

The UTMB Mont-Blanc organization has announced that a participant in the PTL, one of the UTMB Mont-Blanc events, has died as a result of a fall.

The 2022 PTL, a 290-kilometer (180 miles) event with 26,500 meters (87,000 feet) of ascent where entrants participate in teams of two or three, began at 8 a.m. CEST on Monday, August 22, in Chamonix, France.

2019 PTL - scenery - UTMB Mont-Blanc festival - 2022 PTL runner death

Scenery during the 2019 PTL. Photo: UTMB

The organization states it was made aware of a severe accident at 1:30 a.m. CEST on August 23, during the first night of the nearly weeklong event, on an established trail between Col de Tricot and the Refuge de Plan Glacier, which is located high above the French town of Les Contamines on the southwest side of the Mont Blanc massif. According to this year’s PTL course map on Livetrail, the live tracking application, this was somewhere between kilometers 36 and 40 (roughly miles 22 to 24) of the course. The Col de Tricot is at 2,114 meters (6936 feet) above sea level and Refuge de Plan Glacier is at 2,711 meters (8,894 feet) above sea level. The race organization confirms that there was good weather at the location at the time of the incident.

A rescue helicopter responded to the scene, and confirmed the death of a Brazilian national. To respect the individual’s family and friends, the organization will not release their name.

2022 PTL - UTMB Mont-Blanc - fall death

The 2022 PTL course is shown in the purple line, with the accident site inside the red circle, between the Col de Tricot and the Refuge de Plan Glacier, on the southwest side of the Mont Blanc massif in France. Image is a screenshot from the UTMB Mont-Blanc website with modification by iRunFar.

According to the race organization, this year’s PTL saw 105 teams start. At this time the PTL continues, and each team is being given the opportunity to continue participating or not.

One year ago, a Czech runner died in a fall during the 2021 TDS race at the UTMB Mont-Blanc festival, leading to the cancellation of the race for most runners. (Those who passed ahead of the accident, roughly the top 20% of the field, were allowed to continue.)

The iRunFar team extends its sincere condolences to all those affected by this accident. We are so sorry for this loss.

This is a developing story and we’ll update this article as more information becomes available.

2021 PTL - start - UTMB Mont-Blanc festival - 2022 PTL runner death

The start of the 2021 PTL. Photo: UTMB

Col de Tricot - 2022 PTL runner death

The Col de Tricot. Photo: Guilhem Vellut/Wikimedia Commons

Refuge de Plan Glacier - 2022 PTL runner death

The Refuge de Plan Glacier. Photo: Jérôme Bon/Wikimedia Commons

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Meghan Hicks

Meghan Hicks is the Managing Editor of iRunFar. She’s been running since she was 13 years old, and writing and editing about the sport for around 15 years. She’s served as iRunFar’s Managing Editor since 2013. Aside from iRunFar, Meghan has worked in communications and education in several of America’s national parks, was a contributing editor for Trail Runner magazine, and served as a columnist at Marathon & Beyond. She’s the co-author of Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running with Bryon Powell. She won the 2013 Marathon des Sables, finished on the podium of the Hardrock 100 Mile in 2021, and has previously set fastest known times on the Nolan’s 14 mountain running route in 2016 and 2020. Based part-time in Moab, Utah and Silverton, Colorado, Meghan also enjoys reading, biking, backpacking, and watching sunsets.