Echappée Belle : decision to continue preparing for the 2020 edition

Hello to our dear trail runners,

While we of course can’t predict the final decision the competent local authorities will make this summer regarding l’Echappée Belle, all lights are green concerning the items we have control on : masses of volunteers, great support from city councils and territorial organizations, partners by our side whatever happens, and authorization request files under evaluation by prefectures of Isere and Savoie departments.

So we made the decision to continue preparing for the 2020 edition.

What are the next steps ?

– If you are France residents you have until June 30 to freely and unconditionally cancel your participation at reduced cost (20% withholding on registration fees). If you are unsure about feeling able to manage the still pending uncertainty, it is possible then to cancel without having to provide any justification. Therefore, just write your request to by June 30. Beyond that date the usual cancellation terms will apply.

– As for runners coming from abroad, given the additional uncertainty occurred by some of the border regulations, you are entitled to cancel your participation under these same terms until August 8.

On Wednesday July 1st everyone will receive practical details on new processes for retrieving your bib, available accommodations, and reception conditions for the public and accompanying persons.

Can you tell me more about the trail course ?

  • The 149Km (solo and duo) and 87km routes are almost identical. The show is guaranteed;)
  • The pacers are still allowed.
  • The start of the 62km ‘Route des crêtes’ will happen from the Collet station, and not from the Allevard village.
  • Please note the 62km trail will require significant personal autonomy (1st aid station at km 30).

In the event of weather forecast uncertainty, we reserve the right as usual to modify the course.

What happens in the event the authorities actually don’t give their go ahead for the race to happen ?

If we don’t get the required authorizations 15 days before the race starts, i.e. by August 8, we will have no other choice than to cancel. You would then get refund for 80% of your registration (excluding donations), and all optional items will be totally refunded.

Why keep 20% of your registration ?

The Echappée Belle requires 10 tons of equipment, storage areas to be rented, one salaried employee since January, plus some related costs (registration platform, communication, amongst others). So we computed the relevant rate to enable the Echappée Belle organization to survive until the next edition. Such rate is only possible thanks to the unfailing support from our partners who we are thankful to.

What does an ‘adapted’ event mean ?

It is an event organized as respectful as possible of the current health rules. Here is a short summary :

For runners :

Increase your personal food autonomy. Some aid stations won’t be supplied as much as usually ; that will make the adventure even more intense. Don’t worry though, there will be everywhere enough to drink and something to eat ! Spare bags for the 87 and the 149km are still possible.

> Hands disinfection (as usual now since 3 years) will be mandatory at the entrance of each aid station and a few other sites (start and finish lines).

> Access to an aid station will follow a strict but simple distanciation protocole. We will tell you more about it this summer.

> Start for each race will happen over several waves and according to ITRA rankings. Highest-ranking ITRA bibs first, and so on. The start for the last wave will happen at the usual times from previous Echappée Belle editions. Such protocol should ensure no bottleneck at aid stations and facilitate physical distanciation. 

> Wearing a mask will be mandatory in each significant gathering area and/or where physical distanciation is not possible. And when running, you obviously don’t need to wear a mask …

> Podiums will be held along with runners arrival. There will be no closing ceremonies.

> Rest area, dormitories and camp beds will be maintained. The maximum rest times are identical to previous years (see regulations) except that for once they must be respected!

> A shuttle service to take you to the start lines will still be provided. However as of today we don’t yet know the shuttle access conditions.

> The pasta and arrival meal options are maintained

For the runner assistance/accompanying persons and the public :

> Each runner is entitled to only one accompanying person. A bracelet will therefore be provided with each bib. The accompanying persons won’t be authorized to get access to all aid stations and will be required to wear masks. 

> Other family members will be welcome to stay nearby but not to enter the runners areas. 

> The public will only be allowed in areas where physical distanciation can be enforced (i.e. at major aid stations and at the finish line site).

> Animation activities aimed to the public and children will be significantly reduced. There will still be animation activities aimed to volunteers and runners.

> A new live-tracking system is being evaluated to enable families and public to follow the event and races remotely.

I am Belgian and I worry :

– There will be beer « Echappee Belle » ! Still for moderate consumption of course …

And for myself as a runner, how do I make it all work ?

  • I respect the instructions and rules.
  • I ask questions if anything is not clear enough.
  • I keep smiling. The volunteers and the whole staff did an extra-ordinary job to enable you to come and have a chance to recharge and empty your batteries in Belledonne.
  • I train and adapt my pace and goal to my training level and capacity even more so than usual.
  • I plan on a larger food reserve.
  • I plan to bring a mask, decorated and beautiful if possible.
  • I plan to carry a small bottle of hydroalcoholic gel with me just in case.
  • I plan on bringing my own trash bag with straps as spare bag (149km duo and solo and 87km), where I will store my belongings, to bring to the start line.
  • If I give up ob the race, I signal myself to one of the event organization representatives, and then try to organize my return with my loved ones. A return service will be provided, but your active participation will be very welcome.

Please be aware that we will do our best to adapt to any potential new directives and that our priority remains everyone’s safety.

Let’s not be afraid, let’s be careful and smile !

Enjoy your preparation !

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