UTMB® World Series have committed to supporting mothers and their partners through the introduction of a new pregnancy policy which will apply to UTMB World Series events in the 2023 season.
The policy - which includes deferral and priority entry guidelines for athletes that are pregnant, athletes with a partner who is pregnant, and athletes that are adopting or birthing via surrogacy – encourages runners to return to the trails in a safe way and within a timeframe that is considerate of individual circumstances following birth.
For events with an entry lottery, including UTMB® Mont-Blanc, Lavaredo Ultra Trail™ by UTMB® and Eiger Ultra Trail™ by UTMB®, the policy outlines that women will be given a full refund and priority entry to be used within five years for races in the 50K, 100K and 100M categories, and within two years for 20K races.
For all other events, the policy allows for women who become pregnant after registration to defer their entry for up to two years for the same race or receive a full refund. Partners of pregnant women as well as parents that are adopting or birthing via surrogacy will have the option to defer their entry for up to two years or receive a full refund.
The policy has been created following a lengthy consultation process, which included gathering expertise from sports and medical professionals, the Pro Trail Runners Association, and athletes such as Sophie Power, who made headlines in 2018 when a photo of her breastfeeding midway through the UTMB went viral.
Sophie Power, founder of SheRACES said: “I'm delighted that UTMB World Series is launching a world leading pregnancy deferral policy that supports all women to return to racing when they are ready. At SheRACES we look forward to continuing to work with UTMB World Series going forwards, sharing our insights to ensure more women from all backgrounds participate in these iconic events.”
The new policy comes as part of a concerted effort by UTMB World Series organizers to encourage more women into the sport and to build on UTMB Groups ongoing commitment to equal opportunities. In line with the actions put in place in the previous years, in 2023, male and female elite athletes will be equally represented on the start line of all three UTMB World Series Finals races at the sports pinnacle event UTMB Mont-Blanc, thanks to the new sports system which sees elite athletes qualify through a series of events throughout the year. UTMB World Series also remains committed to equal media coverage and representation on communication platforms including UTMB Live, as well as equal prize money for male and female athletes.
The full UTMB World Series pregnancy policy is available to read here.