Immediately after the first edition of the race a myth was born. For its second edition, the runners of the Mont-Blanc 80k will follow the original route that had to be modified last year due to the amount of snow still present on the high points. And under a radiant blue sky, this course has shown all its splendour, in terms of technicality as well as the magnificent landscapes it has revealed.
They were 1118 runners, including 115 women taking to the start of the famous course already world famous renowed after only one edition as one of the most beautiful 80K course. The runners left this morning under the stars at 4am. For the fastest, the program promises approximately 10hours of race and for the slowest 24hours of race for 83,7km and 6000m of positive vertical gain. Amongst them the potential winners are numerous, with an exceptional plateau of athletes looking for the title.
At La Flégère (1865m – km16), a small group of 3 runners, led by the Spaniard Luis-Alberto Hernando, stands in the front. Behind them the American Mike Wolfe and the winner of the 2013 edition, the French François D’Haene. Luis-Alberto flies off, prancing in front of everyone leading by 5 minutes at the Col des Montets km23.
The group of 3 remains homogeneous up to the Emosson dam (km32) with the spaniard a length ahead of 6 to 20 minutes. Nobody will catch him up before the finish line.
François d’Haene, who has tried everything to catch him, will let him win by 4 minutes. Luis-Alberto gave everything and needed medical care to recover upon his arrival. Luis-Alberto gave us the story of the head of the race:
“François has run a great race, I had never seen him… He is stong on the short distance, I am on longer distances, therefore at the Montenvers (km75,2) after getting cramps, I gave everything in the last run where I gained a little. I am very happy about my race, this course is amazing. Summer is ahead of us, we will meet again around the mont-Blanc at the UTMB®.”
Behind them a battle of titans happened between the Australian Ben Buffus and the French Clément Petitjean. Ben took a nice 3rd place after a last burst.
For the ladies, the Swedish Emelie Forsberg, crosses the finish line after 12h38 minutes of a race that she has led from beginning to the end in front of her friend Anna Frost. Only 8 minutes will separate the two ladies after a fierce battle. Behind them the Polish Magdaléna Laczack will try in vain to reach them. A surprisingly fresh podium with women almost less tired than the men.
The first French placed woman is Maud Gobert, she finishes in 4th place with a radiant smile on her face, delighted after an injury to be back to the spotlight on a major international race.
After the first arrivals, undreds of runners will reach the finish line throughout the day and the night. Tiredness is starting to appear in the new arrivals. The last runner will reach Chamonix at 4am.
Tiredness and effort carried by magnificient landscapes, panoramic views of the French and Swiss alps. This is the magic and the essence of these long distance races in the valley of Chamonix.
Podium of the Mont-Blanc 80k, World Championship ultra-marathon Skyrunning
1 – Luis Alberto Hernando (ESP) : 10:25:52
2 – François d’Haene (FRA) : 10:29:33
3 – Ben Duffus (AUS) : 10:52:33
1 – Emilie Forsberg (NOR) : 12:38 :49
2 – Anna Frost (NZ) : 12:46:52
3 – Magdalena Laczak (PL) : 12:58:51