Running is becoming such a part of my life now that the weirdest thing about running the Chamonix Mont Blanc 10k (Saturday) and marathon (Sunday) was that I had flown from london only on the friday night and had work on Monday morning! It felt odd whilst running through the misty forests that tomorrow i’d be sat at my desk typing out some Excel document or Powerpoint presentation! Running over 2600meters of climb and 6+27.3 miles seemed by contrast quite normal.
Or course it wasn’t normal, Chamonix is one of Europe’s Premier trail mountain races and attracts some of the best competitors the sport has to offer. Kelly and I came 6:hr 14mins, 8 mins slower than last year but with energy to spare and about 5,000,000 photos taken with my new Sony Nex-7 camera. The winner Kilian Jornet somehow managed to complete the same course in 3hr:38, which is unexplainably fast, I genuinely don’t understand. 6hr:14 was good enough to put us in the top 20-25% of finishers and Kelly got 30th woman (about 230 women starters).
So as usual I’ll let the photos take over this blog but a few highlights of this years race, my fourth Mont Blanc marathon:
– last years Davos marathon was one of the few races I have been in where the mountain has turned suddenly nasty, wet, cold with a serious risk of hypothermia. This marathon was great as there was a threat of a storm but it only rained at the end when it didn’t matter and the course was littered with low cloud, ery mist and a cool breeze, albeit very humid and I was sweating ay more than usual. When we arrived on Friday it was 30degrees, so we were all grateful it was cooler on race day. I was just pleased it looked so amazing, making being in the mountains so much more thrilling.
– I love the trail running community, it is a great leveller of people – everyone gets scruffy hair, no one has an unfair advantage and everyone supports each other. Along the course I spoke to so many people, high five’d all the kids I saw, cheered on the bands, pick up a guy who had fallen in front of me (and begrudgingly handed him his poles – I wish people would not run with them), shook hands with a few guys who had sat at the side of the road looking a little shocked and tired of the climbs (tried to get them up), thanked all the marshals and support food station staff and shared the occasional nodding glance to the French competitors (because I can’t speak the language!) in a show of – yep this is pretty hard isn’t it – but isn’t this awesome!
– the prize giving ceremony. Kilian stood on the podium on his own as second and third pace did not turn up which was a little sad to see, however on the whole it was great to see the winners, particularly the over 40, over 50’s, over 60’s and 70’s who all completed the course in a not so sluggish fashion! I very much hope I am that fit at their age!