The Cross and Marathon du Mont Blanc weekend, is always a big one in Chamonix. This year, the weekend of June 26/27th, the Cross brought over 1300 runners and the marathon over 2300 runners! The weekend was superbly organized by the Chamonix Club des Sports and all their volunteers including my local running club CMBM. Hard to believe that so many folks want to put themselves through such a challenge! Having said that, I signed up for the challenge of Cross this year, the shorter of the 2 races with 23km and 1454 meters of elevation gain.
While running, I took a moment to look around, which I don't always do while racing, and hands down, it has to be one of the most beautiful running courses out there with the back drop of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Aiguilles. Stunningly beautiful really!
Taking a minute to look around
It was great to see my CMBM friends at the Flegere aid station. I grabbed a coke and headed onto Brevent with a little left in my legs to the finish. With not too many expectations, other than a goal to finish under 3 hrs, I managed to come in at 2:45 which put me in 11th overall for the women out of 379 women total.
The finish of the Cross and Marathon at Planpraz
I was not the only one in the family racing. While my start gun went off at 8:30 am, my two boys were getting ready for their race- The Mini Cross which went off at 10:30. Anders was keen to run as his pal Ethan. And Birken had some pals from school running as well. They did great, finishing their 800 meters around the parapente field and into the woods and proudly wore their finishing metals.
It was hot, real hot and it only got hotter the next day for the marathon runners. I was a volunteer at the Vallorcine aid station. It was great to be on the other side, seeing how much really does go into an aid station: We were there hours early cutting up fruit, salami, granola bars and lugging water and coke bottles. It is quite a rush when the runners come through and impressive to see all the types, young and old, tall and short passing through at all times.
The timing was done by Live Trail which also does the timing for the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc races, Trail Verbier-St Bernard and also Trail des Aiguilles Rouges. It is an impressive service as you can follow any runner on the web and see where they are and what check point they have gone through.
Preparing the aid station -Vallorcine
So if you are looking for a trail race to do think about the Cross or Marathon du Mont Blanc next year, but sign up early as the entries fill up fast.
Don't Forget your SportLegs