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A world line-up on the podium of the Marathon du Mont-Blanc

by Press Release
Tuesday 30th June 2015

Race report: Marathon du Mont-Blanc (80km/42km/23km/10km/KM Vertical/Mini Cross) - June 25-28, 2015

The good weather lasted three days and it is with blue skies that the great Marathon weekend draws to a close. Since four o'clock Friday morning, the races have followed one after the other, with a radiant Mont-Blanc centre stage. For the runners, thousands of spectators and hundreds of volunteers, it was a pure delight!

2015-Marathon du Mont-Blanc

80 km du Mont-Blanc - a true mountain trail-race
(82 km & 6,000m D+ Friday, June 26, 2015)

With a new even more mountainous route, with serious ascent/descent and the magnificent landscape this trail-race has in the last three years become one of the most beautiful and most difficult in its category. The passage over the Col de la Terrasse has stayed in the memory of all the runners, as has the final descent towards the valley which seems never ending after 80km underfoot.

For the men, the succession of the young was very present. The American Alex Nichols had a very good race and his freshness at the finish was impressive. Ahead of the numerous outsiders, he managed his race perfectly. It was on the long climb to Montenvers that he took the lead, to cross the finishing line with a lead of 30 minutes.

The battle for second place was hottly contested, with only two short minutes separating the Italian, Franco Colle, and the young Englishman, Andrew Symonds.

For the women, the young Nepali Mira Rai was astonishing. Mira flew towards her first big victory after a race of 12hrs32'12''. She crossed the finishing line with the Nepalese flag: "I managed the beginning of the race rather serenely, but the last ascent was really difficult. I was transported by the countryside and above all I ran for my country... ".

Behind them were hundreds of other runners. The time limit was fixed at 24 hours, showing the difficulty for the pack and it was 6:10 on Sunday morning when Louise, after 26hrs 16mins, was the last person to pass under the arch. She had taken 3hrs 15mins to make the final descent, which Andrew had flown down it in 39 minutes... but that's not important. Everybody confirmed that with these landscapes the tiredness is forgotten!

Number at the start : 1093   of whom  79  women (7.23% of those starting) 
Number of finishers : 702 (64.23% of those who  started)   of whom : 46  women (6.55% of finishers ) (58.23% of those who started) 
Total number of  abandonments : 391 (35.77% of those who started)


Men's 80 km du Mont-Blanc results

1 Alex NICHOLS USA 10:31:00
2 Franco COLLE ITA 11:03:11
3 Andrew SYMONDS GBR 11:04:52


Women's 80 km du Mont-Blanc results

1 Mira RAI NEP 12:32:12
2 Anna COMET PASCUA ESP 12:54:55
3 Hillary ALLEN USA 13:11:40


Click here for full results



Km Vertical : François Gonon (FR), a record time!
(Friday, June 26, 2015)

With a very high calibre line-up, umerous members of the public came to watch this great spectacle from 4pm on Friday. A steep event, spectacular and requiring an intense effort from the runners which, was visible from start to finish. And the record has been broken! Imagine, 34 mins 07 secs to make an ascent of 1,000m over a distance of 3.8km.

For the first time, it was a Frenchman, François Gonon, who, at last, was on the top of podium, to take the title of VK Champion of Europe and validating his points for the Skyrunner® World Series. He is, however, not unknown, having placed fourth in the 2014 Sierre Zinal and first in the 2013  Trail des 7 Monts. It is however his first win in this format of race: "This is truly a difficult format and the last part is really hard ! I'm done in, my legs hurt but this has given me a lot of new perspectives, I'm happy!"

The following day, he was once again on the podium with a second place in the 23km.

Two Norwegians filled the remaining podium places for the Vertical KM.

For the women, it was a 100% Spanish podium! Laura Orgué, great favourite and winner in 2014 gave her all, but it was the lesser known Paula Cabrerizo, who comes from the world of ski mountaineering, who won, by just 18 hundredths. In third place was Maité Maiora, who had been third in the trail-Running World Championships in Annecy at the end of May, and went on to take a second place in the 23km the following day, confirming her versatility at a very high level!

Number at the start : 470   of whom : 68 women (14.47% of those starting ) 
Number of finishers : 468 (99.57% of those who started   of whom  : 68 women(14.53% of those finishing) (100.00% of the those who started) 
Total number of abandonments : 2 (0.43% of those who started)


Men's Vertical km results

1 GONON François FRA 00:34:07
3 LUDVIGSEN Thorbjørn Thorsen NOR 00:35:05


Women's Vertical km results

1 CABRERIZO Paula ESP 00:41:11
2 ORGUE Laura ESP 00:41:29
3 MAIORA Maité ESP 00:43:30


Click here for full results



Marathon du Mont-Blanc - An international top 10
(Sunday, June 28, 2015 )

2015-Marathon du Mont-Blanc

The last and eagerly anticipated race of this long week-end was the marathon du Mont-Blanc, which started at 7 o'clock. 2,174 competitors left to attack the 42km and  2,725m ascent under an extremely blue sky, which promised high temperatures as the sun rose over the ridges of the Chamonix's Aiguilles.

The race leaders left at a devilish rhythm. At Argentière (km 10) in the space of four minutes  there were four runners: Etienne Van Gasse (BEL), Marc Lauenstein (SUI), Aritz Egea Caceres (ESP) and Cédric Fleureton (FRA).

The leaders remained grouped, each taking their turn in the lead, Cédric, Aritz or Marc, while Etienne dropped off, little by little. The climb to the col des Posettes (2,201m & km 21.7) was not decisive, as Aritz, Cédric and Marc followed each other closely. At the second passage of  Trè-le-Champs they were still three, creating a gap of five minutes between themselves and Grégory Vollet (FRA).

It was on the climb to Flégère that the race was decided. At the last control point, Marc Lauenstein took the lead with a one minute advance on Aritz, who was not able to catch up on the last climb to Planpraz.

"I had planned to start quickly", explained Marc, "but in front they did all the work. It was in Vallorcine that the race started. I had a good feeling and I was at ease on the climbs".

Aritz finished in secind place while the American Max King, who had waited in ambush, climbed spectacularly and took third place. Behind him were the young Colombian, Saul Antonio Padua Rodriguez, who moved from 10th to fourth place, and to the Norwegian Thorbjorn Thorsen Ludvigsen.

For the girls the trio in the lead were Elisa Desco (ITA), Oihana Kortazar (ESP) and Céline Lafaye (FRA) and these three went on to win this, the 13th, marathon. As in the men's race, the final positions were decided on the climb towards Flégère, where Elisa gained almost eight minutes on Oihana, who was following her. Céline Lafaye gave her all to take the third place. 

Elisa has won the  Marathon du Mont-Blanc for the second consecutive year: "The finish in the sunshine at altitude, rather than the rain in Chamonix is a true delight. I am happy to have won and I intend to be there next year to achieve a third win".

Provisional statistics at 15:03
Number of participants : 2174 of whom : 400 women (18.40% of those starting)
Number of finishers : 1431 (65.82% of those starting) of whom : 199 women (13.91% of finishers ) (49.75% of those who started)
Total number of abandonments : 110 (5.06% of those who started)


2015-Marathon du Mont-Blanc

Men's Marathon results

1 Marc LAUENSTEIN SUI 3:48:35
2 Aritz EGEA CACERES ESP 3:49:33
3 Max KING USA 4:01:35


Women's Marathon results

1 Elisa DESCO ITA 4:35:10
2 Oihana KORTAZAR ESP 4:45:40
3 Céline LAFAYE FRA 4:53:12


Click here for full results


Throughout this week-end the public, family, friends or holiday makers have been numerous in coming to applaud and support the runners, athletes or unknown runners. 80 km, VKM, Cross, 10 km, Minicross, Marathon... all different distances, for all levels and one soul pleasure: running in an exceptional landscape !

Rendezvous the last week-end of June 2016!

For more information, please visit  www.montblancmarathon.net/en/


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