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British double at the 2017 Salomon Gore-Tex MaXi Race

by editor
Monday 29th May 2017
Over the weekend, around 7500 runners from 46 countries took to the trails in the mountains around lake Annecy for the Salomon Gore-Tex MaXi-Race.
The sun shone down on all the races, and with many runners taking a well-deserved, refreshing dip in the lake at the end of their races, it was more like a holiday resort at plage d'Albigny. 

Maxi beach

However, many runners did suffer in the heat, with dehydration and heatstroke causing many DNFs. In the Ultra Race (110km/7000m) there was a 38% drop-out rate and in the MaXi Race (83km/5200m) 34% of runners were unable to finish. 
There was an enormous amount of support for the runners out on the course and in the finish area. Plus there were 500 volunteers to make sure that the runners were well looked-after and everything went smoothly. 
In a series of races always dominated by French runners we had some great British success this year. Natalie White won the Femina 15k race on the Saturday and Robbie Britton won the Short Race (also 15k) on the Sunday. Both races were won in exciting sprint finishes, so recent forays into shorter, faster races and living in Chamonix really seems to be paying off for Robbie and Natalie. Robbie even claimed to be ‘a bit French’ now, in his finish line interview.

Brit winners
Natalie White on the podium and Robbie Britton celebrates on the finish line

In the 83km MaXi Race Brit Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn, of Salomon Academy/Team Mountain Fuel, came third, with Perrine Tramoni winning and Lisa Borzoi in second. In the men’s field Sébastien Spehler took his second victory, with Michel Lanne in second and Aurelien Patox in third. 
The inaugural Ultra Race (110km) saw French runners François D'Haene and Caroline Chaverot dominate. Both were in the lead almost from start to finish despite the presence of strong outsiders such as Max King of the USA and Andréa Huser of Switzerland.
The marathon set off on the Sunday morning and it was hot right from the start. Five French runners led the race: Clément Molliet, Pierre Baque, Gédéon Pochat, Clément Ripoll and Robin Cattet. At Menthon, at 27km, Clément Molliet took the lead. But in the final kilometres, Elie Besson Pithon made an impressive surge and stirred things up. He finished in 4.04.40, just 2 minutes behind the winner Clément Molliet.
In the ladies race the favourite, Wenrong Zheng of China, a young marathon runner with a PB of 2.32, was in the lead at the first two check points. But at Villard-dessus Cécile Clet of France overtook, leaving the others 13 minutes behind her by the time she reached Menthon. Cécile arrived at plage d'Albigny in 4.58.23, 20 minutes ahead of Christelle Bassereau.
This race is growing in popularity and status each year and the MaXi-Race brand has become a series of races all over the world, with new races added in China and South Africa this year, and more to come… Find out more at www.maxi-race.net/fr/international/

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