Marathon du Mont Blanc is one of those races that I for many years wanted to perform well at but never had a good day. I DNFt in 2019 after having to stop for the toilet 4 times before 15km mark, the same thing happened in 2021 but I managed to finish in the end but way down the list. The course goes through the Chamonix valley on one of the lower, flatter trails before it hits the mountains in Le Tour up to Col the Posette after 13km. The pace is always high from the start and it is usually the one who manage that pace and keep it to the finish line who performs well. Going out hard, and you risk paying for it hard in the climbs, specially the second half of the race. Starting too slow, and you fall two far behind and never get the opportunity to make up time.
The second half from Vallorcine back to Chamonix is long and gruelling. The heat and nutrition starts to plan in and who ever have the legs in the last climb up to Flegere can make up a lot of time.
For this years Marathon du Mont Blanc, I felt relaxed and planned to take it as a fun but hard training race and not doing any specific preparation for it. My focus for this year is UTMB so I prioritised consistency in the training between World Champs and Marathon du Mont Blanc. I have spend a lot of times on the trails and in the mountains the last couple of weeks so felt a bit tiered in the legs and body before the race. Never the less, I was still focused and excited to se where I stand race against some of the strongest runners in the world and to race in the Golden Trail World Series again.
Start 0730 in Chamonix, I started steady and controlled gaining position almost every km. When entering Le Tour I was in 10th position and feeling ready to start the big climb to Col des Posettes. Team mate Hugo Deck was crewing for me there and in Vallorcine and his girlfriend Margot in La Flegere.
I gained some positions in the climb but then lost some in the downhill to Vallorcine but left Vallorcine at 9th position. I wanted to save my legs for the second half and not risk destroying the quads before the climb to La Flegere. The heat was getting intense and I cooled down in the streams whenever I got the opportunity. In the climb from Col des Montes to Flegere I setled into a good pace that I felt I could hold on to the whole climb. At the top I was up on podium position and still feeling good. I pushed everything I had in the downhill and managed to extend the gap behind me. In the front , Remi Bonnét and Eli Hemming was in their own league, very impressive performances from both of them and could be happier sharing the podium with those two guys!
Thanks Hugo, Margot for the support and Marathon du Mont Blanc/ Golden Trail Series for a fantastic race!
Photos David GONTHIER and AdventureBakeries/Golden Trails Series
Adidas TERREX Prototypes shoes
Adidas TERREX Prototype Singlet and shorts
Adidas TERREX Prototype Trail Vest
Coros Apex Pro 2
500ml Soft flask
Start - Chamonix
500ml Maurten 240 + 2*100 Gel
500ml Maurten 240 + 2*Maurten 100 Gel CAF
300ml Maurten 160 + 250ml RedBull + 2 *Maurten 100 Gel
500ml Maurten 240 + 2* Maurten 100 Gel CAF
Finish - Chamonix
Ice Cream and a lot of water