Mont Blanc Marathon Report
"I've probably never felt more exhausted than on the last 10k leg of Sunday's Mont-Blanc Marathon in Chamonix, France. But perfect organization on part of the team manager, determination, and team spirit let me finish the iconic race in 9th place, breaking the top 10 for the first time and helping Team Arc'teryx place three runners in the top 10.
After having been to the Zegama-Aizkorri race in Spain, the Mont Blanc Marathon was my second appearance at the 2013 Skyrunning World Series. More importantly, it was the first time that I got together with the other athletes on the Arc'teryx team. When we got ready for the Vertical Kilometer on Friday – a grueling 1,000 meter ascent over a 3.8km course – I already experienced what Skyrunning as a team is about: camaraderie, friendship, and support. It was the first time that I ran a Vertical Kilometer, and the advice that I got from my experienced teammates Nicola Golinelli and Didier Zago was crucial in this race: Find your own rhythm and don't let others dictate your pace. Nicola finished in 6th place, while Didier (13th) and I (12th) were separated by only a second.
Just two days later, on Sunday, we all toed the line to compete in the Mont Blanc Marathon, the second race of the Skyrunning World Series. The course, with a rather flat and fast start, and a long and not too technical ascent, suited my abilities much more than the very technical Zegama race; and we were able to run together and support each other as a team for a long time. Nicola finally pulled away and eventually finished in 4th place (3:43:02). Having little experience in Skyrunning so far, I was happy to have Didier at my side until about 8 kilometers from the finish. I then noticed that I had probably eaten and drank too little, and my 'batteries' went down rapidly. But with Didier finishing in 6th place (3:48:42) and me fighting through to a satisfying 9th place (3:55:45), we were the only team who placed three runners in the top ten."
We would like to extend our congratulations to the entire Arc'teryx team, as well as all competitors in the weekend's races. And as always, we are grateful to Ian Corless for the excellent event coverage and photography.