Monday, June 30, 2008

Marathon du Mont-Blanc (Chamonix)

Last weekend, the Cross & Marathon du Mont-Blanc took place in Chamonix. On Saturday the Cross du Mont-Blanc for junior runners, a mini cross for children and a 10 kilometres introduction course (Cross Decouverte) for newcomers to this type of race, took place.
On Sunday the Marathon race (42,195kilometres, 2445 metres of positive drop and 1480m of negative drop) started from the centre of Chamonix (1035m). Then the route steadily climbed towards the upper valley, progressively passing through the hamlets of "Les Bois" and Lavancher to reach Argentière (1250m). Afterwards crossed the "Col des Montets" (1461m) in the heart of the Aiguilles Rouges Nature Reserve. Then along the "Chemin des Diligences", the old stage-coach route, runners arrived at the hamlet of Buet before reaching Vallorcine (1260 m). Heading towards the Col des Posettes (1997 m) participants were rewarded with a splendid view of the Mont-Blanc massif. Opposite the ‘Aiguille Verte' and the massif, the route gradually descended back down across the mountain passes to reach Charamillon (1850m), where the gradient increases until the village of Tour (1453 m). It became relatively flat on the road to Montroc (1382 m), before traversing the hamlets of Frasserands and Tré-le-champ. At the heart of the Aiguilles Rouges massif, opposite the Mont-Blanc range, the route climbed up towards la Flégère (1875 m). After crossing the magnificent Charlanon coomb (1812m) the gradient increases until just before the finishing line at Planpraz (2050 m).
The winner of the 2008 Marathon du Mont-Blanc was Jean-Yves Rey from Switzerland.