On Friday I ran the first ever edition of the 80km du Mont Blanc, a brand new trail race that I involved 6000m of ascent. This made it comparable to the UTMB CCC race of 98km with 5600m vertical, or so I thought. In fact the section from Flegere to Tete aux Vents and Vallorcine was the same, but there the similarities ended. This route had far more technical sections, some equiped with chains etc, such as on the steep ascent to the Emmosson dam and across to Loriaz. There were also significant snow patches and steep frozen neve to negotiate too.
I’m not whinging though. The photo above was taken at sunrise descending from Brevent, and it shows the real style of this course; technical, unrelenting, mountain terrain. I found many sections harder to run than the CCC, but it was less commercial and had a great atmosphere. I finished in just over 19 hours, so fairly steady, but the race went really well for me in terms of timings, eating and hydrating well, and getting a good rhythm. The organisers made a brave and correct decision to slightly alter the route, due to the late spring snows making some sections impassable. However, the slightly revised route was challenging and a real high mountain trail. I’d love to run this course again in the future, and hope it doesn’t become too popular!