Tra il 27 e il 29 giugno 2014 in occasione della Marathon du Mont Blanc si è svolto a Chamonix, lo Skyrunning World Championships valido per l'anno in corso, una sorta di campionato del Mondo per le diverse discipline della corsa in montagne su distanze, ovviamente, ultra-lunghe.
Si tratta di un evento sempre più partecipato al cui termine viene aggiornato il ranking mondiale degli ultra-trailer.
Uno scenario indubbiamente interessante, in cui sempre di più il Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) specialmente sul suo versante francese sembra acquistare il monopolio delle discipline dell'ultra-trail e della corsa in montagna. Con mezzi potenti, con il supporto senza riserve da parte delle amministrazioni locali e regionali che vedono in questo tipo di sviluppo una potente risorsa per il turismo, queste manifestazioni stanno assumendo sempre maggiore rilevanza e, a confronto, i campionati nazionali di ultratrail oppure quelli mondiali (come sono quelli organizzati ogni due anni dalla IAU) si vano svuotando di ogni significato.
Risulta evidente che ogni ultra-trailer di valore che aspiri ad un posto nel ranking mondiale decida di partecipare ad uno di questi eventi o a quelli targati North Face (di cui esiste n tour mondiale, inziato per la prima volta nel 2014) e che disdegnino altri eventi di minore portata, ai quali sarà difficile - se non impossibile vedere come protagonisti personaggi come il mattatore Kilian Jornet, che ha fatto da protagnonisto in questo World Championships appena concluso, vincendo sia il Km verticale, sia la Mont Blanc Marathon, agiudicandosi inoltre il titolo nella "Combinata".
Per la cronaca, l'italiana Elisa Desco, già vincitrice del Campionato del Mondo di Corsa in Montagna nel 2010, ma subito dopo interdetta per doping dalla partecipazione a qualsiasi gara per due anni consecutivi (ma la simpatica e briosa atleta ha sempre negato qualsiasi sua responsibilità nella vicenda), ha vinto tra le donne nella "Marathon du Mont Blanc, laurendosi campionessa mondiale.
E' un dato di fatto: sempre più è la Francia a detttare legge ed ad essere fucina di eventi di rilevanza mondiale nell mondo dell'Ultratrail.
Chamonix, Kilian dominates! After two days of bright sunshine, rain, wind and snow invited themselves onto the tracks of the marathon forcing the organizers to change to the alternative course. There were three major changes made from Vallorcine, after the Posettes climb where the course goes towards Le Tour taking the 4x4 track to avoid the Aiguillette des Posettes and the arête that are too exposed to the weather. Then at Trélechamp the runners climb up to La Flégère and come down to Chamonix using the 4x4 track and the path from la Floria to reach Chamonix instead of Planpraz.
Only a few abandonments this sunday morning at 7:00am with 2291 starters (including 372 women) who set off with an intense rhythm in order to make up for the heat lost through ambient humidity. At the Lavancher, a small group of 8 competitors: Jornet (ES), Owens (UK), Lanne 5FR), Malek (Maroc), Lauenstein (CH), Zago (FR), Egea (ES) andSilva (PORT) seemed surprisingly quick. Gradually a gap is created by Jornet, Owens and Lanne. Kilian said: « The last climb to La Flégère was crucial, I could feel Michel on my back, I increased my speed because I knew he could come back at me. A race is never won until you cross the finish line ». The descent was very quick all the way to the finish line that Kilian crossed 2 minutes in front of Michel. It was hand in hand with Bruno Brunod (IT), the first Skyrunning world champion (1998) that Kilian crosses the line. A small reminder: Bruno was also the record holder of the Cervin ascent (3h14min) that Kilian took from him on August 21st 2013 (2h52min). Owens takes 3rdplace 30 seconds after Michel.
30 minutes later, after a race that was just as tough and fast as the men, the first woman Elisa Desco (IT) arrives. Throughout the race, there was a fine battle between the 5 favorites who all crossed the finish line one after the other. Megan Kimmel (US) and her compatriot Stevie Kremer were second and third place respectively.
After his victory and a new record in the Vertical Km on friday, his first place today on the Marathon, Kilian finishes with 3 titles of Skyrunnig World Champion: the Skymarathon, the Vertical Kilometer, and Combined.
What happened these past 2 days.
Friday 26th june, Under the sun...
On its second edition, the Mont-Blanc 80 K took place with the beautiful original route which was not used for the first edition (due to bad weather conditions). The starting line up was very exclusive because of the reward of the first place was to become the new Ultra-Marathon World Champion. The Spaniard Luis Alberto Hernando gave everything throughout the race which he lead from start to finish followed by François D'Haene (winner of the 2013edition) by 3 to 8 minutes.
For the ladies, the Swedish Emelie Forsberg, crossed the finish line in 12h38 minutes of a race that she led from beginning to the end in front of her friend Anna Frost. Only 8 minutes separated the two ladies throughout a fierce battle. Behind them the Polish Magdalena Laczack tried in vain to reach them. A surprisingly fresh podium with women almost less tired than the men.
The first French placed woman was Maud Gobert, she finished in 4th place with a radiant smile on her face, delighted to be back after an injury in the spotlight of a major international race.
With 49% of retirements, the Mont-Blanc 80 k with its 6000m of vertical gain confirms a highly technical and difficult race with a course going through high mountain passages that require each runner to push his own limits to the maximum.
Tiredness and effort can be overcome by facing magnificent landscapes, panoramic views of the French and Swiss alps. This is the magic and the essence of these long distance races in the valley of Chamonix.
The records. Late afternoon the Vertical Kilometer shook the chronos and broke old records. Recently returned from Mt Mc Kinley, Kilian Jornet believed his legs were tired... He breaks the record established last year by the Columbian Saul Padua Rodriguez (00:34:34) by 16 seconds. (00:34:18).
On the ladies side, Laura Orgue-Vila, 2nd in 2013 on the Vertical KM, Top 10 at the Sotchi Olympics 30km free cross-country skiing, also break the record in realise, 00:41:29.
After 3 days of races at the highest level as well as more accessible formats such as the Cross du Mont-Blanc (23 km), 10 kmor the short distances for kids, 7000 runners have competed under the top of Europe. Mont-Blanc that still seems radiant for the trailers even in the like today!
I mIgliori momenti della Marathon du Mont Blanc in un video
Mont-Blanc 80 Km
1 - Luis Alberto Hernando (ESP): 10:25:52
2 - François d'Haene (FRA): 10:29:33
3 - Ben Duffus (AUS): 10:52:33
1 - Emilie Forsberg (NOR) : 12:38 :49
2 - Anna Frost (NZ) : 12:46:52
3 - Magdalena Laczak (PL) : 12:58 :51
Stats: 1119 competitors, 115 women ??? 549 retirements
1 - Kilian JORNET (ES) en 00:34:18
2 - Bernard DEMATTEIS (IT) en 00:34:36
3 - Urban ZEMMER (IT) en 00:34:37
1 - Laura ORGUE-VILA (ES) en 00:41:29
2 - Stevie KREMER (US) en 00:41:37
3 - Christel DEWALLE (FR) en 00:41:50
Stats : 404 competitors 61 women, 3 retirements
Cross du Mont Blanc
Cédric Fleureton (FR) en 02:06:21
Manon Mougin (FR) en 02:33:00
Stats: 1519 competitors 537 women ??? 37 retirements
Marathon du Mont Blanc
1 - Kilian Jornet (ESP) en 03:23:39
2 - Michel Lanne (FR) en 03:25:50
3 - Thomas Owens (UK) en 03:26:20
1 - Elisa Desco (ITA) en 03:53:33
2 - Megan Kimmel (USA) en 03:54:51
3 - Stevie Kremer (USA) en 03:55:36
Stats : 2291 competitors 372 women
Skyrunning World Championship Results:
- Ultra-marathon: 80 km : Luis Alberto HERNANDO and Emelie FORSBERG
- Vertical Kilometer: Kilian JORNET and Laura ORGUE-VILA
- Skymarathon : 42,5km, Kilian JORNET and Elisa DESCO
- Combined Kilian JORNET and Stevie KREMER