Chamonix, France. For the third time in as many years, weather played a huge factor at the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. Widely considered Europe’s most significant ultra, the course was shortened to 104km (64.5 miles) by a cold late-summer storm that dumped fresh snow at elevations above about 6500 feet. The course was redesigned to stay at lower elevations, but the 2482 participants were greeted with cold rain and gusty winds throughout the event, and very muddy trails. The revised route still contained more than 20,000 feet of vertical.
François D’häene of France and Lizzy Hawker, a Brit living in Switzerland, were the race winners. It was the fifth UTMB win for Hawker. Mike Foote of Missoula, Montana was the top American male for the second straight year, closing strongly to finish third. Rory Bosio of Soda Springs, California, followed up her second place finish at Western States with a fourth place finish here. Oregonians Amy Sproston and Meghan Arbogast finished 8th and 12th, respectively.
In the accompanying CCC (Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix) event, Ellie Greenwood of North Vancouver, BC was the women’s winner in 11:17:24. Tofol Castañer of Spain was the men’s winner. CCC was shortened from its normal 100km to 86km.
1. François D’häene, 28, France, 10:32:36
2. Jonas Buud, 38, Sweden 11:03:19
3. Mike Foote, 28, Missoula, MT, 11:19:00
4. Carlos Sá, Portugal, 11:22:39
5. Csaba Németh, Hungary, 11:37:18
1. Lizzy Hawker, 36, Switzerland, 12:32:13
2. Francesca Canepa, 41, Italy, 13:17:01
3. Emma Roca, 37, Spain, 13:23:37
4. Rory Bosio, 27, Soda Springs, CA, 13:43:10
5. Katia Fori, Italy, 13:58:25
Photo top: François D’häene at the finish line in Chamonix (photo by Rosso Damien, Droz-Photo.com)
Photo above: Lizzy Hawker (courtesy The North Face)
irunfar.com contributed to this report