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Marathon Du Mont Blanc 2012

With the winter now firmly behind us (at least for most of us) it’s time to look towards summer and the various sporting events that are taking place.

One of the first major sporting events of the summer is the “Marathon du Mont blanc”. Although the “cross” (27km) has been an annual event now for many years its the marathon that interests me this year because I am enrolled on it.

In a relatively short period of time the Marathon du Mont Blanc has become a bit if a classic on the trail running callender and attracts a large number of sponsored runners making for quite a competative field and as such quite difficult for amature runners like me to get “good” results.

This years event is on 1st July and is open to 2000 runners in total with 2511m of height gain and 1490m of decent.

The first major difficulty on the course is the col du Montets. The col in itself is not very high (1460m) but it marks the end of a long slow continuous climb from the start in Chamonix. After the col it’s down hill to vallorcine.

Immediately after vallorcine the second difficulty becomes apparent in the form of a 1000m climb (steep in places) to the Aguiette des possettes. Mostly on single track and already with about 20km’s in the legs this is the section that breaks many runners.

After the Aguiette du possette there is a down hill to Montroc after which you attack the third and final climb to flegere. Although this final section is still killer, it is somehow softened by the fact that it’s the final stretch and (for me at least) i am on home turf.

That’s It! some may say that this is a very simplified version of a long and complicated mountain marathon but this is how I have broken it down in my head. Breaking down a course like this is (for me at least) necessary to better manage my race progress, food and liquids.

Having just completed my fist 60km training week of the season I am trying out some of this years new equipment. I plan on writing a quick review of the brooks cascadia 7’s which I am loving at the moment and a look at salamons s-lab skins 12 liter sack.

Jim Coates

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