Mont Blanc Marathon summary

©copyright Skyrunning Mont Blanc Marathon, part of the Skyrunner®  World Series weekend has really been a truly incredible experience. Mont Blanc, location of the 2014 Skyrunning World Champuionships, the 2013 event  was so much more than a test run for next year!

The VK on Friday was an exhibition of exploding lungs and legs full of lactic acid as 400 runners climbed 1000 vertical meters over a 3.8km course – follow HERE

Today however, Sunday, was the classic marathon with a stellar field toeing the line to tackle a tough but fast course over the Mont Blanc mountain range. Wet and misty weather from Saturday cleared to one of the most glorious days in the mountains I have had the pleasure to witness.


Course records fall at the 2013 Mont Blanc Marathon

If you have never seen the Mont Blanc mountain range, a photo may give an impression but the awe inspiring majesty of these enormous beasts is a sight to behold and remember. They are truly incredible.

At 0700 two thousand runners departed from the square in Chamonix. The early pace was relentless over the first 10km’s due to relatively flat and very runnable terrain.

©copyright lead group of men sped past at Argentiere pushing the pace hard. As expected, the main protagonists of the day were present; Kilian Jornet, Marco De Gasperi, Luis Alberto Hernando, Florian Reichert, Nicola Golinelli, Didier Zago, Alex Nichols, Tofol Castanyer and Salomon Team Manager, Greg Vollet amongst other.

©copyright lady was Stevie Kremer. Pushing the pace hard very early on she shouted as she passed, “they are not far behind”. As it happened, at this early stage in the race she already had a ninety second lead over Emelie Forsberg.

©copyright the trails the terrain changed and started to undulate. Kilian Jornet, Marco De Gasperi along with Luis Alberto Hernando and Nicola Golinelli started to pull away from the rest of the filed. Stevie Kremer extended her lead from ninety second to three minutes and this pattern continued.

©copyright the Col de Posettes the race was blown apart with Kilian Jornet and Marco De Gasperi pushing each other stride-for-stride. Four minutes later Luis Alberto Hernando arrived. Nicola Golinelli was pursued by team mate Didier Zago and then we had Alex Nicholls and Florian Reichert. The pace was relentless.

Alex Nicholls and Florian Reichert

Alex Nicholls and Florian Reichert

Stevie Kremer flew down the descent and I waited… three, four, five, eight, ten and then Emelie came in sight… she was ten minutes and thirty seconds behind Stevie. Quite incredible! Emelie did say post race that she was having stomach issues, “I take nothing away from Stevie’s incredible performance, but today I just couldn’t push, I had no additional energy”.

Stevie Kremer on the Col de Posettes

Stevie Kremer on the Col de Posettes

From Tre les Champ at 1363m and approximately 32km into the course, the final 10km was all uphill! A relentless climb was broken with some relief just after Flegere before the final push  to the summit finish at Plangraz, 2016m.

First around the bend was Kilian Jornet. Waving to the crowds he approached the line, turned, gave his usual one arm wave and then bent double as he tried to recover from the effort, 3h30’41 a new course record!

©copyright De Gasperi was second just over a minute later. the two sparring partners had pushed each other to the line and in the process had once again provided an incredible racing spectacle that we can only look upon in disbelief.

©copyright Alberto Hernando completed the podium. Post race he expressed his thoughts, “I have been training for longer races and I found the early relentless pace difficult to keep up with. However, from half way I improved and felt good. Maybe I am a little tired?”.

©copyright Kremer absolutely dominated the ladies race and blew the old course record off the scale by some twenty five minutes, her time of 4h03’16 placed her within the top 20! As she approached the line she could finally relax and that incredible smile appeared on her face. It was a stunning performance and one that many of us will never forget.

©copyright Forsberg arrived twenty two minutes later, despite her issues during the race she smiled and waved to the crowds. Emelie in her meteoric rise in the sport has become a firm crowd favorite and the cheers from all who watched acknowledged this.

©copyright Lafaye completed the podium closely followed by Silvia Serafini. The Mont Blanc Marathon really was a showcase event. The anticipation for the 2014 World Skyrunning Championships will now start in earnest, with the inclusion of an 80km event, the race weekend will provide participants the option to race over the three classic Skyrunning disciplines:

  • VK
  • Sky
  • Ultra

Notable mentions must go to the incredible performances from the inov-8 International Skyrunning Team and Arc’teryx, both placed runners in the top ten.

Attention now turns to the Skyrunning Ice Trail Tarantaise and the European Championships in July – Information HERE


  • Skyrunning HERE
  • Marathon Mont Blanc HERE



1° Kilian Jornet 3h30’41 NEW COURSE RECORD
2° Marco De Gasperi 3h31’42 –
3° Luis-Alberto Hernando-Alzaga 3h36’14

1° Stevie Kremer 4h03’16 NEW COURSE RECORD
2° Emelie Forsberg 4h25’10
3° Céline Lafaye 4h35

VK images from Mont Blanc

Kilian Jornet copyright iancorless.comSimple really, start here and go up for 1000 vertical meters and then stop. Fastest wins… ! Nothing like a good old time trial to get the heart going.

Pioneered by the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF), the Vertical Kilometer really is a fantastic sport. Entertaining to watch and of course due to the staggered start, one has the opportunity to see each runner in close detail. More news to follow on the race but here are the results and images from the day.



1°Saul Antonio Padua Rodriguez 36’040 nouveau record
2°Kilian Jornet 36’23
3°Eirik-Dagssonn Haugsnes 36’32


1°Christel Dewalle 43’03 record
2°Laura Orgue 44’23
3°Antonella Confortola 44’25
4°Emelie Forsberg 46’25





Skyrunning HERE

It’s VK day for Aussie inov-8 runners

P1130536Brendan Davies and Shona Stephenson have both had incredible starts to the 2013 season. Members of the newly formed inov-8 International Skyrunning Team they are now in Europe to test themselves against some of the best runners in the world.

The Skyrunning VK is something both will never have experienced before. Standing in Chamonix and looking up they see 1000 vertical meters ahead of them. At 3.8km’s long how hard can it be…?

The answer is easy. HARD!

Lungs will burn and legs will ache as each participant pushes to the limit. Who will cover the distance and conquer the elevation in the fastest time?

Just two days later, Brendan & Shona will line up for the Mont Blanc Marathon, a classic Sky race with an extremely competitive field. Racing the best in the world, these Aussie runners will face up against Kilian Jornet, Luis Alberto Hernando, Marco De Gasperi, Emelie Forsberg, Stevie Kremer, Anna Frost, Silvia Serafini and so on… as Brendan says, “It’s a dream come true to be in Europe racing on such incredible terrain against the best in the world, it’s a very exciting experience and one I am relishing”.

P1130546Southern hemisphere running is going through a boom period at the moment, Brendan and Shona are at the forefront of the sport. The vision of the inov-8 International Skyrunning Team is not only enabling the sport to progress within the UK but also on a much wider scale. Lauri Van Houten, Skyrunning Vice President, more than anybody is aware of the growth and expansion. 2012 was  a breakthrough year for the International Skyrunning Federation. The Skyrunner World Series attracted the best International runners from trail and ultra. The consensus from all participants is that what Skyrunning offers is mind blowing,




inov-8 HERE

Brendan Davies HERE

Shona Stephenson HERE

Skyrunning HERE



Team Arc’teryx at Chamonix

©copyright Arc’teryx line up in Chamonix with a quality field to race the Skyrunning VK and Marathon part of the Skyrunning World Series. Team members, Tessa Hill, Didier Zago, Nicola Golinelli, Didier Zago and Florian Reichert are excited once again to be testing themselves against very competitive fields.

Tessa Hill placed 2nd at Ribagosa VK and has high hopes for Chamonix. She realises it won’t be an easy race, “It’s all about monitoring your effort, push too hard, just by a fraction and you pay for it” Tessa says, “I am looking for a good consistent race and plan to run as much as I can”.

©copyright Reichert had his first introduction to Skyrunning at Zegama-Aizkorri and performed exceptionally well, “I was in the top ten and was able to use my speed on the flat and climbing sections, however, I need to improve my descending”. Of course, Florian wont have a problem descending on the VK course! On Sunday he will race the marathon and this will suit him. He will have the potential to use his speed and run his own race.

©copyright Golinelli is an experienced Skyrunner and often excels at the VK and ‘Sky’ distances. For sure, this weekend will suit his abilities and skills. When asked about recover he said, “the key when racing a VK and then a marathon just a day later is all about recovery. The VK may only be short but it is extremely hard on the body. I will hydrate and rest and hopefully come Sunday I will feel fresh”.

Didier Zago is also an experienced Skyrunner and he will use all his past experiences to great effect over the VK and Marathon. Like Nicola, he also says that recovery is key, “many will say that the VK is only 2.8km long and so therefore it is easy… it is not, you go up for 1000 vertical meters, this hurts the lungs and the legs”.

©copyright is possible to follow all races live over race weekend here:


Arc’teryx HERE

Skyrunning HERE

Episode 38 – Cooper, Campbell, Draney, Canepa



Episode 38 of Talk Ultra is all about Ronda dels Cims. We discuss the race and have interviews ‘live’ from Andorra with 3rd place Matt Cooper, 7th place Jared Campbell, 8th place Ty Draney and the ladies winner Francesca Canepa. Speedgoat talks Western States, we have a special Talk Training with Jez Bragg and we have the up and coming races for the next two weeks.

Show Notes
00:00:00 Start
00:25:40 News
00:39:10 Talk Training with TNF athlete Jez Bragg – If one person knows how to pack a rucksack and what to put in it for a long training session or race in the mountains, it is Jez Bragg. On this weeks Talk Training we discuss mandatory kit and discuss some of the options that are available and what we should consider. Jez Bragg HERE
01:01:45 Interviews
01:02:30 Matt Cooper from Australia came to the 2013 edition of Ronda dels Cims and had a stunning race. Not many people could fall into a freezing river in the middle of the night, climb out and then continue the race in sub zero temperatures and finish on the podium. Website HERE
01:25:04 Jared Campbell is somewhat a legend in ultra running. He has achieved so much… one of the few runners to finish the infamous Barkley, he is considered a tough guy of ultra running. Listen to what he thinks of the Ronda dels Cims course. Website HERE
01:52:00 Ty Draney has been running ultras for well over ten years, he has run 100’s and completed Hardrock 100. Ty expected Ronda dels Cims to be his toughest ever challenge. Was it? HERE
02:25:00 Francesca Canepa turned peoples heads in 2012 when she placed 2nd behind Lizzy Hawker at the TNF UTMB. Incredibly, just seven days later she raced Tor des Deants and won… her win at the 2013 edition of the Ronda dels Cims certainly puts her high up on a pedestal for long distance races. Website HERE
02:40:50 Meltzer Moment
02:49:20 Up and Coming Races
02:52:30 Close

Inov-8 in Chamonix

Team Inov-8 copyright

June is proving to be a very special month for UK Company, Inov-8. Celebrating ten years in the business, 2013 has seen the company create an International Skyrunning Team bringing together runners from all over the world to take part in the Skyrunning World Series. Inov-8 started the 2013 campaign in Zegama-Aizkorri and will now follow with what will be a truly international field at the Mont Blanc marathon and Vertical Kilometer.

Natalie White, team manager for the brand has been influential in coordinating and bringing all this together, “Prior to me joining Inov-8 we only had a small team of UK based athletes. To get more brand awareness across the world I thought we needed an International team. So, the best athletes from around the world put them in one team and then send them out to run in the Skyrunning series. We support them and help them travel the world to race. We want to help them achieve”.

Brendan Davies and Shona Stephenson will arrive in Chamonix from Australlia. Brendan Davies (AUS), has had an incredible 2013 with top placing’s at the super competitive Tarawera Ultra in New Zealand, a top five at UTMF 100 in Japan and then a win and new CR at TNF100 in Australia. He has been fired up with an opportunity to race in Europe.

Shona Stephenson (AUS), like Brendan has had quite an incredible start to the year too, with impressive runs and results over a variety of distances and terrain. Shona was second at UTMF 100 in Japan, third at TNF100 in Australia and now she will race Europe and the high mountains for the first time.

 ©copyright Nichols copyright

Alex Nichols (USA), unlike his Australian teammates has experience of Skyrunning, he scored a top 5 at the Sky Games in 2012, his first outing in a Skyrunning event. He said, “It was a learning curve’. With Pikes Peak on his doorstep in the US he has plenty of opportunity to practice ascending and descending, combined with natural speed he will be a force to be reckoned with in Chamonix.

Also flying in from the USA is Scott Dunlap (USA). Scott has already had a busy start to 2013, he PR’d at Boston Marathon with 2:44:35 and most recently he has run Silver State 50m in sub 10 hours.

Sarah Ridgeway, Anna Lupton and Natalie White all arrive from the UK and complete the International field. Natalie is fulfilling two roles as team manager and competitor. In 2012 she won the mixed pairs in the two-day mountain marathon and has placed fourth in the Skygames.

©copyright Lupton_Zegama13_copyright

Anna Lupton has two wins at the famous Three Peaks race and she will bring that skill and fell running ability to both the VK and Marathon courses.

Finally, Sarah Ridgeway lives and breathes mountain running, her home in Wales is the perfect training ground for courses like Mont Blanc. With Mt Snowdon on her doorstep, she will be adapted and ready to race.

Sarah Ridgeway copyright

The Mont Blanc Marathon is the second event in the Skyrunning World Series and will be preceded by the KM Vertical on June 28th where 400 runners will line up for a lung-busting 1,000 meters skywards over the short 3.5 km course.

Among the events over the weekend organised by the Club des Sports Chamonix, is the new Mont-Blanc 80K on June 28, the first time a race has been held on this course, although shortened due to snow on the course.  The race will represent a “test run” for the 2014 Skyrunning World Championships where the three events will be featured.

In addition to racing, inov-8 will host their first-ever athlete retreat in Chamonix, in the Alps, starting on Thursday. Twelve inov-8 athletes will attend over the nine days. They will test exciting new product and train at altitude alongside their international team-mates.

Great North Walk 100s 020b

Brendan Davies looks ahead to brutal Alpine double-header and first-ever Inov-8 athlete retreat

Brendan said: “2013 has been an outstanding year for me so far. Winning the TNF 100km ultra in my own back yard in Australia was brilliant, on the back of my fifth place finish in the 100-mile Ultra Trail Mt Fuji.

“Now I’m ready to hit Europe for inov-8’s first-ever athlete’s retreat in the Alps and to race in the Mont Blanc Marathon.

“The experience of being around my fellow inov-8 team-mates is one I’ve been looking forward to all year.

“It will be an opportunity to soak up years and years of collective trail running experience in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

“The nine-day retreat will also give us the chance to test exciting new inov-8 shoes, clothing and packs, and provide valuable feedback. This can only have a positive affect on the performances of inov-8 wearers around the world.

“I can’t wait to get to Chamonix (France) and immerse myself in the camp, test the product and train in such stunning mountainous surroundings.

“Although I’ve raced on three previous occasions in Europe, this will be my first time in the Alps.

“Sunday’s Mont Blanc Marathon – which includes 2,511m of vertical gain and 1,490m of elevation loss – will be my first true mountain trail event.

“It is an iconic race and I’m looking forward to doing battle against the crème de la crème of global trail running. It is going to be something truly special.

“Although not my preferred terrain nor distance, I’ll be giving the race absolutely everything.

“I also plan to do the Mont Blanc Vertical KM race which, like the marathon, is part of the 2013 Skyrunner World Series.

“Friday’s lung-busting Vertical KM race starts in Chamonix and involves running as fast as possible to a measured 1,000m height gain over a course that is around 3.5km in distance.

“I’m more akin to running longer distances, so this short, steep seriously fast race will push me to the limit. I can’t wait!”


Inov-8 – HERE

Skyrunning – HERE 

Mont Blanc Marathon HERE

Mont Blanc Marathon Preview

affiche marathon 2012 hte def avec logo copie

The Race:

The Mont Blanc Marathon needs no introduction! Starting from the center of Chamonix (1035m) the race route over the classic marathon distance has has a positive vertical gain of 2511 meters and an elevation loss of 1490meters. 

The route climbs steadily towards the upper valley, progressively passing through the hamlets of “les Bois” and Lavancher to reach Argentière at 1250m. Following a trail towards Le Planet the route traverses to the Balcon Nord before heading down towards Montroc. On leaving Montroc village runners take the trail towards Tré le Champ and go towards Col des Montets.

Crossing the “Col des Montets” at 1461m in the heart of the Aiguilles Rouges Nature Reserve runners take the old stage-coach route along the “chemin des Diligences”, the old stage-coach route to arrive at the hamlet of Buet before reaching Vallorcine at 1260 m.

Climbing to the Col des Possettes at 1997m via a trail leaving from the Plan de l’envers progression is made onwards to the highest point of the course at the Aiguilles des Possettes (2201m). The climb and exhaustion is worth it… each participant is rewarded by a breathtaking panorama of the Mont Blanc range.

Facing the ‘Aiguille Verte’ and the Mont Blanc range, the route Following the ridgeline of the ‘aiguillette’ and facing the ‘Aiguille Verte’ it is now time to descend in the direction of Tré le Champ.

A pretty trail toward le Tour, runners cross through a village, and then the Tour glacier. Taking a north-facing trail towards Montroc, cross through hamlets of the Frasserands and Tré le Champ. Now at the heart of the Aiguilles Rouges massif, opposite the Mont-Blanc range, the route climbs up towards la Flégère (1875 m). Cross the magnificent Charlanon Comb (1812m) and then the gradient increases until just before the arrival at Planpraz at 2050 m giving one of the most beautiful views of the Mont-Blanc.

The race is done!

Results 2012:


2012: Maude Mathys (SUI) 4h28’17’’


2012: Kilian Jornet (ESP) 3h38’24’’

Key players in the 2013 race

Without doubt the 2013 Mont Blanc Marathon has quality and depth in abundance in both the ladies and men’s fields. The second race in the Skyrunning World Series, we now have a clear indication of who is in form and who is coming in to form.  Stand out names are Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg. After topping the podium at Transvulcania La Palma and Zegama-Aizkorri, will the Salomon duo remain on the top step when the race is completed on Sunday? 



Kilian JornetSalomon Santiveri, without doubt is the out-and-out favorite for the race. Last years winner is in form and firing on all cylinders, it is his home playground and he knows the route like the back of his hand. Post his win at Zegama-Aizkorri were he had a head-to-head battle with Luis Alberto Hernando, Kilian he has done some shorter races and he has won all of them.


Luis Alberto Hernando – Adidas is without doubt a great addition to the race. His second place at Transvulcania La Palma, followed up with a second place (just 12 seconds) behind Kilian Jornet at Zegama-Aizkorri fmeans that we have a battle on our hands! A couple of weekends ago he ran Haria Extreme and produced a strong and convincing performace. Without doubt a potential winner for the race.



Tofol CastanyerSalomon Santiveri, was forced to miss Zegama-Aizkorri due to injury so his form may not be 100%, however, he loves the mountains and he knows how to race.


Marco De GasperiScott, despite dropping at half way at Zegama was showing some fine form. He was head-to-head with Kilian and pushing him. He has had some injury issues (hence the drop at Zegama) but he seems to be well on his way to a full recovery and is coming back strong. Kilian and Marco have 100% respect for each other and love to push each other to the line… we may very well see a repeat battle of the Luis Alberto Hernando and Kilian battle at Zegama, re run over the course in Mont Blanc.


Florian Reichert – Arc’teryx/ Inov-8, is new to Skyrunning but he has speed! Despite the odds, he pulled out a great first race at Zegama-Aizkorri and not only survived but also performed exceptionally well. With his duck over he will come to Mont Blanc with renewed confidence. Without doubt he will have worked on improving his technical running ability and descending. If he can add his natural speed to improved technique, he may well be one to watch!

Nicola GolinelliArc’teryx, always performs well in the mountains and Skyrunning events. He is the 2010 combined events champion. He will bring mountain skill and speed to the Mont Blanc course.


Ben BardsleyInov-8, had a troubled race at Zegama-Aizkorri with a calf strain. At this moment in time we are unsure of his rehabilitation but his skills on the fells and regular trips and training in Chamonix will mean that if fit, he will be one-to-watch.

Brendan DaviesInov-8, has had an incredible 2013 with top placing’s at the super competitive Tarawera Ultra in New Zealand, a top five at UTMF 100 in Japan and then a win and new CR at TNF100 in Australia. He is fired up and his running is re-invigorated with sponsorship from the Inov-8 International Team. Fast over the marathon and 100km distance, hos only downfall at Mont Blanc may well be his ability over tough and technical terrain. He has all the ability to be top three and without doubt, he will not be aiming for anything else.


Alex NicholsInov-8, scored a top 5 at the Sky Games in 2012, his first outing in a Skyrunning event. He said, “It was a learning curve’. He recently came over to Zegama-Aizkorri to race but pulled a muscle early in the race forcing him to drop. With Pike Peak on his doorstep in the US he has plenty of opportunity to practice ascending and descending, combined with natural speed he will be a force at the front of the race.

Scott DunlapInov-8, has already had a busy start to 2013, he PR’d at Boston Marathon with 2:44:35 and most recently he has run Silver State 50m in sub 10 hours. Scott has the potential for a good race but I don’t see him in contention at the front of the race.

Nicolas PianetNew Balance, winner of the race in 2010 and 2011 and fourth last year will have some stiff competition this year and will need to provide everything within himself to fight such tough competition.

Marc PinsachFEEC, just recently was joint first place at the 35kmVolta Cerdanya Ultrafons with no other than kilian Jornet. Marc, like Kilian, is a ski mountaineer and they have often competed together at the world and European championships. Ranked 8th in the World in 2010 in the ‘team’ race, 4th in the ‘world relay’ in 2011 and in 2012 he was 5th in the ‘European championship team’ event; all with Kilian as his partner. He has incredible ability and a true ‘Alpinist’ approach.

The depth and quality of the Mont Blanc Marathon field means that it is just not possible to review everyone, however, here is a list of other main contenders who may well shine in the Alps.

Male contenders:

Fabio Bazzana – Crazy Idea, Sota Ogawa – Salomon, Fabio Tonolo – Salomon Agisko, Giulio Ornati – Salomon Agisko, Daniele Cappelletti – Valetudo Skyrunning, Gyorgy Szabolics Istavans – Valetudo Skyrunning, Ryan Bak – Scott, Didier Zago – Arc’teryx, Marc Caros – FEEC, Just Sociats Asensio – FEEC, Jose Lozano Garcia – FEEC, Jordi Bes Ginesta – FEEC, Joan Valls Gomez – FEEC, Oscar Csal Mir – FEEC, Roberto Sancho Martinez – Diedre-Matxacuca, Daniel Cazalla Lorite – Diedre-Matxacuca, Paloma Lobera Grau – Diedre-Matxacuca, Daniel Cazalla Lorite – Diedre-Matxacuca, Francesc Marti Bertomeu – Diedre-Matxacuca, Josep Cuadrat Besa – Diedre-Matxacuca, Eugenia Moro Bertomeu – Diedre-Matxacuca, Josep Cuadrat Besa – Diedre-Matxacuca, Artem Rostovtsev – Russian Skyrunning.



Emelie Forsberg – Salomon, come to Mont Blanc as the outright favorite. In just one year Emelie has become a star of mountain running. Her 2012 season progressed and progressed and culminated with a stunning win at San Francisco 50. She started her 2013 season with win at Transgrancanaria running the marathon. A dominant performance at Transvulcania La Palma saw her not only stand victorious on top of the podium but she only missed Anna Frosts CR by minutes. Just a few weeks ago she again showed her form with a win at Zegama-Aizkorri. She will take some beating at Mont Blanc! However, she will not have an easy race. The ladies race is stacked.


Stevie Kremer – Salomon Agisko, had her first outing in a Skyrunning event Zegama-Aizkorri and learnt many things… probably the most important thing is that she can believe in herself and that she really does have the ability to perform at the highest level against the best in the world. She took the race to the ladies at Zegama and I am 100% sure that we will see a repeat performance in the Alps. Definite podium place and without doubt she has all the ability required to stand on top of it.


Silvia Serafini – Salomon Agisko, another star in the making! Silvia comes from a road background but she has adapted to the trails and mountain running exceptionally well. Like her teammate Stevie Kremer, she has every possibility to be on the podium. At Zegama-Aizkorri was having an incredible race running in the top four, unfortunately she twisted an ankle in the latter stages and although she finished she had dropped several places (6th) and was in pain. Providing she has no knock on effects Silvia will perform at the highest level and without doubt has the potential to be on the podium or top five.


Oihana Kortazar – Salomon Santiveri, 2012 winner of Zegama-Aizkorri excels in the high mountains, particularly when the course is tough and technical. Her recent form is in question as she dropped at Zegama, however, you can never rule her out. She will want to prove something at Mont Blanc and put the record straight.

Shona Stephenson – Inov-8, is travelling from Australia as part of the Inov-8 International Skyrunning Team. She has had quite an incredible start to 2013 with impressive runs and results over a variety of distances and terrain. Shona was second at UTMF 100 in Japan, third at TNF100 in Australia and now Europe and the high mountains. Without doubt she has ability but this Mont Blanc course may well be a little too short and technical for her. I can’t help but think she will need some time in Europe not only to adapt to the pace but the terrain for Skyrunning mountain events.

Other lady contenders:

Stephanie Jiminez – Salomon Agisko, Natalie White – Inov-8, Sarah Ridgeway – Inov-8, Anna Lupton – Inov-8, and Tanya Pacheco.

One thing is for sure; Chamonix and Mont Blanc will see an incredible weekend of racing from June 28th to July 1st. Many participants in the marathon will also toe the line for the ‘VK’ on Friday. A lung-busting ascent from the center of Chamonix straight up to a measured 1000 m height gain over a course 3.5km long. Great to watch, painful to participate in.

Weekend Schedule:

Friday, June 28, 2013

– Mont Blanc Vertical KM, 400 places, starting from 4:00pm in the center of Chamonix.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

– Mont Blanc Cross, 1500 places, starting at 8:30am on the landing paragliders.

– Mont Blanc 10km, 800 places, starting at 9:00am on the landing paragliders.

– Mont Blanc Mini Cross, from 800m to 3km starting from 11:00am on the landing paragliders.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

– Mont Blanc Marathon, 2000 places, starting at 7:00am in the center of Chamonix.


  • Limited to 2,000 competitors
  • Distance: 42.195 km / 26.2 miles
  • Elevation gain: 2,511m Elevation loss: 1,490m
  • Start: 1,035m. Finish 2,016m
  • Max altitude: 2,201m (Aiguilles des Possettes)
  • 6 aid stations
  • 9h time limit

Content from re VK and  Mont Blanc 80k:

The Mont-Blanc Marathon which sold out the 2,000 places many months ago, will be preceded by the KM Vertical on June 28th where 400 runners  will line up for a lung-busting 1,000 metres skywards over the short 3.5 km course.  Heading the start-list are Vertical world champions Urban Zemmer (La Sportiva) and Laura Orgué (Salomon).

Urban will be challenged not only by Kilian, last year’s winner in 36’07”, but current Vertical ranking leader, Marco Facchinelli (La Sportiva) and team mates Marco Moletto and Nadir Maguet; but also Nicola Golinelli and Florian Reichert, (Arc’teryx); Ben Bardsley, Brendan Davies, Robbie Simpson (inov-8); Matheo Jacquemoud (Crazy Idea); Oscar Casal and Joan Valls (FAM); Jose Lozano (FEEC) and Artem Rostovtsev (Russian Skyrunning) in the men’s field.

Vertical specialist Laura Orgué (Salomon) will face tough competition from team mates Emelie Forsberg, Oihana Kortazar and Anna Frost as well as last year’s race winner Antonella Confortola; Shona Stephenson, Tessa Hill (Arc’teryx);  Silvia Leal and Alba Xandri (FEEC).

Among the events over the weekend organised by the Club des Sports Chamonix, is the new Mont-Blanc 80K on June 28, the first time a race has been held on this course, although shortened due to snow on the course.  The race will represent a “test run” for the 2014 Skyrunning World Championships where the three events will be featured.


Skyrunning – HERE 

Mont Blanc Marathon HERE

Ronda dels Cims – Awards Ceremony and Summary



Julien Chorier and Francesca Canepa dominate the 177km 2013 Ronda dels Cims.the second race in the Skyrunning Ultra series.

It was without doubt an incredible and dramatic race in Andorra. Due late season snow and potential storm risk on Friday night, certain safety measures had been made and the course was modified to ensure runners safety. It did mean a little less elevation, however, this was compensated for by additional km’s, making the final distance 177km and a total elevation gain of 12,200m.

Described as one of the hardest 100+ mile races in the world, it did not disappoint. An International field lined up in Ordino on Friday for the 0700 start. The awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon affirmed the International representation with five different nationalities on the podium.

Frenchman Julien Chorier dominated the race from the front and I have to say, it is possibly one of the most impressive performances I have been fortunate to witness. He looked so calm, relaxed and focused. Kenichi Yamamoto from Japan placed second and along with his impressive entourage of photographers and camerman proved not only his ability to run but also how popular he is with the crowds and supporters. Matt Copper from Australia completed an impressive podium and produced a really solid run. He had been at the front of the race over the initial twenty kilometers and then settled in third, however, a fall into a stream during the night meant extended time at a refuge to warm up, this saw him loose a couple of places and drop to fifth. However, as daylight broke his batteries became recharged and he pushed as hard as he could to gain places and eventually finish third.

For the ladies, Francesca Canepa from Italy dominated after 65km’s and never looked back. She is a specialist in long distance races such as TNF UTMB and Tor des Geants, so, a top performance was expected here; she didn’t disappoint. She did say after the race that it was the hardest race she has ever done!. A late surge by Olga Mankò from the Ukraine elevated her to second on the podium and Emilie Lecomte, from France, after leading the race over the first 35% of the race faded but bravely battled for a hard won final podium place.

Please Note:

Talk Ultra will have interviews with Francesca Canepa (1st), Matt Cooper (3rd), Jared Campbell (7th) and Ty Draney (8th) on the next show, out Friday 28th June.


1. Julien Chorier (FRA) – Salomon – 28h41’06”

2. Kenichi Yamamoto (JAP) – Houdini) – 31h12’00”

3. Matt Cooper (AUS) – Salomon – 31h24’54


1. Francesca Canepa (ITA) – Montura-Vibrio – 36h18’55”

2. Olga Mankò (UKR) – 38h19’47”

3.  Emilie Lecomte (FRA) – Quechua -39h30’14”

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