Torrential rain and potentially severe weather conditions resulted in a course change for the 2014 Skyrunning World Championships SKY event. Over 2000 runners would toe the line for the event and with potential negative temperatures predicted a slight course change was made to avoid the highest section of the course at Aiguille des Posettes.
Departing the center of Chamonix in torrential rain, Kilian Jornet, Michel Lanne, Zaid Aid Malek, Tom Owens and Aritz Egea lead the way setting a relentless pace that would stretch the elastic and form an aggressive front group.
In the wet and cold conditions, Kilian Jornet was always going to be the favourite, however, Salomon teammate Michel Lanne pushed the Catalan all the way. It was only on the final ascent to La Flégère that Kilian finally opened up the gap that he would hold all the way to the line. To commemorate becoming Skyrunning World Champion, Kilian ran the final meters with his hero and Skyrunning legend, Bruno Brunod.
Michel Lanne secured a great 2nd place but a battle royal followed for 3rd place. Sierre-Zinal champion (2103) Marc Lauerstein came from behind at La Flégère caught Zaid Ait Malek and Tom Owens and pushed hard for the line but Owens didn’t give in easily, he dug deep and found something within to take the coveted final podium place.
Azara Garcia lead the ladies race over the early sections of the race closely followed by the key favourites; Elisa Desco, Megan Kimmel, Stevie Kremer and Kasie Enman.
In the cold and wet conditions, Elisa made a move during the middle section of the race and took a firm hold of the race lead and pushed ahead for an incredible victory against tough competition.
Megan Kimmel and Stevie Kremer traded blows over the final section and with Kasie Enman struggling with stomach issues, the final podium places would come down the two Americans trading blows on the final descent to Chamonix.
Megan opened the gap and 2013 Mont-Blanc Marathon champion, Stevie Kremer couldn’t respond. On the line, Stevie said, “I had a great race last year and I guess this year I wasn’t quite as good. But the competition was fierce and ultimately, I was beaten on the day by two better runners.’
The Mont-Blanc Marathon concluded the events for the 2014 Skyrunning World Championships and despite the wet and challenging conditions for the final race, the unanimous feedback has been incredibly positive. Chamonix as one would expect has been buzzing with runners and supporters from all over the world, it confirms the growth of Skyrunning and its global appeal.
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