This weekend it’s the Mont Blanc Marathon, which is exciting for so many reasons. It sees Kilian Jornet return from injury, it’s the second race in the Salomon Golden Trails series and, well, it just looks like such an incredible field. If you’ve only just got over the excitement of Lavaredo last weekend, you’re in for another treat!
The Mont Blanc 90k (with 6,220m of ascent) set off at 4am this morning. Both then men’s and women’s fields were very competitive, with Mimmi Kotka, Caroline Chaverot, Audrey Tanguy, Sylvain Court, Maxine Cazajous and Lambert Santelli to name but a few. Mimmi Kotka won the women’s race in emphatic fashion and Sylvain Court won the men’s race by a narrower margin. Donnie and Rachael Campbell were the top British hopes and Donnie ended up taking 3rd place! Rachael is still going really well in the women’s race, currently in 6th. You can follow the progress of the 90k here.
The Mont Blanc Marathon kicks off at 7am on Sunday morning. After fracturing his fibula in March, it’s surprising that Kilian is back to competition so soon, but he is pretty superhuman. He’s still considered one of the favourites for the marathon, but he will have a lot of competition! Remi Bonnet recently won Zegama and he is hotly tipped for Mont Blanc. Sage Canaday is there, as is Xavier Thevenard. Matt Flaherty, Marc Lauenstein, Thibaut Baronian and the super-fast-on-the-flat Patrick Smyth and Ryan Bak are also ones to watch.
In the women’s marathon field there’s Ida Nilsson, who won Zegama this year, there’s last year’s defending champion, Megan Kimmel and there’s the second and third placed finishers from Zegama, Laura Orgue and Ruth Croft. If that’s not enough for you, Magdalena Boulet, Amandine Ferrato, Silvia Rampazzo and Yiou Wang are also expected to be up there.
And what about the top British runners at the marathon? Tom Evans was a late entry, and he must be up there among the favourites following his third place at this year’s Trail World Championships, though it remains to be seen how much fatigue he has from last weekend’s World Mountain Running Long Distance champs. You know that Robbie Britton is always going to give it his all and we’d love to see him do well.
British women are really strong too. Jo Meek, Emma Clayton and Annie Conway are among the favourites. Could we have a British woman on the podium? Let’s hope so.