Mont Blanc 80 km

Marathon du Mont Blanc 80 kmWhen I last wrote I was sitting on the plane on my way to Chamonix, very unsure and a little terrified of whether it was a good idea to being running this race because I didn’t feel the ‘itch’ to race and it had been a long recovery after some other big races.

Now I am sitting on the plane, heading away from Chamonix with even tireder legs but a full heart of happiness and a renewed sense of self belief but also appreciation for everyone in the running community. 1 week and 1 race can change so much.

The race was a rollercoaster; both in elevation but also in feelings and emotions. I respected this terrain and this distance, I knew 20 km of the race course being the first last climb and descent and when I finished the first climb in the very early hours of the morning with the sun rising over Mont Blanc I looked over the valley and imagined doing the only other bit I knew that laid ahead—a point at which seemed so far away now but once I was there I knew I could make it.

Marathon du Mont Blanc 80 kmI ran smart. This is something I rarely get to say. I knew it was going to be hot, I knew I was going to be stronger on the climbing then the descents and I knew that I couldn’t go out hard in this terrain. I kept within myself: I took the time at the fountains to keep cool, drink and refill all my water and when my stomach refused food I assured myself that I had time to change.

“Control only the things you can” is something I was told going into this race. The weather, the terrain, the competition were things I couldn’t control, so I accepted them for what they were, embraced them and smiled at these challenges. The things I could control however: eating, drinking, gear and mindset were things that I could control and I made sure to do everything I could to get these things right.

Marathon du Mont Blanc 80 kmI had a great battle to the finish with Landie Greyling and Ekaterina Mityaeva, we were 2nd-4th on that
final climb that I had imagined 12-hour prior. Passing Landie was like leaving my sister behind, with both of us in the Salomon family and knowing how much this race meant to her and also hearing the whole day about how strong she was running. Catching up to Ekaterina at the last aid station was mixed feelings, I had accepted 3rd and now I had the chance to go for a place higher on the podium and to say I used every piece of energy to make that place higher would be an understatement. On the final descent, I felt my toe nails being pulled off, I had my quad beginning to cramp and I ran into the street of Chamonix with Emelie
Forsberg on her bike telling me to run the fasted mile I can to that finish line. It was a moment I will never forget.

I saw this race when I came to Chamonix for the first time in 2014 with the Australia/New Zealand team for the skyrunning world championships and watching Ben Duffus, Blake Hose and Caine finish in the top 10 running through Chamonix with nothing left after that final step over the finish line. Finally, I was old enough to race and raced I did. Another dream achieved.

What’s next? #timetorest … before I begin to train for the big dance of the TDS 125km.

Race Gear

  • Salomon S-Lab sense Ultra shoe
  • Le Bent ‘Le Definitive run micro’ sock
  • Salomon S-Lab sense tank
  • Salomon S-Lab light skirt
  • Salomon S-Lab Modular belt
  • Salomon S-Lab brief
  • Salomon S-Lab sense ultra 8 set pack
  • SKIN SLICK- anti chafe

Race Nutrition

  • CLIFBAR gels (chocolate, citrus, razz)
  • CLIFBAR shotbloks (margarita, black cherry, tropical)
  • PRECISION HYDRATION (4 x 1500 strength electrolyte mix)
  • COKE 1L… gross I know

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