Organisers of this year’s Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc were forced to shorten the course by 41 miles in the face of adverse weather conditions. But this didn’t put off nearly 2500 athletes who had turned up at Chamonix to run one of the toughest foot races in the world.
Through the wind, rain and freezing temperatures, Francois d’Haene emerged as the athlete with the fastest time (10 hours, 32 minutes 30 seconds). The 28 year old ran an impressive race, starting out in a strong position at the start and maintaining that throughout the 62 miles and 19,000 ft climb into the valleys next to Mont Blanc. He is the first Frenchman to win the race since 2004 and was ‘very happy’ to be this year’s winner.
The fastest female was Lizzy Hawker, who completed the run in 12 hours, 32 minutes, 13 seconds. This year marks the fifth time she has won!
Despite the conditions, all athletes who took part tackled the challenge head on. Race times like Francois’s and Lizzy’s are remarkable, and show just what the human body can achieve.