The weekend finally came! Possibly my biggest tick off the bucket list for this year so far, the Mont Blanc 10km race. Via Geneva, to Chamonix, France, this was a beautiful run but I did not love every bit of it because I felt like sh*t! Man cold! haha. Here is my full report of this stunning run.
Casting my eyes back over the weekend, there was one hell of a lot to take in. The 10km race is part of a full weekend of running events that make up the Mont Blanc Marathon weekend. There is the vertical km race, followed by the Mont Blanc 23km, 10km, marathon and 80km. There is also the mini-cross for kids.
I was only here for the one race and that was the 10km. I had originally looked at entering the 23km run but by the time I was actually aware of this marathon weekend, it was already too late to register for that particular event. Looking back at how I was feeling physically during this week, it was probably for the best that 10km was my cut off point! I had been having trouble all week breathing through my nose and had a very chesty cough. Still, at least this race was at a much higher altitude than usual to add to the fun! ha.
Anyway, onwards and upwards! I have 30 races scheduled this year, so you can bet your ass I won’t feel 100% for them all. Without trying to sound too much like a Nike promo board,
Just f*cking do it!
I added my own touch to that phrase. What a poet.
Right…onto the race already! Flippin’ heck! Get on with it!
This race is unlike any that I have done previously. It has the ascent of a smallish fell race in the UK, but it is very much a trail event. One thing you do get which I am sure you can predict already is the stunning scenery. Chamonix is a gem of a place and the views continue to drop some jaws throughout the race.
I would be happy to show you the race map layout but unfortunately all of the links to it on the organisers website point towards the list of 2015 finishers instead! You will just have to take my words for a semi-accurate description if you are using this to possibly prepare for a future date of this event. Ooohh..I could tell some little lies and have you believing it was a lot easier than it really is! Noooo, I wouldn’t do that! I’m a nice guy. *honestly*
The race begins not too far from the sports centre close to central Chamonix (Centre Sportif Richard Bozon), and heads out towards the trails which if my calculations are correct, would be in a North-Easterly direction from the start. Less than 1 km into the race there is a steady amount of climbing, not quite enough to stop me going at a slow running pace but certainly far from flat. The course continues to climb for a few minutes, then has some varying ascents and descents but roughly 40% of the way through the journey, things get a little more interesting. Mwahaha! *devilish laugh that occurs when describing leg burning sections of runs*
Yes, I do mean ‘walk’. Well, I suppose technically I mean ‘hike’ but hey ho! It’s not worth crying over spilt milk and other words to that effect.
As I mentioned, about 4kms into the race the steady climb turn into an uphill hike. The terrain is rocky and there is no way you are running through these areas. When I say no way, that is exactly what I mean. Even if you had sub-human strength in your thighs and hamstrings of an absolute beast, you would have a hundred people or so constantly getting in your way as you attempted the impossible. The hike seems to go on for quite some time. This is always something I really enjoy because it takes my memory back to all of the fun downhill runs I have done so far this year in my fell racing events, and the downhill is yet to come!
What goes up…
You know the rest of that one. Fill in the blank. Well done! You smashed it!
Yes, I decided to do another race without my GPS watch on. A tactic I have been employing a lot recently. I do this because unless it is a flat 10km race, I see no point in trying to hit km targets or thinking about a PB. An event like this is up, down and all over the shop so the time cannot be compared to any other 10km race. I actually ran this race in just over 1 hour and I usually run a 10km road race in about 41-43 minutes! That stat right there tells you all you need to know about this course.
Most of the downhill fun is long gone with about 2-2.5 kms left. At least this is my estimate from recent memory! Then it turns into a fairly standard trail race. I say standard, I only mean this in terms of the gradient. The area and scenery are still as pretty as a postcard.
I most certainly was not 100% during this race. I run this kind of distance very regularly but I did not have any extra gears in me at all for once. 10km at a steady pace is not something I usually struggle with but I felt absolutely battered towards the end. Never the less…when I got to the final bend of the finishing stage and peered over my left shoulder, I saw a very determined looking face staring back at me. I had been picked out as a potential victim of the final stretch overtaking man! This is a game I do not lose! Never! No matter how bad I feel, if I can see the finishing like in my sight, you had better get your car keys out if you plan on overtaking me! I dug deep. Very deep! Gave it everything I had for the last 40-50 metres and actually took over a couple of people myself just before the line.
I love overtaking people just before the line! hahaha
So that was it…I was done. Literally! I felt like I needed my bed at this point. Yes, I was knackered and under the weather, but the most important fact could not be taken away from me…I had completed the Mont Blanc 10km race! I even had the t-shirt and the race bling to prove it, as well as a text message saying that I had never ran 10km quite so slowly haha. I can now tick this one off my bucket list. I am a happy runner! Now to rest…until Wednesday that is when I take part in the Offerton 10km race. I am actually writing this report on that very day so I only have a couple of hours! ha. Come on! Let’s f*cking smash this!!!!
Feel free to enjoy the race day video I made below and happy running everyone! Thanks for reading! Leg it!!!!
Signing off with some final race day snaps