Canadian Alissa St Laurent had one of the best races of her life at the 2017 Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc.
The Edmonton-based ultrarunner placed sixth at the Chamonix, France 100-miler, finishing just seconds back of fifth-place finisher Kellie Emmerson in 28:13:43. UTMB women’s champion Núria Picas clocked 25:46:43 followed by Andrea Huser in 25:49:18 and Christelle Bard in third rounding out the podium.
St Laurent was in fifth at the final checkpoint, Flégère, before the Australian passed her in the closing stages edging the Canadian for fifth by 37 seconds. St Laurent was the top North American.
?? @alissastlaurent remains in fifth place at the UTMB at 160K. Next checkpoint will be the finish #Chamonix https://t.co/QjvdOZA03b
— Canadian Running (@CanadianRunning) September 2, 2017
Her 2017 campaign began with three DNFs – Tarawera, Sonoma and Western States – before a promising result in Davos, Switzerland in late July. The 33-year-old spent August in Chamonix preparing for the Sept. 1 race getting familiar with the race course, though she did race UTMB in 2016, but dropped out due to injury.
Alissa St Laurent (@SalomonRunning) is sixth at #UTMB 2017 in 28:13:43. pic.twitter.com/lmhD07mCNU
— iRunFar (@iRunFar) September 2, 2017
“I don’t have any time goals, placing-wise my goals are fairly ambitious and that’s how I like to do it,” St Laurent told Canadian Running in a pre-race interview. Prior to her stay in Europe, the Canadian spent time in Colorado, which helped her acclimatize with the altitude during UTMB, which was 167.5K in 2017 with 9,457m of elevation gain.
こちらはオーストラリアのケリー・エマーソン Kellie Emmerson (左)とカナダのアリッサ・サンローラン Alissa St Laurent。それぞれ女子5位、6位でタイムは28:23。 #UTMB pic.twitter.com/fg6kUE2lWP
— Dogsorcaravan (@Dogsorcaravan) September 2, 2017
St Laurent’s past performances of note include a fifth-place finish at the 2016 Western States 100, a win and course record at the 2015 Cascade Crest 100, the outright win at the 2015 Canadian Death Race and a victory at the 2015 Sinister 7 Ultra.
Pre-race UTMB favourite Caroline Chaverot dropped out past the halfway point of the race.
Meanwhile, the top Canadian in the men’s race was Jean-Francois (Jeff) Cauchon, who finished 31st overall in 24:18:57. The 2017 UTMB marked the Quebec City runner’s second-ever 100-miler. He moved up from as far back as 120th at 40K running through the field for the remainder of the tour around Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in the Alps.
Frenchman Francois D’Haene won the men’s race in 19:01:32 followed by fan-favourite Kilian Jornet in 19:16:38. American Tim Tollefson finished third for the second consecutive year wrapping up the podium. See the best photos from the 2017 UTMB here including both the men’s and women’s winners.
Complete Canadian results can be found here.
Canadian Running‘s coverage of the 2017 UTMB
– Alissa St Laurent hopes second time’s a charm at the 2017 UTMB
– How to qualify for UTMB racing in Canada
– Cancer-beating Canadian takes on world’s most famous, and daunting, ultra
– Top Quebec ultrarunner’s big-time mileage ahead of toughest race of his life
– Interactive course map and elevation profile feature
– How to follow the 2017 UTMB (live stream included)
– I retired from the Canadian Armed Forces with a serious knee injury. This year I’m running up mountains at the UTMB
– The start of the 2017 UTMB looked like a scene from a track race
– Alissa St Laurent’s Canadian Running Instagram takeover
– Must-see photos from the 2017 UTMB