The Marathon du Mont-Blanc took place this weekend in Chamonix, France as the second race in the 2021 Golden Trail World Series. Norway’s Stian Angermund and Switzerland’s Maude Mathys, the winners of the Olla de Nuria last month, were victorious yet again, proving they’re the ones to beat as the series continues.
This year’s course had to be shortened by four kilometres to comply with pandemic restrictions, so it was 38 kilometres with over 2,600 metres of elevation. The weather was kind to runners this time, and they were treated with blue skies and fresh mountain air.
The men’s race
Angermund held back in the early stages of the race, telling reporters afterwards that in the beginning, he was struggling and wondered if he had eaten too much. Despite the rough start, he managed to stay with the leaders, and took over first place once he hit his stride. Angermund finished the race in 3:18:08, two minutes ahead of second place.
“I was never really relaxed,” he said after the race. “I was really afraid that Bart [Przedwojewski], Davide [Magnini] or even someone else would catch me up before the finish. But from La Flégère I really had fun, and I really enjoy this section, which is super pretty and fun to run!”
Second place went to Italy’s Magnini, who crossed the line in 3:20:10, followed byPrzedwojewski of Poland in 3:23:23.
The women’s race
Mathys dominated the women’s field, finishing a full nine minutes ahead of the next competitor. Unlike Angermund, she opened an early gap on the rest of the field and never looked back, finishing in 3:51:04. Despite her definitive win, Mathys said at the finish that her legs were not feeling good during the race, and she was concerned her competitors would catch her.
“In the last hour, I felt better and was able to roll out the pace,” she said. “It was still not the same sensations I had in Spain, there I was flying. Here, I opened up my lead, but I wasn’t serene.”
Anaïs Sabrié of France finished behind her in 4:00:17, and her fellow French runner Blandine L’Hirondel rounded out the podium, despite badly twisting her ankle at kilometre 15.
Next up in the GTWS is the Dolomyths Run in Italy on July 18, followed by the Sierre-Zinal in Switzerland on August 7th.