This year’s The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc® (UTMB®) will stand out from the many that have been, and maybe even those to come. Not only because it’s been the first one since 3 years that hasn’t been pestered by bad weather or course shortenings – perfectly blue skies blessed this year’s event – but also because Rory Bosio’s record-breaking performance will be one to remember, as was Xavier Thevenard’s.
Halfway through the competition things had taken quite an ugly turn for many of The North Face® team’s athletes. Sebastien Chaigneau, Helen Cospolich, Mike Wolfe and Zigor Iturrieta all had to quit the race due to various physical impediments.
It was up to Timothy Olson and Mike Foote to gain a foothold on the lead runners, pressing them hard until the end. Meanwhile, Rory Bosio was leading the women’s category and advanced fiercely on the ten leading runners.
It was, however, young Frenchman Xavier Thevenard who crossed the finish line first at an impressive 20h34min57secs, setting a new course record at the UTMB®. Xavier was joined on the podium by the two Spaniards, Miguel Heras and Javier Dominguez, who came second and third.
It was then the two American The North Face® athletes, Timothy Olson and Mike Foote, who crossed the finish line, at 21h38mins and 21h53mins respectively (watch Timothy crossing the finish line here).
The crowds in Chamonix were then treated to another record-breaking moment as American, Rory Bioso, finished the race in 22h37min26secs – a new course record in the women’s category, and beating the old record by more than 2 hours. On top of that, it was the first time ever a female runner completed the race in the overall top 10, as she was the 7th runner to cross the finish line. We will look more in-depth into this incredible achievement within the next few days, so stay tuned.
UK runner, Jez Bragg, having not taken part in any significant race events since his gargantuan Te Araroa expedition January this year (read about it here), came in 10th place.