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Marathon du Mont-Blanc

27-Jun-2019 Chamonix, Haute Savoie, France


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Mountains Race Race Terrain
80KM / 50Miles
1 Day - 2000 Runners

Alternate Distances: 42KM/26M 23KM/14M 10KM/6M 4KM/2M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Expert  

Entry From €100 EUR

Chamonix will host 7000 runners on the occasion of the Mont-Blanc Marathon. For 4 days, 6 races will be organized to allow everyone, whatever his level and age, to practice running in one of the most beautiful playing field for runners and nature lover.

The most experienced runners will take part in the Mont-Blanc 80km, 42km or 23km which will allow them to go through the best mountain paths of Chamonix and enjoy stunning views on the Mont-Blanc range. Newcomers in mountain race will register on the 10km, a race without difficulty in which they will have a lot of pleasure getting a taste of trail running. The Vertical KM is a special race, very intensive, with a vertical gain of 1000m on a distance of 3.8km, reserved for experienced runners who don’t suffer from vertigo. The finish is like a via ferrata (steps, cable, pedals, handrails, etc …). Finally, children will be able to run as their parents on the Mini Cross races: three distances from 800m to 3km according to the age, with refreshment points and medal of finisher.

Beside the races, many animation and highlights will occur throughout the weekend: elite athletes presentation, prize giving ceremony, Pasta Party, raffle, free animations for children (climbing wall, trampolines, etc …), and a partner village in which you will be able to buy technical products and meet many race organizers.


Chamonix accueille plusieurs milliers de coureurs, parmi lesquels les meilleurs spécialistes mondiaux du trail, lors du Marathon du Mont-Blanc. Pendant tout un weekend, ils fouleront les sentiers de la Vallée de Chamonix à l 'occasion de six courses de formats et difficultés variables qui permettront à chacun de trouver son bonheur. Les plus expérimentés participeront aux 80 km, 42km ou 23km du Mont-Blanc.  Le kilomètre vertical est lui un format un peu plus spécial : 1000m de dénivelé positif sur 3,8km de la distance sous forme d'un contre-la-montre. Avec une fin de parcours aérienne type via ferrata (mains courantes, câbles, marches, echelles, etc ....), il vaut mieux ne pas avoir le vertige! 

Les débutants pourront également découvrir les joies de la course nature avec une boucle de 10 km (325 m de dénivelé positif) dans le bois du Bouchet. Enfin, les plus petits imiteront les parents, sur le mini-cross (de 800m à 3 km selon les âges).

De nombreuses animations sont organisées en marge des compétitions :  salon d'equipementiers et organisateurs, animations enfants (mur d'escalade, trampolines, etc ...), tombola, pasta party, etc ....

Chacun repartira avec le sourire, quel que soit son niveau de pratique, après avoir connu cet évènement offrant d'agréables parcours aux points de vue incomparables sur le Massif du Mont-Blanc, dans une ambiance festive garantie par les accompagnants et les nombreux bénévoles. Bref, une vraie fête pour petits et grands à Chamonix pendant quatre jours!


Event Organiser
Club des Sports Chamonix



Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Type: An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for: Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Global - Virtual

Type: A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for: For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Review Marathon du Mont-Blanc

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09:46 11-08-18

I ran the 42k in 2016!!

Signing up for the Marathon du Mont Blanc seemed like the greatest idea at the time, an amazing opportunity to run the most stunning trails in the Chamonix valley, the absolute trail running dream! But as the date approached, the enormity of this particular challenge began to dawn on me. Now I’m by no means a fast runner and as for getting up hills....well I get there eventually but more by sheer stubbornness rather than by any real athletic ability having come late in life to this whole trail running adventure. And so here I was planning to ‘run’ a mountain marathon with an elevation of 2,200 m on a potentially very hot June day!! Yikes!!! If the heat doesn’t get me the altitude and climbing surely will!! But...too late, I’ve signed up, booked the flights, arrived and here I am... dancing a nervous jig at the start line, possibly the smallest person here (seriously have you seen the photo!!!) surrounded by 2199 gnarly looking trail runners all blinged out in the coolest running gear looking all hard core and seriously intimidating!! The good news is the weather has cooled right down, the bad news....the mountains are still glute-bustingly high!!
Right, time to flip the ‘on’ switch in my brain that won’t click ‘off’ (hopefully) until I cross the finish line, this is where my stubborn streak becomes my biggest asset. And so with a lot of nervous shuffling, a chorus of ‘trois, deux, un et allez, allez, allez’..we’re off.....a brief run through the streets of Chamonix and into the cool shade of the forest. As we leave the cheers of the crowd behind us, something peculiar strikes me...silence, but for the sound of feet and poles. It seems the French take their trail running very seriously, there is little chat and none of the friendly banter more typical of Irish trail runners....’its gonna be a long day’!
As the trails began to narrow the first bottlenecks also began with runners dropping poles, falling over poles and generally getting stabbed in the legs or face with poles!!! Have I mentioned yet that I hate poles!!! Unfortunately, these bottlenecks tended to happen on the most runnable single tracks, so just as I’d start to enjoy running some really beautiful forest trails it would come to an abrupt stop until the line of runners spread out again.
Settling into the run now, I began to enjoy myself, especially on the technical descents where I briefly felt like I was on fire!!... flying past loads of runners who surprisingly were pretty slow on the downhill. But, this was short lived as they passed me out again on the relentless, uphill climbs. And so we hiked, climbed and scrambled up to the half way mark and highest point of the marathon to the Col des Posettes at 2200 m where a guy with an electric guitar was playing The Clash!!! At this point, I still had energy to air guitar over to the water station. After a quick photo, a glance at the breath taking snow capped mountains all around me, a newly filled water bottle, some coke and a piece of banana, I set off again, aware of the need to keep moving if I was going to make it under 10 hours!!
The next section was downhill, with more technical descents and zig zags down through the forest on very narrow single tracks with steep drops. Picking up speed on these winding trails, I had a near miss where I teetered on the edge of the trail, my body swaying dangerously towards the drop. For a moment, I seemed to move in slow motion as I could feel myself start to fall, then somehow my right foot gained purchase on the trail again and I righted myself. No time to stop and wonder, I ran on laughing and shouting over my shoulder ‘ca a failli’ (almost!) to the ‘oh la la’s’ I could hear behind me.
The run continued back down into the valley, of wild flower meadows, passing through small, pretty villages to the sound of cheers, ‘allez, allez’, clinking cow bells and a few brave souls attempting to pronounce Deirdre in French...’allez Deeurderu’...however mangled my name, I so appreciated the encouragement. The water stations were all well stocked with coke, isotonic drinks, fruit, cake, French sausage and bread and I made sure to stop at each one to rest a moment, eat and fill my bottle. As the kms went by and the climb continued, I needed to stop more often for brief moments to stretch my back out, regulate my breathing and have little conversations with myself...’keep moving Deirdre, relentless forward motion, keep moving, I’m soooo tired...but keep moving, keep moving’. Rising back out of the valley again, we climbed up on single tracks, slowly ascending towards Plan Praz where the marathon was to end after an exhausting 8.59 hours for me...my low point coming in the last 10 k of technical, rocky trail and some last brutal uphill climbs that had me stumbling with fatigue and very nearly on my knees...close to tears but determined to get there, to not be beaten. One final tortuous hill to climb and I summoned up my last burst of energy to run across the most scenic finish line ever to finish my 6th and toughest marathon yet, the Marathon du Mont Blanc 2016.

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02:32 19-10-16

The Mont Blanc 80Km has become one of the great races on the Mont Blanc massif. I have run all 4 editions that have been held so far and though the route has always followed the same direction the actual course has never been the same twice. It has varied between 82Km and 91Km, with +/- between 6500m and 7000 (that is 7000 up then 7000 down). It is a beautiful race, you always hit the top of the first climb (1400m up to Le Brevant) to see dawn hitting Mont Blanc. After that the views are stunning all the way, but this is not a race you can hike, like the CCC, time pressure is continually on you and the gates are tough. It is a very technical course, the climb to Col de la Terrasse (2650m) is a hands and feet job. For the past 3 years the biggest challenge has been the weather, we have had a heatwave every year, which is common in Chamonix at the end of June. in 2014 there was over 60% DNF. Doing brutal climbs in 35c heat is something else! That said the atmosphere around the race is electric and so enjoyable. If you want to do it my advice is to focus on strength training.

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02:27 28-06-16

2nd year at this marathon for me, and again it impressed. Excellent race registration, and the volunteers and spectators were fab.People were out in force in the more accessible parts of the course, bells, music, horns egging you on. The scenery is just sublime and although it's a very demanding course it is extremely rewarding. If you like something a bit more technical but not extreme then this maybe for you.

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03:13 27-06-16

I ran the 42k this year (which turned out to be 45 - a bit extra for free, très bien!)

The crowds and support on the course were brilliant. The aid stations were perfect with plenty of fruit and easily accessible water either from a tank or served quickly by volunteers.

There wasn't too much crowding around my finishing time of 6:40. Anytime you need to pass on steep or tight singletrack a simple 'Excusez-moi, passez gauche/droite' Did the trick.

Technical downhills with loose, rocky climbs made for a fantastic racing experience. I would definitely recommend this to runners who are looking for a tough but rewarding day in the mountains!

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01:38 27-06-16

Good race, tough. Agree that staggered starts would have helped as it got crowded in places and it was difficult to pass. Well serviced race regarding water/refreshment stops and friendly volunteers.

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12:45 27-06-16

Followed the 80K race in 2016 the the media team, meeting lead group in high passes and many CPs. Also ran the 42K on sunday. Scenery is awesome, trails more technical than all UTMB courses. Ability on long descents with rouged terrain determains how fast or healty you can finish. 2016 revised course was extra tricky with lots of snow on Tete au Vent. Not much show type stuff but the organisation is very smooth.

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02:55 28-08-15

Agree with other reviewers. Stunning but challenging course, great organisation, atmosphere and support but far too many people on the course at once. Add in a waved start and it would definitely have been 5* from me. I put a longer review on my blog http://updownrunner.com/2015/07/26/mdmb-part-iii-the-race-of-my-life/

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12:07 30-06-15

Excellent event showcasing the best chamonix has to offer although would have been slightly nicer with a bit of cloud cover. Changes to the course this year definitely stopped congestion but definitely more climbing.

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11:45 30-06-15

Really well organised event from a runner's perspective, although think there could've been more staff manning ticket offices for spectators heading up the mountain. Brilliant event though!

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11:33 30-06-15

Really good event, well organised, stunning route - really challenging but enjoyable. Only downside was the number of people - the route paths are very narrow and it's difficult to pass other runners which gets frustrating.

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