Place du Mont-Blanc : Mont-Blanc Marathon Base Camp
At the end of June 6500 runners and over 13000 of their supporters are expected in Chamonix for the Mont-Blanc Marathon weekend. The race expo that reunites sports manufacturers and the different trail races found throughout the world will open their doors on the Place du Mont-Blanc on June 25th, 26th & 27th 2015. Free entrance for everyone, the expo provides an area to purchase last minute items for the race and also to discover the latest summer trends.
The race-bib pick-up (previous years at the ENSA gymnasium) will be positioned at the Place du Mont-Blanc square in a big tent especially erected for the occasion.
Safety will be reinforced for runners, users of the D1506 road, and local residents.
The only downfall in 2013 was crossing the D1506 road at Tre le Champs (the road between Argentiere and Vallorcine, between France and Switzerland). 18 runners per minute crossed the road during the Mont-Blanc Cross and Marathon causing traffic jam for drivers in Argentiere. The installation of a bridge at the Tre le Champs parking will allow every vehicles (trucks, buses) to circulate and will guarantee access for rescuers in case of problems at the villages of Tre le Champs, Buet and Vallorcine.
After taking the bridge the Cross and Marathon runners continue the race on the path toward Cheserys.
This slight modification of the course will add 211meters of positive vertical gain and 184meters of descent, but the total distance of the Mont-Blanc Cross and Marathon will remain unchanged.
New Finish Line & New Viewpoints!
The large mass of people in the past few years at the finish line (Planpraz at Brevent) for the Mont-Blanc Marathon & Cross no longer offered a satisfactory experience for runners or for the public. The finish line will now be on the plateau just before the top of the cable car station of Planpraz (near the paragliding take-off area).
To reach the finish line, runners will take-on one final 'wall'.... The public will be close enough to support the athletes in their last effort as they benefit from the most beautiful view of the Mont-Blanc range.
Starting from the centre of Chamonix (1035m) the route climbs steadily towards the upper valley, progressively passing through the hamlets of "les Bois" and Lavancher to reach Argentière (1250m).
In Argentière, the Marathon follows a trail towards Le Planet, from here you traverse across the fields to begin the trail on the North Balcon before going down towards Montroc.
After going through the village of Montroc you take the trail towards Tré le Champ and from here, you go towards the Col des Montets.
The route crosses the "Col des Montets" (1461m) in the heart of the Aiguilles Rouges' Natural Reserve. Then along the "chemin des Diligences", the old stage-coach route, you arrive at the hamlet of Buet before reaching Vallorcine (1260 m), nestled at the bottom of a pretty valley at just a stone's throw from Switzerland.
Here begins the progression to the Col des Possettes (1997m) via a trail leaving from the Plan de l'envers.
A refreshment post is available at the top of the col before finally climbing up to the Aiguilles des Possettes (2201m) where you will be rewarded by a breathtaking panoroma of the Mont Blanc range.
Facing the ‘Aiguille Verte' and the Mont Blanc range, the route follows the ridgeline of the 'aiguillette' gradually descending in the direction of Tré le Champ.
You will go along a pretty trail that brings your toward le Tour, crosses through the village, and then takes you near to the Tour glacier. Then, you will take a north facing trail (a cooler perspective....) towards Montroc before crossing through the hamlets of the Frasserands and Tré le Champ.
At the heart of the Aiguilles Rouges massif, at the opposite of the Mont-Blanc range, the route climbs up towards la Flégère (1875 m).
After crossing the magnificent Charlanon comb(1812m) the climb is gentle at first.
The gradient increases until just before the arrival at Planpraz (2050 m) giving one of the most beautiful views of the Mont-Blanc.