Uphill race until you can touch the sky.
This one has a special feature. You will have to wear a helmet in the upper part. But from the beginning. Courmayeur is a nice and well located mountain town. There are several shops for mountain equipment and lots of nice bars and restaurant. It`s situated on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc, maybe the "Italian Chamonix". The 1. X-Bionic Mont Blanc Sky Race where held in 2015 and is a race for uphill specialists.
Confusing briefing for a special event.
I met a lot of nice people, such as Matthias Schwarze and Stephan Tassani Prell. We took part at the confusing race briefing. In a small hot sports hall, the event manager told in a very bad and softly english, what we had already read on the website. But it wasn`t clear, if the race track is really just 11km and 2200m of ascent - everyone we asked was here for this profile, or if the race track is nearly half marathon, which would underline that it isn`t as steep, as we all wanted it. The next day it became more clear.
Camera drones, loud music, promotion everywhere.
The race has been brought forward, because of bad weather conditions in the afternoon. Everybody had to carry half a liter of water and from the half way up, a helmet. I`ve checked the race course two days before and was very happy for the decision to wear a helmet. The course was more over off trail. It was straight up, with technical, steep climbs, parts of hardcore mountaineering, fields of snow and rope secured parts. Something I`ve never had done before.
Running on steep ridges up to glaciers and a great view down to France.
The course led us from Courmayeur about 2km over paved flat roads. As you can see, the ascent of 2200m is within kilometer 2 and 11. Then we started to climb and we really climbed the grassy fields until Pavillion. From now on we had to wear our helmets, because of the tough terrain. The first 1000m of ascent where made in under 1 hour, but the second part wasn`t runable at all. At least you have to run through an old Refugio, before climbing the last ascent to the modern station of Punta Hellbronner. But the finish line isn`t right there. As special as wearing helmets, you will finish at the last deck of the station. From there, you have now chance to breathe, because of the fantastic outlook. On a sunny day you can see Courmayeur and Chamonix and next to you, the icy summit of Mont Blanc.