MAXI-RACE ANNECY 2019: Only a few bibs left. François d’Haene and Jason Schlarb will run the Ultra-Race



In about two months (May 24-26) Salomon Gore-Tex MaXi-Race will be held in Annecy. More than 9000 runners from 55 countries in 11 race formats will join the adventure on a full or partial loop around Lake Annecy via the surrounding mountains. At the moment, many of the races have filled up registrations (as for the marathon wihch only took only 30 hours to fill up and a little more than 3 weeks for the MaXi-Race). There are only 30 spots remaining for the Ultra-Race and approximately one hundred openings for the Short-Race. The latter is a stage on the 2019 Mountain Running World Cup, and several athletes currently on the circuit are expected. The MaXi-Orientation, limited to 100 teams, already counts 80 registered teams!

For the Ultra-Race, the elite runners like François d’Haene and Jason Schlarb have now confirmed they will join and will be there with Abel de Frutos to follow the races and also to run the Marathon on Sunday.




MAXI-RACE ANNECY 2109: François d’Haene (FR) and Jason Schlarb (USA) will joing the Ultra-Race


Each race includes a unique mix of elites and amateurs who will stand together at the starting line. For the 8th edition, alongside the thousands of anonymous amateur runners will be a few well-known names in trail running; several French and international elite runners have announced their participation.

One of them will be the elite runner François d’Haene (FR), currently one of the best ultra runners in the world which have won the most important ultra races on his carrier and who will participate in the Ultra-Race, which he won two years ago for the inaugural edition.
Organization has asked a couple of quesitons to François:

Participating in the Salomon GORE-TEX MaXi-Race’s 115km Ultra-Race is on your 2019 schedule. Why did you choose this race among so many others?
It was a great experience for me two years ago, and I have fun memories of sharing the experience with the other participants and volunteers. This is a fantastic race in France that fits my schedule this year, perfectly placed between the MIUT in Madeira at the end of April and the Hardrock 100 in the USA mid-July. I look forward to familiar terrain close to home in the always festive and friendly atmosphere I have come to enjoy. In fact, I really like returning to the Salomon GORE-TEX MaXi-Race, it motivates me to run in France, to travel with my family, and to enjoy support from close friends. I can also answer any questions other trail runners may have about trail running or even wine. Annecy is the ideal place to mix it up!

Jason Schlarb has also entered the Ultra-Race, is this good news?
Yes, it’s great to be able to compete against other international runners, especially when they are such nice people. I hope that we will have the chance to spend some time on the trail together since the race is so long! It also provides me with a better idea of how in-shape I am and the chance to gauge where I stand relative to other experienced athletes!

But not only the french will be running in the UItra-race, the american Jason Schlarb will join also this year, being his first time in Salomon GORE-TEX MaXi-Race

Why did you choose the Ultra-Race in France?
“I came to France to race for several reasons, first is that the MaXi-Race’s Ultra-Race has challenging mountain terrain with beautiful views of Lake Annecy. Every year for the last 5 years I have spent time in Europe traveling and racing for 3 to 8 weeks. I have run around Annecy a lot and I know how great the course is. Another reason I entered the MaXi-Race’s Ultra-Race is that the race has a great reputation for world-class competition.

Is running with François another source of motivation?
I planned to race in the MaXi-Race’s Ultra-Race before François decided to come, so having arguably the best long-distance ultra runner as competition is just a bonus. I have massive respect for François. I consider him not only to be one of the best in the world, but a real leader and role model in our sport of trail running. I also have done and love many of the same races as François. After the MaXi-Race is the Hardrock 100. This year, with Francois, Kilian, Xavier, Dylan Bowman, and I, the Hardrock may very well be the most competitive 100-mile mountain race of the year!

What are the differences in mentality between trail running in France/Europe and the USA?
I appreciate the differences between trail running in the US vs France and the EU. While it is quickly changing, trail running, especially ultra distances, has a spirit that is very humble, low-tech, “tranquilo” or even “mountain hippy”. Lots of “dirtbags” and beer, but not much gear or compression (haha), and lots of camping comes to mind when I think of the American trail running community or spirit. In France and Europe, trail running seems to be bigger, more mainstream, and has developed with so many races every weekend in every country in the Alps and the Dolomites. Trails and trail infrastructure is so much more developed and organized, while in the US and Canada, there is more wilderness, less trail access, and hardly any huts, trains, or ski areas to help gain access to trails. I appreciate and enjoy both the US and EU trail running scene. I miss the trail running in France, but after a month, I miss the wilderness of Colorado and the Rocky Mountains, my home.

Running alongside them will be Sacha Devillaz (FR) and Patrick Bringer (FR). For the women, American Jamie Aaron, Swiss Luzia Schmid (CH), and Brit Carrie Craig will make up the lead group.

But not only the Ultra-Race will have elite runners joining, there will be important runners in the other races.
MaXi-Race: Chinese runner Canhua Luo (843 ITRA points) will likely contend for a podium finish, just like Frenchmen Vincent Viet (843), Nicolas Duhail (829), Nathan Jovet (823), Arnaud Lejeune (798), and Johnny Lherminier (792). Italian Michele Quagliaroli (791) and Turkish runner Emir Grairi have set their sights set on making it a truly international podium. Lucie Jamsin (723) from France and Lisa Borzani (695) from Italy are the women’s favorites.

Marathon-Race: Several Frenchmen ranked between 876 and 780 ITRA points should lead the pack: Adrien Michaud, Gautier Airiau, Kevin Vermeulen, Hugo Altmeyer, Roland Claverie, Anthony Felber, and Guillaume Peretti. Eric Mbacha (Cameroon) appears to be one of the only non-French runners capable of a podium finish. Among the women it is expected a French-only battle between Lucile Ochs, Camille Ancey, Lea Dusuel, Caroline Lafaye, and Marine Quintard.

The Short-Race: a stage on the 2019 Mountain Running World Cup, will be a weekend highlight. The list of contenders who will participate in the Annecy stage of the World Cup is not yet finalized.






May 18 and 19, 2019: The brand new MaXi-Mountain – from 230km to 250km – from de 20,000 to 27,000 vertical meters.

Returning to the origins of mountain sports is definitely the main motivation for organizing this new challenge. In the spirit of creating the unbreakable bond that comes with venturing into the mountains with others and the desire to explore the unbeaten path, this is an Adventure with a capital A. In teams of 3, the MaXi-Mountain represents the ultimate self-guided competition: no signage, no outside assistance, and only a few aid stations. It provides participants with the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the backcountry and leave no trace on the environment. Aid stations will be located every 50km, with a required 1-hour “Stop & Go” to rest, change clothes, and eat a hearty organic and/or local meal.
The course is currently being mapped and will cross through the Aravis Mountains, the Bauges Mountains, and across Tournette Peak with spectacular views of Mont Blanc in the background.
The 2019 edition will be a test version, with a few French and foreign teams invited to verify the course and provide a photo preview of what is in store… In 2020, the official 1st edition will include approximately 50 teams selected based on the following criteria (in order of priority):
– Teams with at least two 2019 Ultra-Race finishers,
– Teams with at least one 2019 Ultra-Race finisher,
– Teams proving that they have considerable ultra marathon trail running and/or adventure racing and/or mountain expedition experience.


May 24-26, 2019: The Salomon Gore-Tex® MaXi-Race, “Designed for runners by runners,” this year will include 11 race formats, from 15km to 115km long, offering both elite and amateur runners the chance to choose their favorite distance. We are sure you can find the one adapted to your skills.

· Ultra-Race: 115km, 7000m vertical gain – The Ultra is limited to 1000 runners, 5 ITRA points
· MaXi-Race: 82km, 5200m vertical gain – The flagship race is limited to 2000 runners, 4 ITRA points
· XL-Race: 81km, 5200m vertical gain – Around the lake in 2 days
· XXL-Race: 117km in two days
· R-Race: 80km, 5200m vertical gain as a 2 or 4-person relay team – A challenge to share with others
· Marathon-Race: 40km, 2500m vertical gain – A half loop around Lake Annecy, limited to 2200 runners, 2 ITRA points
· Femina-Race: 16km, 950m vertical gain – 100% for women only, limited to 300 runners
· Short-Race: 16km, 950m vertical gain – The gateway to trail running, limited to 500 runners
· Mini-Race: from 100m to 1km for 300 young runners
· MaXi-Orientation and Semi-Orientation


June 1-2, 2019: the MaXi-Lake in the lakeside town of Sevrier. Up until now, the MaXi-Lake took place the same weekend as the trail races, and was primarily organized for kayakers (from beginners to experts). This year, the organizing team wanted to open the event to the lake’s other human-powered water sports, such as stand up paddle boarding, dragon boat racing, and rowing, to create a unifying gathering for all of the water sports clubs around Lake Annecy. Each discipline will include several distances, from 5 to 34 kilometers, allowing everyone to enjoy a weekend on the lake. For organizers, offering participants a choice in distance for their chosen water sport (among those offered) provides the MaXi-Lake with both a competitive and friendly aspect open to as many athletes as possible. For more information, visit:












Info by Abel de Frutos for Trailrunningspain