MAXIRACE 2022: A WEEKEND FULL OF EXPERIENCES.
MAXIRACE 2022: TWO RACES AND A WEEKEND FULL OF EXPERIENCES. Our TRAIL RUNNING CALENDAR 2022 bring us today the results and chronicle of the popular Maxi Race which was cellebrated last weekend in Annecy.
Once the starting gun fired on Saturday 28th May at 02:50 in the morning, the MaXi-Race, covering 88km and 5015m of vertical gain, lived up to its reputation, followed on Sunday 29th May by the Marathon race.
A WEEKEND FULL OF EXPERIENCES.
MAXIRACE | 88KM | 5000M+
1251 runners stood at the start, including 98 women.
For the men, the lead group that formed within the first few kilometers, staying together to km 56 in Montmin, consisted of Seth Ruhling (USA), Aurlien Dunand-Pallaz (FR), Nicolas Gourdon (FR), and Italian Davide Cheraz (who finished in first place in 2021).
As anticipated, a battle between the Italian and French runners took place, but Seth Ruhling decided to crash the party.
The twenty-seven year old American from Team The North Face surprised everyone, crossing the finish line in 8 hours 44 minutes to win this eleventh edition. He placed 1st in 2021 at the 52km Broken Arrow Skyrace in the USA and is accustomed to podium finishes on his home turf for races around 50 km mark. This was his very first race in Europe.
“This is the first time I ran more than six hours in a row, but I really liked the course and felt good from the summit of Mt. Semnoz. I’m happy with the result since I’d like to come back to France and perform well at this distance and why not compete in the CCC® in 2023?”
Thirty minutes later, Aurelien Dunand-Pallaz, Team Scarpa Compress Sport, runner up at the 2021 UTMB®, finished second in his first big race after recovering from an injury (a broken pelvis from a bike accident last November). “With just six weeks of training, I was cutting it a bit close. I started to suffer as early as the top of Mt. Semnoz et gave it my all to come back. But I got to run near home and am happy to be standing on the podium.”
Elias Kadi (Team Salomon), winner of the 20220 Ergysport Trail du Ventoux and the 2021 Grand Trail de Serre Ponçon (86 km) finished just three minutes later to claim third place.
For the women, just a few seconds separated the first five on the long climb to the Mt. Semnoz aid station (17 km). From there on, the duo Julia Rezzi and Manon Campon set the pace. Manon led by several minutes for quite a while, with Julia gaining ground little by little and finally passing her at Col de l’Encrenaz Pass. Only ten minutes separated the two on the final descent to Lake Annecy!
Julia crossed the finish line first in 11 hours and 21 minutes. The winner of the 79 km 2022 Trail des Balcons d’Azur, she was ecstatic to win here. “I know this trail race well and I finally won! The course is simply amazing.”
Manon (4th place at the Paris Ecotrail) arrived 13 minutes later, stating that, “I knew that I was in the lead from the beginning, but at Col de l’Encrenaz Pass, I simply bonked. I stopped for fifteen minutes to rehydrate and eat a little and it cost me first place. I wasn’t very familiar with the course, but enjoyed the great views all day. My goal this season is the CCC®, and I’m really happy with my performance here.”
MAXI- RACE MARATHON EXPERIENCE | 45KM | 2370M+
The course for the Marathon Race, kept secret, was revealed at 05:40 this morning, less than one hour before the start (runners received the information by text message on the bus ride to the starting line).
Reserved only for experienced runners with an ITRA Performance Index of at least 450, the highly awaited Marathon Race, with its challenging 38 km and 2900 meters of vertical gain, set the stage to spot the early-season powerhouses present.
The 317 runners (including 56 women) started the race at the Morette National Cemetery. The course proved steep, difficult, extremely technical, and the numbers tell it all: runners climbed 2100 vertical meters in the first twenty-one kilometers. This was a new course for the eleventh edition of the MaXi-Race.
High-level international podium finishes
The fast pace off the starting line and all the way to the finish astonished both racers and spectators.
British runner Jonathan Albon (Trail Running World Champion in 2019, 1st place at the 2021 OCC) and Swede Petter Engdahl (3rd place in the 2021 OCC and 15th place in the 2021 Marathon du Mont-Blanc) each entered the race with an ITRA Performance Index over 900, validating their status as favorites. For the end of this fast-paced race, Jonathan crossed the finish line first, in 3 hours and 29 minutes. “At the start of the first climb, Petter was more comfortable, but I passed him in the flats and the descents catered more to my style. I felt strong and had a lot of fun.”
Petter crossed the finish line just 4 minutes and 49 seconds later, receiving a friendly nod from Jonathan, and stated, “While I felt great at the beginning of the race, Jonathan proved to be the stronger runner. I really enjoyed the landscapes. This is my first time in Annecy and I will definitely be back!”
Antoine Charvolin (FR) finished 3rd in 3 hours and 47 minutes.
For the women, the lead runners fought a good fight. Swede Mimmi Kotka (winner of the 2018 Ultra-Race) and American Katie Schide (winner of the 2018 Maxi-Race) ran the race practically neck in neck. Katie took the lead at the start and stayed in front until the very end. “I thought that I was alone in the lead, but when I looked behind me on the first climb and saw Mimmi’s pink shorts, I said to myself that I’d better get moving. I like the idea of a surprise course, it’s unique. Everyone was anxious and talking about it on the bus. In addition, it offered us the chance to explore new trails and landscapes. I loved it!”
Mimmi remained in second all throughout the race. “Katie is a machine! But I’m happy to finish in second place,” she said with a smile.
Fiona Porte finished the Marathon Race in third place.
As runners continue to cross the finish line or swim in the lake after running for hours, Stéphane Agnoli, Event Director, closed by saying, “In spite of two years of COVID, the Greenweez MaXi-Race proved how well established it is with the general public, elite athletes, and everyday runners. What a great international showing for this year’s podiums. We work year round as a team to find the right mix for our event: environmentally responsible, local roots, and an international appeal with the European Salomon Maxi Trail Series: www.maxi-trailseries.com/smts-europe/ »
For all results go to https://maxirace.livetrail.net
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