|Arc’teryx athletes excel at Mont Blanc Marathon weekend|
An action packed weekend of racing commenced on Friday with an exhibition of exploding lungs and legs full of lactic acid as 400 runners climbed 1000 vertical meters over a 3.8km course. The ISF Skyrunning Vertical Kilometer tests every element of a runner’s ability to move upwards as quickly as possible.
Arc’teryx had several seasoned pros undertake the task. Nicola Golinelli and Didier Zago performed to the highest level in the men’s event and Tessa Hill, after just twelve months in the sport progressed up the field and unfortunately just missed the ladies podium with fifth place. Post race she said, ‘I am extremely happy. I have raced many of these ladies before and I am now closing the gap. I have just missed the podium here but I hope to improve on this at the next event at the Skyrunning European Championships in Canazei’.
In his first year participating in Skyrunning events, potential star of the future, Florian Reichert from Germany pushed himself to the limit on what one could call a very steep learning curve. He said after the event, ‘First of all the VK is a great addition to the Skyrunning format. I ran about 38 minutes, if I compare that to my 10k PR which is 30:50 then I ran 8min longer for less than half the distance… so you can appreciate the severity.’
Just two days later, the Arc’teryx team lined up against an extremely competitive field for the Marathon event. Over the classic marathon distance, the Mont Blanc event tests every participant with brutal climbs and technical descents. Racing against Kilian Jornet, Marco De Gasperi and Luis Alberto Hernando, Nicola Golinelli showed all his experience and pacing ability to finish just one place behind the podium in fourth after an incredibly demanding race.
Didier Zago from France spurred on by the performance of his team mate pursued in earnest, as he came around the final bend to see the finish line, his delight was clear as a huge smile came across his face; sixth place overall.
Florian Reichert had no idea how much the Vertical Kilometer would impact on his performance during the marathon event. In the early stages of the race he ran with the lead men but as the course went up he found a natural place in the latter half of the top ten. His initiation at Zegama-Aizkorri proved to be instrumental for Mont Blanc, Florian crossed the line in ninth place, immediately falling to the floor, had given it everything.
Performing at the highest level in any sport requires commitment, dedication and the ability to learn. Without doubt, Arc’teryx and the athletes are getting to grips with the demands of Skyrunning and it will be exciting to see how the team perform at the next series of events, the Skyrunning European Championships in Canazei that are due to start on Friday 19th July with a Vertical Kilometer and then the Sky Race on July 21st.