T-minus 18 days and counting. A review of the elite runners vying for the top spot!

Published by Mountainblog on .


For the 9th edition of the Salomon GORE-TEX® MaXi Race, suspense will be the name of the game. With 9000 registered runners, several of the international elite will stand at the starting line of each race. The 2019 trail-running season has begun!

Following the 2015 World Championships, the MaXi-Race was chosen by the WMRA (World Mountain Running Association) to host one of the Mountain Running World Cup’s seven stages, the only one held in France. The race’s international field will kick off an incredible weekend of trail running around Lake Annecy.

The best men’s and women’s runners on the circuit will be standing at the starting line, specifically:
Andy WACKER (USA, 894 ITRA) – 2nd place Pikes Peak Marathon, 2nd place Moab Trail Marathon;
Robert Panin PURUM (Kenya, 885 ITRA) – 3rd place Sierre-Zinal 2018, 4th place Sierre-Zinal 2016; Italians Bernard DEMATTEIS (881 ITRA) – 4th overall on the 2018 Mountain Running World Cup, and Martin DEMATTEIS (857 ITRA) – 8th place in the 2018 Mountain Running World Championships.

Other elites include: Andrew DOUGLAS (United Kingdom, 874 ITRA) – 8th Sierre-Zinal 2018, 3rd overall on the 2018 Mountain Running World Cup; Filimon ABRAHAM (Eritrea, 860 ITRA) – 8th on the 2018 Mountain World Cup. Romain BUISSART (832 ITRA) – 1st place 2018 Trail des Glaisins, 3rd 2018 Cross du Mont Blanc – is one of the French runners who has a chance at a podium spot.

For the women, expect a fast and close race that includes Lucy Wambui MURIGI (Kenya, 793 ITRA) – overall winner of the 2018 World Cup and 1st at Sierre-Zinal in 2018 and 2018.

Sarah MACCORMACK (Ireland, 716 ITRA) – 3rd overall in the 2018 World Cup – will continue her quest to win a title in 2019. The lead hopeful for the French is Céline JEANNIER (France, 711 ITRA) – 4th Sierre-Zinal 2017. Keep an eye as well on Elisa SORTINI (Italy, 704 ITRA) – 12th in the 2018 World Championships, and Louise MERCER (United Kingdom, 681 ITRA) – 4th in the 2018 XTerra Trail Running World Championships.

Winner of the first Ultra-Race in 2017, François D’HAENE (France, 916 ITRA) is coming “back home” to defend his title. After winning the 2019 MIUT (Madeira Island Ultra-Trail) at the end of April, his confidence is high. The elite international runners he will face include Jason SCHLARB (USA, 887 ITRA), who will be aiming for the top spot at his first ever race around Lake Annecy. Brit Donald Campbell (824 ITRA) and Frenchman Patrick BRINGER (846 ITRA) also have the legs to compete with this dynamic duo, just like Italian Andrea MACCHI.

For the women, Caroline CHAVEROT (France, 804 ITRA), who won the Ultra-Race in 2017 just like François, would like a second win in Annecy. Ildiko Wermescher (Hungary, 689 ITRA), Denise ZIMMERMAN (Switzerland, 666 ITRA), Sandrine BERANGER (France, 649 ITRA), Jamie AARONS (USA, 614 ITRA), and Brit Carrie CRAIG should also figure among the runners in the lead group.

Which Frenchman will be standing on the top podium step? Maxime CAZAJOUS (867 ITRA), Michel LANNE (860 ITRA), Vincent VIET (843 ITRA), Hugo ALTMEYER (835 ITRA), or Baptiste CHASSAGNE (831 ITRA)?

Three other elite international runners could very well rain on their parade: Canhua LUO (843 ITRA) from China, as well as Italians Stefano RINALDI (846 ITRA) and Riccardo BORGIALLI (839 ITRA).

For the women, a dual between France and Italy looks likely, with Frenchwoman Audrey BASSAC (673 ITRA), and Italians Lisa BORZANI (695 ITRA) and Virgnia OLIVERI (672 ITRA) vying for the top spot.

Twelve elite French runners, with 810 to 876 ITRA points, will stand at the Marathon Race’s starting line. The group includes Adrien MICHAUD, Gautier AIRIAU, Kevin VERMEULEN, Eric MBACHA, Alexandre PELLICIER, Emmanuel DAVID, Sacha DEVILLAZ, and Gédéon POCHAT. For the women, Lucie JAMSIN, Lucile OCHS, Caroline LAFAYE, and Camille ANCEY figure among the race favorites.

IN THE XL-RACE, count on Frenchmen Sylvain PERRIN and Kevin DUNAND to give Italian Francesco CUCCO a run for his money.

For the women, Sonia LOCATELLI (IT), Delphine AVENIER (FR), and Tanya RAINBIRD (GB) should lead the pack.

IN THE XXL-RACE, Clément MOLLIET and Arthur JOYEUX-BOUILLON are the front runners for the men, and Stéphanie BRENEOL and Fleur VEIGNEAU for the women.

FEMINA-RACE: for this ladies-only race, the top three runners in the field are Sandrine MOTTO ROS (626 ITRA), Camilla ANTONSEN (605 ITRA), and Virginie CAILLAUD (583 ITRA).

A pre-race presentation of this year’s elite runners will be held on the podium stage in the Village on Friday, May 24, at 15:30, and provide the opportunity to conduct interviews.

Please take note of the start times for the 2019 MaXi-Race:
– The MaXi-Race will start at 03:30, for runners to enjoy a spectacular sunrise and breathtaking views on top of Mt. Semnoz (just like the 2015 World Championships)
– The Ultra-Race starts at 00:00

Thursday, May 23, 2019
18:30: MaXi Conference: Failure, an integral part of both personal and professional success.
Apply the experience of our speakers, who are elite coaches and athletes, for your own personal and professional development.
18:00 – 20:00: Bib pickup for the Short Race, MaXi Village- Albigny Beach, Annecy-le-Vieux

Friday, May 24, 2019
12:30: MaXi-Village opens, bib pickup – Albigny Beach, Annecy-le-Vieux
15:30: Presentation of elite international athletes
17:00: MaXi-World presentation in the press room
19:00: Short Race starts, stage on the Mountain Running World Cup
20:15: Lead runners finish Short Race
21:00: MaXi-Village closes

Saturday, May 25, 2019
Midnight (00:00): Start for the Ultra-Race and XXL-Race, Day 1 – Albigny Beach, Annecy-le-Vieux
03:30: Start for the MaXi-Race – Albigny Beach, Annecy-le-Vieux
03:45: Start for the XL-Race Day 1, and the R-Race (relay) – Albigny Beach, Annecy-le-Vieux
06:00: First runners finish day 1 of the XL-Race and XXL RACE – Doussard
08:00: Start for the Femina-Race – Menthon-St-Bernard
08:30: MaXi-Village opens – Albigny Beach, Annecy-le-Vieux
Starting at 09:30: First runners finish (staggered finishes through Sunday morning) – Albigny Beach, Annecy-le-Vieux
12:30 to 18:30: Bib pickup (Marathon-Race) – Albigny Beach, Annecy-le-Vieux
11:30 to 12:00: Lead men finish the MaXi-Race – Albigny Beach, Annecy-le-Vieux
12:30: Lead women finish the MaXi-Race – Albigny Beach, Annecy-le-Vieux
12:30-12:45: Lead men finish the Ultra-Race – Albigny Beach, Annecy-le-Vieux
13:30: Lead women finish the Ultra-Race – Albigny Beach, Annecy-le-Vieux

Sunday, May 26, 2019
05:30: Start for the Marathon Race
06:30: Start for the XL-Race and XXL-Race, Day 2 – Doussard
08:50: Lead runners finish – Albigny Beach, Annecy-le-Vieux
9:30 – 10:30: Registration for the Mini-Race for kids – Albigny Beach, Annecy-le-Vieux
11:00 – 11:50: Mini-Race for kids (see details on the Mini-Race page) – Albigny Beach, Annecy-le-Vieux
17:00: Last runner crosses the finish line, all races close – Albigny Beach, Annecy-le-Vieux.

Salomon GORE-TEX MaXi-Race: 11 race formats

· 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, 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, Stage on the Mountain Running World Cup
· Mini-Race: from 100m to 1km for 300 youth runners
· MaXi-Orientation and Semi-Orientation orienteering races.


INFO:  Salomon GORE-TEX® MaXi Race