Toby Chapman in France, Jez Bragg in Italy, Steve Way and Upton Summer Series

Toby Chapman (right) 1st Brit in Mont Blanc Marathon with 2nd Brit (Christopher Armit)
Toby Chapman (right) 1st Brit in Mont Blanc Marathon with 2nd Brit (Christopher Armit)

Two of BAC’s ultra runners, Toby Chapman and Jez Bragg, were racing, and racing well, in stunning mountain scenery in France and Italy on 24 June.

Toby competed in the Mont Blanc Marathon, which is everything it says it is, a marathon distance race through the French Alps, starting (but not finishing!) in the town of ChamonixToby kept up his ultra credentials, finishing 50th, of a total of 2045, and 1st Brit, in a time of 4.56.50.  The profile and video of this race show just how tough it is, with a vertical gain of 3192m, and some very precarious-looking trails along the top of narrow ridges with steep drops either side!  It looks hard work all the way, climbing from Chamonix at 1035m to 1465m, then down to 1260m, then up to the summit at 2201 (“where you will be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama of the Mont Blanc range”), down to 1385m, then a not-so-gradual undulating climb to the finish at 2016m.  An achievement to finish, let alone in 50th position!

Mont Blanc scenery - can it get better than this?
Mont Blanc scenery – can it get better than this?

Meanwhile, Jez was tackling a similar, but longer, challenge, the North Face Lavaredo Ultra Trail in Italy.  Of 976 who completed the course, Jez was 22nd in 14.54.24, 2nd Brit, as the race was won by fellow national Andy Symonds.  This race, around the beautiful trails of the Italian Dolomites, was run over a distance of 119km, and involved 5850m of ascent – the profile shows unrelenting up and down throughout the whole race from start to finish.  What can we say of Jez and Toby, except that we are very proud of them, representing BAC as they are, in such prestigious events around Europe.

Steve Way competes by the seaside
Steve Way competes by the seaside

It looks as if another of BAC‘s ultra runners, Steve Way, was also competing recently, perhaps in a more ‘normal’ road race, perhaps in a seaside town nearer to home.  Anyone have any details?

The third of the Upton Summer Series, organised by Poole Runners, took place on 22 June, and it is clear from the photographs that there was some BAC participation.  The results haven’t yet been published, but it is hoped to update this report when they are.

Toby Chapman (right) 1st Brit in Mont Blanc Marathon with 2nd Brit (Christopher Armit)
Toby Chapman (right) 1st Brit in Mont Blanc Marathon with 2nd Brit (Christopher Armit)