Capetonian Landie Greyling finished fourth at last weekend’s Marathon du Mont-Blanc, an alpine trail-running event in Chamonix, France.
Greyling, who has an impressive national and international trail running record, improved her position in the annual marathon (41.6km) from 12th in 2014.
“This is one of the most well-known and competitve European races and I am very happy with the improvement I made this year. The race is mostly uphill with an ascent of 2760m, and this is not my strong point. But I challenged myself and am really happy that the hard work paid off,” said Greyling.
“I struggled on the climbs and at 21kms I was in 7th position. I managed to overtake three contenders on a technical descent and was able to hold this position to the finish.” Greyling finished in a time of 05:08:58, 00:22:40 behind winner Ida Nilsson.
This year was particularly special for Landie as she not only had the support of her Salomon team of trail runners and the crowds while running through the Chamonix valley but she was also joined by her husband and fellow trail runner Christiaan, who finished 14th in the Mont-Blanc 80km race.
“Usually with trail running events you are running on isolated trails, so it was quite something to actually have supporters cheering you on from their seats on the mountainside. It was a privilege to be able to share my passion with like-minded people and rewarding to realise that hard work pays off,” Greyling said.
The race, which is limited to 2 000 contestants, took place on picturesque snow-capped mountain paths, starting from the centre of Chamonix and finishing at the top of the Planpraz cable car station with unique panoramic views of Mont-Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps. Runners have to carry a mobile phone, 0.5 litres of water, a waterproof, windproof jacket, whistle and survival blanket.