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Maxi Race 2024 Report: An epic weekend of races in the heart of the mountains

Maxi Race 2024: An epic weekend of races in the heart of the mountains


Victory for Mathieu Blanchard in the Maxi Race
©Guillaume Salem

The Maxi Race weekend is much more than just a competition, it has become a unmissable event for trail enthusiasts. Every year, this event brings together thousands of trail runners from the four corners of France, ready to tackle the majestic mountains surrounding Lake Annecy. This year Maxi-Race also welcomed the European trail running and mountain running championships. A great weekend of sport where Nutribay was present to take the temperature.

The Maxi Race trails are technical and varied, alternating between steep climbs, technical descents and ridge passages. Each section of the route offers specific challenges, whether passages through dense forest, rocky scree or meadows. The reward for these efforts is the breathtaking landscapes and views of Lake Annecy, a exceptional.

The Maxi Race - An unmissable challenge

1)    The different routes
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The Maxi Race offers a variety of courses suitable for all skill and endurance levels, making this event a must-see for trail runners of all backgrounds.

  • The Maxi Race (94 km) the Saturday

The Ultra Race is the flagship race of the event, intended for the most hardened trail runners. This 94 km course with an elevation gain of 5200 meters represents an extreme challenge. Participants traverse the ridges, forests and peaks around Lake Annecy, testing their endurance, mental toughness and running technique. It is an epic adventure that requires rigorous preparation and optimal management of physical and mental resources. It is also possible to participate in this race completing the tour of the Lake in 2 days, it is the XL Race. On the first day, participants stop at Doussard and the following day return to Annecy. For a race with friends or family, the tour of the lake can be done in relays of 1 or 2 participants.

  • The Marathon Race (58 km) the day after the official race of the European Trail Championships

For those who want to experience the Maxi Race without committing to an ultra-marathon, the 61km Marathon Race is ideal. This route offers a perfect balance between distance and difficulty, with technical sections and demanding climbs. Runners enjoy spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains, making each mile completed a true visual reward.

  • The Marathon Experience (42km) or half tour of the lake on Sunday

The Marathon eXpérience was created to allow everyone to gain experience in the mountains while discovering breathtaking landscapes. No minimum level is required, but a good dose of motivation will be required to cross the finish line!

  • The Short-Race (16 km) and the Mini-Race (5 km) Friday night

For beginners or those who want a more accessible challenge, the 16 km Short-Race and the 5 km Mini-Race are perfect. These shorter races allow participants to experience the world of trail running in a beautiful setting without the extreme demands of longer distances. They are also ideal for local runners or families who want to participate together.

  • Participant experience

At the heart of the weekend's races, we were able to collect some impressions from runners. Maxi Race participants often talk about the camaraderie and mutual support that is evident throughout the courses. Mutual encouragement, advice exchanged on the trails and moments of sharing at aid stations create a strong and motivating community spirit. Here are some testimonials:

  • “It was the hardest race of my life, but also the most rewarding. The scenery was incredible, and the atmosphere on the trails was electrifying.” - Pierre, finisher of the Maxi-race.
  • "The solidarity between runners is exceptional. When I got tired, another participant helped me start again and we continued together for a few kilometers. That's the spirit of the Maxi Race." - Sophie, participant of the Marathon Race.

The atmosphere of the Maxi Race is also enriched by the numerous volunteers and spectators who line the courses. The refreshment points are real places of comfort and motivation, where the runners can regain their strength while exchanging a few words with the volunteers. and their family. 

On Sunday morning, the runners received a message announcing the change of the route for the Marathon Experience and the Marathon Race. Too muddy following the numerous passages and the weather the previous days. The decision was taken by the organizing team because the emergency services could no longer properly take care of the runners if necessary. The ground was too soft and prevented them from accessing Veyrier. The runners therefore stopped at the Col de Bluffy to board a bus and reach Annecy to finally finish the 3km along Lake Annecy and reach the finish to ring the bell! This shortening reduced approximately 10km and 800m less elevation gain compared to the original route.

Home of the European Trail Running and Mountain Running Championships

The European Trail Running Championships were recently created to promote trail running as a discipline in its own right, with its own specificities and requirements. They take place every other year alternating with the World Championships. The edition organized as part of the Maxi Race reinforces the notoriety of this event by relying on the prestige and difficulty of the courses around Lake Annecy.

Categories and events

3 events took place this weekend:

  • Friday the dry climb of 7,6km and 980m difference in altitude (5,6km and 330m difference in altitude for the U20 category)
  • Saturday the European Trail Championship which corresponds to 58km and 3500m of altitude difference
  • Sunday the Up & Down format of 16km and 960m difference in altitude (5,9km and 400m difference in altitude). Victoire Cravate, Belgian athlete and also Nutribay ambassador took part.

The level is higher and higher each year in the trail championships. Overall the level is progressing at high speed. This year, in the races we can remember some great performances from the French team.

On the European Trail Championship, it was a raid of medals for the French.

At men's :

🥇Thomas Cardin
🥈Benjamin Roubiol
🥉 Loic Rolland

©Alanis Duc

 

In women:

🥇 Clémentine Geoffray
🥈 Blandine L’Hirondel
🥉 Adeline Martin

©Alanis Duc

These great results put France on the first step of the team podium for both men and women.

In the dry climb format, we will remember the performance of the French Jules Mongellaz in the U20 category who finished 3rd behind the Swiss Matthieu Bührer and Loïc Berger. By team they finished 2nd behind the British. Among the women, the U20 won the team gold medal thanks to good places.

The last race, Sunday's Up & Down format, French Theodore Klein finished 3rd behind Lukas Ehrel (German) and Roberto Delorenzi (Switzerland). The French won as a team just ahead of Great Britain.
Victory Tie, Belgian athlete and Nutribay ambassador, ranked 44th among the ladies in the U20 category. Not what she was hoping for in terms of results but she gave it her all despite the pain in her foot. A great experience all the same! 👏

The Partners' Show - A weekend of discoveries

At the race village, located on the edge of the lake, a multitude of activities and stands create a festive and friendly atmosphere. This year was rainy. Accustomed to the heat during this first weekend of June, the village was quickly invaded by mud. Despite everything, this did not take away the smiles from the exhibiting brands. We were able to discuss the latest developments with our partner brands at the show as well as future recipes to come. 🤫. Baouw, TA, 4Ultra were present, as well as the Belgian brand Moov360 which creates eco-responsible and technical clothing from recycled materials for running and cycling.

Don't forget that the first 500 orders between the Maxi Race and the Mont-Blanc Marathon, we will benefit an free TA gel* !


*Random taste

In terms of equipment, several brands such as Salomon, Merell, Compressport, Instinct, Julbo, I-Run, AZR etc. were present to present their new products and have their products tested: bags, glasses, textiles, shoes etc. for trail runners.

Nutribay ambassador results

Victoire Cravate represented Belgium during the European Championships in the Up&Down format of 16km and 960m of elevation gain. She finished 44th in these championships in 1:39:28. It was not the result she was hoping for but she was able to gain experience for the next races.

As for our ambassador Théo Carlini, registered in the Maxi Race, finished in 66th place. Living in Corsica and used to rockier terrain, the muddy and rolling trails around Lake Annecy gave him a bit of trouble.



 

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