For immediate release, 31 August, 2009: The North Face®, the world’s premier supplier of authentic, innovative and technically advanced outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear, today announced that three members of its athlete team claimed top podium finishes at The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc® this past weekend. In the women’s category, Elizabeth “Lizzy” Hawker took second place, while in the men’s division, Sebastien Chaigneau and Tsuyoshi Kaburaki claimed second and third place, respectively. Considered the premier endurance event on the planet, the 7th annual The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc® was held in and around Chamonix, France on August 25-30.
The 2009 The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® experience comprised four separate endurance events, including the 98-km Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix, the 106-km Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie, the 240-km team event La Petite Trotte à Lèon, and the classic, 166-km Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc®. Taking place mostly on remote backcountry trails, some with considerable exposure, the headliner UTMB® course totaled 9,400 meters of elevation gain as it circled the Mont Blanc massif through three countries—France, Italy and Switzerland.
For the 7th annual event, over 2,300 competitors from over 50 different nations left the starting gate. Fewer than 1,400 crossed the finish line. The first to finish the epic course was Killian Jornet of Spain, followed by two The North Face® athletes. French superstar Sebastien Chaigneau took second place with a final time of 22:36:45. No stranger to epic courses, Sebastien won the grueling Libyan Challenge in 2007, 2008 and 2009, came in third at the 2009 Olympus Marathon and took first place at the great Raid du Mercantour earlier this year. Less than 15 minutes behind Sebastian was fellow The North Face® athlete, Tsuyoshi Kaburaki, with a final time of 22:48:36. One of the most well-regarded trail runners in his native country, Tsuyoshi won the Mount Fuji Climbing Marathon multiple times, while working full-time for the Japanese government. In early 2009 he quit his post to focus on his endurance running career.
In the women’s division, England’s Lizzy Hawker came in second place behind American Krissy Moehl with a finish time of 26:04:42, giving her a third podium finish at The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, which she won in 2005 and 2008. A relative newcomer to the sport of endurance running, Lizzy won the premiere Mountain Marathon Cup in 2007, and soon afterwards climbed Ama Dablam in the Himalaya, then immediately broke the world record by running from Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu in just over three straight days. In the coming weeks, Lizzy will return to the Himalaya with three other The North Face® global athletes for the multisport Cho Oyu Trilogy expedition.
For detailed information and results from the event, visit the dedicated microsite at: www.thenorthface.com/ultratrail.
All above photos (c) Damiano Levati / The North Face – please credit
Links to download 4 videos from the event: