Waiting for the winner
A grey and cold Saturday has dawned in Chamonix with the cloud base even lower. In the half light Francois d'Haene loped across the line to a decisive UTMB victory, half an hour up on second placed Jonas Buud. A further 16 minutes back was Michael Foote who had made up a huge number of places in the last few kilometers. It was only after he crossed the line that he realised he'd achieved 3rd! In a great gesture Francois returned down the course to applaud a few CCC competitors he'd overtaken in his sprint finish.
Winner of the 2012 UTMB Francois d'Haene
Jonas Buud crosses the line in second place
Jonas Buud very happy with his performance
Michael Foote finding out he's on the podium
The story of the day belongs to Lizzie Hawker who has now won the race 5 times. After an indifferent season due to injury she felt the shortened course played into her hands and enjoyed a comfortable victory in 12:32:13 placing 16th overall despite not being fully fit. Comparing this time to her predicted splits on the origional UTMB route she'd still have been in the lead somewhere on the Col Grand Ferret struggling through deep snow! An amazing level of motivation to keep coming back to such a demanding event and perform at this level.
Alongside the leading UTMB finishers, the CCC competitors continued to stream across the line, many overcome with emotion after having battled with the conditions for nearly 24 hours.