First runners already passed the half race and are going back running towards Courmayeur; they are going to battle for the first place until Wednesday morning.
In the meantime the “heart” of the race is going down to Donnas, the most east part of the path, while the last athletes are still dealing with the high pass of Entrelor and Loson ( more than 3000 meters high, with their peak white with snow).
On the high passes last night there was a three hour stop of the race in order to allow the alpine guide to reach a critical point, a stream with overbearing water. In that time runners
(with the exception of the head of the race who already passed that point before) were forced to stop at the refreshments of Eaux Rousses on in the previous life basis. This made refreshments points extremely crowded: a nice hotel manager even opened up the hall and some rooms of his hotel in order to give a warm and dry place to stay for the runners. Very much appreciated from runner and organization, signature of the great involvement of the whole Aosta Valley.
This three hours stop obviously led to the decision of postponing all the time deadlines of three hours.
The race started again at 7am allowing all the athletes to go up to Col Loson ( 3299 meters) where, since the beginning of the race, 3 State Forestry Corps and 2 Alpine Guide are looking after the safety of the runners. There were no big injury or issues during this night, just some runner slipping because of the fatigue or because of lack of concentration.
During the day, a Portuguese runner was taken from Col Entrelor to the Aosta Hospital with signs of hypothermia: he was checked-in as a white code, and his conditions do not race concern.
In Cogne, Sonia Locatelli withdrew due to stomach pain. She left the battle for the first place in the hand of the Swiss Zimmermann and the Italian Borzani who are running almost at the same speed. Of course, the race is still long.
Withdrawals are around 50 now, mostly due to too much fatigue and cold of the highest passes.
Race keep going: an eye is still up to the sky for the uncertain weather condition.
Pics: Stefano Jeantet