Harrogate student becomes youngest finisher of gruelling French Alps mountain trail run

An Ashville Sixth Former has added his name to the record books after becoming the youngest competitor to finish a grueling trail run in the French Alps.

Alex Fennah, 17, was one of 200 runners to take part in the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) Trail Marathon Championship in Chamonix, finishing in a time of two hours and forty seconds.

The timed event set off from the village of Montroc and had to be completed within three hours.

The race saw competitors following a 15.8km section of the 42km Mont Blanc route, finishing in the well-known ski resort of Chamonix.

Alex Fennah has become the youngest finisher of a gruelling French Alps mountain trail run

And whilst the minimum age for the event is 18, Alex was given a special exemption due to competing in a number of previous trail runs, including the more challenging Marathon du Mont-Blanc the day before.

Now back home in Harrogate, Alex is now in training for his next races taking place this month - the 35km Sierre-Zinal in Switzerland, and in the same week, the 66km OCC in Chamonix in France.

In October, Alex, who is hoping to go on to study Experimental Psychology at Oxford, is running the Double Sahara Marathon - 40km on two consecutive days in temperatures exceeding 30°C.

Alex Fennah has become the youngest finisher of a gruelling French Alps mountain trail run

Alex said: “It was really great taking part in the ITRA Trail Marathon Championship in Chamonix.

"And whilst it’s reserved for those aged between 18 and 22, I was given special permission to take part and by doing so, I have become the youngest person ever to finish it.

“I started running two years ago and trained with the Wetherby Runners, and like everything the more you train the easier it gets.

“I go out four times a week and will run a total distance of about 70km - I have previously run two 100km races back-to-back.

“When I start something I tend to become a bit obsessive, and that includes my running, and my ultimate goal is to complete an ‘Iron Man’ challenge.”

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