This was a solo effort, not in the SkyMarathon. It was done the day after the 2018 race, allowing Marco to use the path set by the racers the previous day. The previous record was 4h34m set by Fabio Meraldi in the 1994 race.
"Marco ran the 32km route in 4 hours 20 minutes and 33 seconds - 3hours 10minutes and 40 seconds to the Margherita Refuge at 4554m and an incredible 1 hour 10 minutes on the descent.
Hoping that the thick fog would start to lift and the poor conditions would improve, Marco delayed his start by 15 minutes, leaving the Piazza Grober in the centre of Alagna at 5.30am.
The fog meant that the snow was softer than usual up to Punta Indren, which slowed him down on his ascent. However, higher up the mountain, it was the freezing temperatures and the icy wind which started to make things difficult for Marco; his hands were frozen and the intense cold made it difficult to breathe.
Despite the sub-optimal conditions, Marco arrived at the Margherita Refuge, atop Monte Rosa’s Signalkuppe four minutes up on Meraldi’s 15-year-old record time, certainly not enough to allow for an easy race back down to Alagna.
After getting his strength back, Marco’s descent just got faster and faster. “At Punta Indren, I realised that I would have to push as hard as I could, given that the route was getting more and more runnable," he continued on his blog. I ran but I also slid down the snow (and the rocks) but I knew that this section through the snow was my last chance to grasp the record. It was only when I was 3km from the finish that I really believed that I had done it."
Waiting in Alagna were many good friends, while another great friend, Franco Colle, who had helped him to plan the attempt had been waiting for him at the summit. “I have a huge respect for Fabio Meraldi’s record time," he wrote. "I called him from the finish line and speaking to him and hearing his congratulations was a huge pleasure. Although the conditions were far from perfect, my love for this sport has been one of the greatest motivators today, over the years I’ve learnt to run as much with my heart as with my legs. I dedicate this record to my two girls, Lydia and Cecilia, as I’ve just become a father again." "