Monthly Archives: September 2013

Le Double: Might as Well Run to the Moon

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Trail running here in the Alps is unlike anywhere else I’ve ever laced up my Salomons and headed out the door. One’s body simply needs time to adjust to the sheer verticality of it all— no matter what your pre-trip training back home. For me, a purely recreational runner, I notice a change at about three to four weeks. Like all   Continue Reading →

Un Petit Village d’alpage, and the Future of Trail Running

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As trail running grows–some would say explodes in popularity–all manner of new ventures are taking shape. The ultra-famous, ultra-hard 166 km UTMB just announced yet one more event to its series—the OCC, Orsières-Champex-Chamonix. Running camps and personal trainers are showing up on the scene. In the states and throughout Europe, trail races are filling up in hours, sometimes minutes. Those of us   Continue Reading →

Fully-Sorniot: Whatever You Do, Don’t Look Up

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We have been at it for 20 minutes already, and I am soaked with sweat. Today’s race, Fully-Sorniot, offers runners a full five minutes of pleasant coasting along old village roads, until delivering the goods: 1.6 vertical kilometers of ass-kicking, no-holes-barred switchbacks. I try not to look up, but it’s too tempting. I glance skyward, and all I see is… rock.   Continue Reading →

Trail des Dents du Midi: Sport, Charme et Authenticité

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2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the Tour Dents du Midi, the walking route that encircles one of Switzerland’s best-known mountain ranges, adjacent to its border with France. For that reason, yesterday’s annual trail race around the seven jagged peaks that make up the Dents du Midi held special significance. With or without this historic marker, however, the   Continue Reading →

Stechelberg: The Alps of the Alps

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It’s been an incredible summer. Our gang of trail runners has explored areas far and wide in the Swiss Alps. We’ve run through the Engadine. Around the UNESCO Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage site. Along the peaks that mark Switzerland’s alpine border with France and Italy. We’ve run in some of the most famous trail races in the world… and in small village   Continue Reading →

Ready to go for a Run?

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Ready to go for a run? Ready to go for a kinda-exposed, three-minute run with an 800-foot drop on your right-hand side? Welcome to trail running in Switzerland. Okay… mind you, it’s not always like this. Most of the time, a mountain run here means pastures, snowfields, herds of cows and flocks of sheep. Café   Continue Reading →

Grimpette des Bedjuis: Not the UTMB

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I wasn’t really looking for an antidote to the many big, famous alp mountain races that dot the landscape here. But this morning, in the Swiss canton of Valais, near the border with France and not too very far from Italy, I certainly found one. Part of the Valais Cup mountain running series—a collection of mostly short, steep mountain races that   Continue Reading →