Category Archives: Races

Helmet Required: Courmayeur, Italy’s 2,200 Meter-high Sky Race

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Helmet required. It’s a phrase I had never seen when looking over the required gear list for a trail race. And it certainly piqued my interest. So, when the first edition of the Mont Blanc K2000 Skyrace in Courmayeur, Italy, debuted, I had to check it out. That was August 8, 2015, and it didn’t   Continue Reading →

The Montreux Trail Festival: We Will Rock You. (And Your Quads.)

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Lead singer Freddie Mercury from the band Queen had a longtime connection to the Swiss town of Montreux, on the shores of Lake Geneva. The first edition of the Montreux Trail Festival kept that connection very much alive. Races were subtitled with one liners from famous Queen songs. “We will rock you” and “Another one   Continue Reading →

Trail Racing on Mont Blanc: Up, Up, Up to the Montée du Nid d’Aigle

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Every year for the past 31 years, the Montée du Nid d’Aigle (literally, the “Eagle Nest Ascent”) has started at 580 meters in Le Fayet, close to St. Gervais, and has finished at 2,400 meters at the Refuge du Nid d’Aigle. The Refuge is also the starting point for the Mont Blanc Voie Royale or   Continue Reading →

Welcome to Italy. Now Go Up: Val di Susa’s Triple Vertical Kilometer

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Europeans love vertical races—and the more up, the better. Steep vertical kilometer or “VK” races are commonplace. They happen throughout the year, with trail running shoes giving way to snowshoes, climbing skins and other forms of winter traction, as grassy alpine slopes turn white in the winter months. Nowhere in the Alps do they love   Continue Reading →

DDM Trail: A Legendary Alps Trail Race is Back

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In the history of trail running in the Alps, there isn’t an event that goes back much farther than Trail des Dents-du-Midi, held each September in the Valais town of Champéry. The original race took place over four decades ago. (Check out this video to get a remarkable glimpse of trail racing in the early days.)   Continue Reading →

“My Dream Was to Run Through the Streets of Chamonix”

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“I didn’t come from a mountain background.” Mike Ambrose wasn’t kidding. Growing up in Washington Township, New Jersey, about 30 miles from Philadelphia, meant that the nearest rugged terrain was a nearly a day’s drive north. “The biggest adventure you can have in Southern New Jersey is trying out a new chain restaurant.” Add to   Continue Reading →

Just One Flight Up: Stairways to Heaven Pipeline Vertical Race

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Run the Alps friend Katie Schide likes vertical. Steep, unrelenting vertical. A PhD candidate at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), Schide found herself in Piotta, Switzerland, this past May 20, ready to run the steepest staircase in the world. Just what is the experience like? Schide sent us this report — and a few   Continue Reading →

Engadin St. Moritz Ultraks: Running Wild in Paradise

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Do you know that feeling… Running on new trails, not knowing where the path will take you? Then, you turn a corner, and you find some of the most stunning views you’ve ever seen? Like you found the black pearl, the hidden treasure, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? That’s the feeling I had   Continue Reading →

A Week with the Salomon Ultra Running Academy

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Salomon. Within the trail running community, there is probably no better known word. Well, maybe Kilian, but he is part of Salomon too, after all. For years, Salomon has been leading in gear and shoes of all kinds. The company originated in Annecy, France, in 1947. It is there, in Annecy, where 16 lucky trail runners from all over   Continue Reading →

Engadin St. Moritz Ultraks: A Swiss Trail Race Series in a Special Place

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Mention Switzerland, and most people will talk about Zermatt, Grindelwald and other internationally-known Alp resorts. Here’s a secret, though: the Swiss Alps are filled with beautiful villages and mountain ranges that have stayed very much under the radar. The Engadin, a region in Eastern Switzerland near the Austrian border, is one of those special places.   Continue Reading →