Sierre-Zinal with a Happy Heart: My Perspective as a Mid-pack Runner

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At some time unknown, the 31-km Alps trail race known as Sierre-Zinal slipped into my subconscious as a special event. It was one not to lose track of, a race to do one day, a bit like an exceptional mountain to climb. But I wasn’t really sure why. The race is located in the Southern   Continue Reading →

I am the Human Garbage Pail of Trail Running Fueling

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Yesterday, Run the Alps Senior Guide Simon Conroy and I ran from Courmayeur, Italy to Chamonix, France, along the second half of the Tour du Mont-Blanc. The route we chose was 85 km with about 4,300 meters of climbing. I’m getting ready for a certain trail race in a few weeks.  Here’s how I fueled:   Continue Reading →

Getting back pre-race butterflies: thoughts from racing Sierre-Zinal

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It was nice to feel the pre-race butterflies again. The familiar feeling – nerves rising from the pit of my stomach – came on strong as I walked towards the bib pick-up in Sierre, a small city in the Swiss canton of Valais that borders France and Italy. The onset of pre-race jitters was both nerve-wracking   Continue Reading →

Four decades of Sierre-Zinal: Race Founder Jean-Claude Pont Looks Back

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Run the Alps is pleased to offer this short piece from past Sierre-Zinal Race Director Jean-Claude Pont. Pont, retired from careers as a university professor, researcher, and Swiss mountain guide, remains a sort of Renaissance man – deeply intellectual, charismatic and thoughtful, though often holding views counter to the prevailing sentiments of the day. I   Continue Reading →

Five Reasons to Run Trail Verbier St-Bernard

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I never thought I’d get the itch to do an ultra.  The trail races I grew up with were typically less than 10 miles, and four years of collegiate training for 6km cross-country and 5km on the track made trail racing of any distance beyond 10 km seem like a whole different world.  Besides, part   Continue Reading →

Picking up the Pace: Run the Alps Q&A with our Very Speedy Staff Writer

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This summer, Run the Alps added a new position to our list of seasonal crew – intern and staff writer. Julia Maxwell, a recent graduate of Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calfornia, joined us in Chamonix in June and will be staying through the end of August. Julia splits her time between Run the Alps   Continue Reading →

Self-Guided Trail Running on the Tour du Mont Blanc

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Run the Alps is pleased to share this story from our self-guided guest, Carl Stauffer, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Carl and three friends trail ran the full, 100-mile long Tour du Mont-Blanc. Here’s their experience as they wended their way around Mont Blanc.  Ever since I was a young child and heard the story of Heidi, I have   Continue Reading →

Running through the Valais: Trail Verbier St-Bernard’s X-Traversée

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The miracle was not that you finished, the miracle was that you had the courage to start. (Matthieu Girard, at Trail Verbier St-Bernard pre-race briefing). I’ve always agreed with that sentiment. I suspect it resonates with each of us who dares to enter a challenging mountain race. To that quote, I’d add a corollary: Too   Continue Reading →

Our Favorite Short Trail Run in Chamonix

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Just off the plane and looking for a way to wake up your legs? In Chamonix for a few hours and want a quick loop trail run right from town? Or maybe you’re looking for a recovery run, followed by lunch in a scenic spot? Here’s our recommendation: Chalet Floria. Okay… So, the fact is,   Continue Reading →

Fifth at Eiger Ultra 101: Run the Alps talks with US Trail Runner Matt Flaherty

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Run the Alps’ friend Matt Flaherty, a US-based athlete running for Salomon, recently came in fifth in the very challenging Eiger 101 race in Grindelwald, Switzerland, with a time of 12:30.34. We talked to him about his race, and got a few tips in case you’re interested in tackling this course in the beautiful Berner   Continue Reading →