Category Archives: Races

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 →

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 →

Running the Mont Blanc 23 km: Run the Alps talks with Albert Marino

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After four days of trail running from Courmayeur, Italy to Chamonix, France, on a guided Run the Alps trip, Run the Alps guest Albert Marino finished 36th in the Mont Blanc 23km trail race. This year was the 40th running of the competitive event, formerly known as the Cross du Mont Blanc. The race is   Continue Reading →

Chamonix’s Mont Blanc Marathon Weekend

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“Il est temps pour la fête! – “It is time for the festival!” bellowed Olivier, one of the volunteer coordinators for Chamonix’s Marathon Du Mont Blanc. It was 10am on a Sunday morning, and we were stationed at the top of the Planpraz lift, on a high balcony just below the Aiguilles Rouges range, the   Continue Reading →

Run the Alps Explainer: I Need a Medical Form to Trail Race in France and Italy?

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Yes, you do. For many of our guests and friends, the fact that you need a signed medical certificate from a doctor in order to trail race is a real surprise. In the US and elsewhere, most of us are simply used to suffering a bout of dubious judgement – usually concluding with, “Oh, sure,   Continue Reading →

A Three-Year Journey to Chamonix

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We’re pleased to share this story from Bret Bechis, who discovered the Alps trail running scene through Run the Alps’ Doug Mayer. Bret is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, works for Airbnb, and runs the outdoors clothing company HeyHeys. For his part, Mayer confirms the accuracy of the story, but wants none of   Continue Reading →

The Infectious Energy of Trail Monte Casto

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A late-season trail race in a quiet corner of the beautiful Italian Piedmont valley, well-organized and offering something for everyone. ‘Bellissimo! Forza!’ shout the hikers in encouragement as I run past, although beauty and strength seem more of an aspiration than a reality for me. The more disconcerting cries of ‘dai, dai, dai!’ (‘Come on!’),   Continue Reading →

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 →