Category Archives: Races

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 →

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 →