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Guest Runners

Run the Alps is fortunate to be tapped into a world of adventurous trail runners with a wide range of experiences, knowledge and insights. Some are elite runners, others have deep experience in differing facets of the trail running world, including story telling, nutrition and adventuring. All of them have taken to heart Run the Alps’ inclusive, supportive philosophy.

Our guest runner program enables us to share a little bit of their world with you.

Here’s who’s coming this year:

2023

Mimmi Kotka

Mimmi Kotka

Trip: Chamonix Trail Camp with Mimmi Kotka, September 12-17, 2023

Run the Alps is excited to welcome back Mimmi Kotka, one of the world’s top trail runners, joining us for a special trip this September.

For those of you who don’t know Mimmi, she’s low-key, smart, empathetic, and a lot of fun. Our trip with her last year was such a fun time– one of the highlights of the summer for all of us. Mimmi and her husband Toni have lived part-time in the Chamonix valley for a number of years now. Sponsored by La Sportiva, she also happens to be one of the world’s strongest ultrarunners. (Though she’ll never mention it, we will.) Mimmi has won or been on the podium at a number of major trail races around the world. That list includes first place at the 101 km CCC and 121 km TDS races in Chamonix, France. In 2021, she placed third in the UTMB, with a remarkably impressive finish.

Mimmi isn’t just a trail runner, either. She also has an advanced degree in Nutrition, and is a partner in Moonvalley. She has a fun sense of humor, and always has interesting insights to share on trail running.

Along the way, Mimmi will share tips from her years of trail running in the Alps. Each night at dinner in Chamonix, we’ll be joined by special guests. Likely guests include Black Diamond Skyrunner Hillary Gerardi and On athlete Meg MacKenzie.

Joining Mimmi will be her husband Toni, who will run with us as our official photographer and videographer.

Meg Mackenzie

Meg Mackenzie

Trips: Women’s Trail Camp with Meg Mackenzie, July 4 – 9, 2023.

We are delighted to have one of our best friends here in the Chamonix Valley leading two trips for us! Run the Alps welcomes our Ambassador and On athlete Meg Mackenzie as host of two very special women-only weeks!

Meg is one of our most energetic, upbeat and fun friends here in Chamonix. She has raced competitively around the world, and has had top finishes in races from Chamonix’s Mont Blanc Marathon to South Africa’s Ultra Trail Cape Town. And while Meg excels at trail running, it’s just one part of her life. She’s also a trail running coach, certified master life coach, and partners in the venture Wild Women with athlete Lucy Bartholomew. A few years ago, Meg moved full-time to Chamonix, where she continues to represent her home country of South Africa. You can read more about Meg here.

Meg’s style is inclusive, warm and supportive. “Too many women think they are somehow inadequate or not strong enough for mountain activities. My goal is to get more women involved in trail running and help those already in it to gain more self-confidence on the trails.”

Elyse Kopecky

Elyse Kopecky

Trip: Run Fast, eat slow women’s retreat with Elyse Kopecky, August 19 – 25, 2023

This summer Run the Alps is hosting an Alps trail running retreat with three-time New York Times bestselling author Elyse Kopecky. Her books “Run Fast. Eat Slow,” “Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow,” and “Rise & Run” have transformed how we think about the intersection of food and sports.

Elyse is well known and much adored for her bestselling cookbooks on improving running performance and long-term health and happiness. On this tour, which is open to all levels of trail runner, we’ll explore the best trails of the region while eating well and taking in classic Alps culture. Elyse will give talks on nutrition and take us through run warm-up and stretching sessions.

Krissy Moehl

Krissy Moehl

Trip: Chamonix mini-adventure with Krissy Moehl, August 28-30, 2023

Krissy Moehl is coming to Chamonix this summer for the 20th anniversary of the UTMB®. Krissy was at the start line of the first ever race in 2003, and finished as first female. She’s excited to be back in the Alps to share in the race celebrations, and to run the awesome trails around Chamonix.

Since 2003, Krissy has stood on the podium at countless prestigious ultras, and achieved impressive Fastest Known Times. She’s won ultras around the world, from Hardrock and Vermont 100 in the US, to Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji and Gaoligong by UTMB in Asia – plus another UTMB® win in 2009. In fact, Krissy has raced more than 100 ultramarathons. Krissy is also a running coach and the author of Running Your First Ultra, so she’s certainly the right person to give trail running tips on our two-day excursion, as well as being great fun to hang out with!

Courtney Dewaulter

Courtney Dewaulter

Trip: Courtney Comes to the Dolomites, October 2 – 7, 2023

Courtney Dauwalter is a fun, upbeat trail runner from Leadville, Colorado.

She’s also one of the world’s top ultrarunners, having won a huge number of the world’s most competitive ultra-distance trail races, some of which she has won outright. Courtney won the 2019 and 2021 editions of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, in Chamonix, France.

Courtney grew up in Minnesota, where she competed in track, cross-country, and nordic skiing. She went to the University of Denver, then went to Mississippi, where she earned a master’s degree in teaching. She was a middle and high-school teacher in Denver, before becoming a full-time trail runner in 2017.

Courtney has a bunch of records*, but really we’re psyched to have her on a Run the Alps trip because she’s enthusiastic about trail running, supportive, compassionate and likes good beer. What more could you possibly want in a trip leader?

You can read more about Courtney in this New York Times feature.

*For those keeping track at home: Course record at Javelina Jundred 100k and won Run Rabbit Run 100-miler outright in 2016, won Moab 240 overall in 2017 (besting second place by 10 hours), won the 100-mile Western State Endurance Run in 2018, finished second overall at Big’s Backyard Ultra, won UTMB in 2019, won the American Big Dog’s Ultra in 2020 (running 283 miles in just under 57 hours), and won UTMB in 2021. Did you get all that?

Mirna Valerio

Mirna Valerio

Trip: Mirnavator in the Alps, September 8 – 17, 2023

What do you see when you close your eyes and think of a typical trail runner? Although trail running seems to be the domain of thin, fast people, it is also a sport that has welcomed people like Mirna Valerio, who in her own words is a plus-sized, slow-AF runner who lives and breathes the trail. This African-American adventurer, hailing (presently) from Winooski, Vermont, defies trail running stereotypes.

Author of the blog Fatgirlrunning and best selling novel ‘A Beautiful Work in Progress’, Mirna shares her experiences as a larger woman in a world of thinner athletes. Mirna’s story has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Runner’s World, on the NBC Nightly News, CNN, on the CW Network, and in REI’s documentary, The Mirnavator.

Her writing has been featured in Women’s Running Magazine, Self Magazine Online, Outside Online, and Runner’s World Magazine. She was chosen as a 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

We’re psyched to welcome Mirna to the Alps!

“This body is fierce, beautiful, and unapologetic. It’s meant to move through the world as it wishes: lifting, walking, and running, rolls and all. Love handles, bouncy boobs, curves, tummy, butt, back fat, and all.” (Mirna Valerio)

2022

Luke Nelson

Luke Nelson

Trip: Tahoe Wilderness Medicine in the Alps, July 30 – August 5, 2022.

Luke Nelson is a Physician Assistant based in Pocatello, Idaho. In addition, he is a partner in the orthopedic practice, Idaho Sports and Spine. Passionate about wilderness medicine, Luke ties mountains and medicine together as a ski patroller and as a candidate Fellow in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. He also owns and operates Alpine Endurance Medicine, where he teaches wilderness medicine to his community of mountain loving friends.

Luke has been drawn to mountains his entire life. Over the years, he has found many different ways to enjoy wild places.  Trail running is the method that he now finds the most appealing as a way to experience the world and to challenge his body.

Luke has run and raced through mountain ranges on nearly every continent, including Nepal’s Khumbu region and Patagonia. He’s raced Italy’s epic Tor des Geants and the ridiculously rugged Barkley Marathons.

With his partner, Tanae, he has three kids: Brynlee, Chloe, and Anders.

Luke is supported in his work as a professional athlete by Patagonia, LaSportiva, Gu Energy, Zeal Optics, Petzl, and Sidas. You can read more about Luke on his web site, Challenge of Balance.

Courtney Dauwalter

Courtney Dauwalter

Trip: Run the Alps Adventure with Courtney Dauwalter, August 8 – 12, 2022.

Courtney Dauwalter is a fun, upbeat trail runner from Leadville, Colorado.

She’s also one of the world’s top ultrarunners, having won a huge number of the world’s most competitive ultra-distance trail races, some of which she has won outright.

Courtney, 36, recently moved to Leadville with her husband, Kevin, from Golden, Colorado. She has won the last two editions of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, in Chamonix, France.

Courtney grew up in Minnesota, where she competed in track, cross-country, and nordic skiing. She went to the University of Denver, then went to Mississippi, where she earned a master’s degree in teaching. She was a middle and high-school teacher in Denver, before becoming a full-time trail runner in 2017.

Courtney has a bunch of records*, but we’re psyched to have her on a Run the Alps trip because she’s enthusiastic about trail running, supportive, compassionate and likes good beer. What more could you possibly want in a trip leader?

Since Courtney likes good beer, you can bet we’ll be hanging out a fair bit at Big Mountain Chamonix.

You can read more about Courtney in this New York Times feature.

*For those keeping track at home: Course record at Javelina Jundred 100k and won Run Rabbit Run 100-miler outright in 2016, won Moab 240 overall in 2017 (besting second place by 10 hours), won the 100 mile Western State Endurance Run in 2018, finished second overall at Big’s Backyard Ultra, won UTMB in 2019, won the American Big Dog’s Ultra in 2020 (running 283 miles in just under 57 hours), and won UTMB in 2021. Did you get all that?

Mimmi Kotka

Mimmi Kotka

Trip: Chamonix Trail Camp with Mimmi Kotka, July 5-9, 2022

Run the Alps is excited to welcome back Mimmi Kotka, one of the world’s top trail runners, joining us for a special trip this July.

For those of you who don’t know Mimmi, she’s low-key, smart, empathetic, and a lot of fun. Our trip with her last year was such a fun time– one of the highlights of the summer for all of us. Mimmi, her husband Toni and canine sidekick Enzo have lived part-time in the Chamonix valley for a number of years now. Sponsored by La Sportiva, she also happens to be one of the world’s strongest ultrarunners. (Though she’ll never mention it, we will.) Mimmi has won or been on the podium at a number of major trail races around the world. That list includes first place at the 101 km CCC and 121 km TDS races in Chamonix, France. Last year, she placed third in the UTMB, with a remarkably impressive finish.

Mimmi isn’t just a trail runner, either. She also has an advanced degree in Nutrition, and is a partner in Moonvalley. She has a fun sense of humor, and always has interesting insights to share on trail running.

Along the way, Mimmi will share her tips from years of trail running in the Alps. Each night at dinner in Chamonix, we’ll be joined by special guests. Likely guests include Black Diamond Skyrunner Hillary Gerardi and The North Face athlete Meg MacKenzie.

Joining Mimmi will be her husband Toni, who will run with us as our official photographer and videographer. And — of course — Enzo will be along to keep us company, too.

Meg Mackenzie

Meg Mackenzie

Trip: Women’s Trail Camp with Meg Mackenzie, June 28 – July 2, 2022

We are delighted to have one of our best friends here in the Chamonix Valley leading a trip for us! Run the Alps welcomes our Ambassador Meg Mackenzie as host of her first trip, and it’s a special women-only week!

For those of you who don’t know Meg, she is one of our most energetic, upbeat and fun friends here in Chamonix. Meg has raced competitively around the world, and has had top finishes in races from Chamonix’s Mont Blanc Marathon to South Africa’s Ultra Trail Cape Town. And while Meg excels at trail running, it’s just one part of her life. She’s also a trail running coach, certified master life coach, and partners in the venture Wild Women with Salomon athlete Lucy Bartholomew. Last year, Meg moved fulltime to Chamonix, where she continues to represent her home country of South Africa. You can read more about Meg here.

Meg’s style is inclusive, warm and supportive. “My goal is to get more women involved in trail running and help those already in it to gain more self-confidence on the trails. Too many women think they are somehow inadequate or not strong enough for mountain activities.”

2021

Mimmi Kotka

Mimmi Kotka

Run the Alps is excited to have Mimmi Kotka, one of the world’s top trail runners, joining us for a special trip this September.

For those of you who don’t know Mimmi, she’s low-key, smart, empathetic, and a lot of fun. Mimmi, her husband Toni and canine sidekick Enzo have lived part-time in the Chamonix valley for a number of years now. Sponsored by La Sportiva, she also happens to be one of the world’s strongest ultrarunners. (Though she’ll never mention it, we will.) Mimmi has won or been on the podium at a number of major trail races around the world. That list includes first place at the 101 km CCC and 121 km TDS races in Chamonix, France. She is a member of the Swedish National Ultrarunning Team.

Mimmi isn’t just a trail runner, either. She also has an advanced degree in Nutrition, and is a partner in Moonvalley. She has a fun sense of humor, and always has interesting insights to share on trail running.

Along the way, Mimmi will share her tips from years of trail running in the Alps. Each night at dinner in Chamonix, we’ll be joined by special guests. Likely guests include Black Diamond Skyrunner Hillary Gerardi, Salomon trail running shoe product manager Mike Ambrose, and The North Face athlete Meg MacKenzie.

Joining Mimmi will be her husband Toni, who will run with us as our official photographer and videographer. And — of course — Enzo will be along to keep us company, too.

2019

Krissy Moehl

Krissy Moehl

Trip: UTMB® Experience with Krissy Moehl and Jeff Browning, August 27 – September 3. Run the Alps is delighted to have US ultrarunner Krissy Moehl co-hosting our Chamonix, France-based UTMB® Experience trip this summer. Krissy is one of America’s best-known trail runners, having competed in more than 100 ultras over her career. A Patagonia ambassador, she has been on a wide range of adventures around the world, from the Alps to Chile. In 2015 she became youngest woman to complete the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning. Krissy has won the UTMB® twice, as well as winning China’s Gaoligong by UTMB® race last year. Krissy has appeared in a number of trail running films, hosted a TEDx Talk, and recently authored Running Your First UItra. She is a regular contributor to Trail Sisters. Alongside Jeff Browning on the UTMB® Experience trip, Krissy will share her deep knowledge of trail running and the UTMB®, including stories and advice about racing in the Alps, training tips, nutrition, and injury prevention. We’ll get to know the legendary trails around around Mont Blanc and improve our technical skills with her supportive guidance. We hope you can join us!

Jeff Browning

Jeff Browning

Trip: UTMB® Experience with Krissy Moehl and Jeff Browning, August 27 – September 3. US ultra runner Jeff Browning will be co-hosting our UTMB® Experience trip in Chamonix, France this summer with Krissy Moehl. Jeff is a 19-year veteran of ultra marathons and running in wild places. He has finished well over 120 ultras, with 27 career wins. Last year, he won three of the five 100-milers he entered, including Colorado’s prestigious Hardrock 100-miler, and this year he also won New Zealand’s Tarawera 100-miler. Having raced all over the world, including the UTMB®, Jeff has his race strategy dialed. He lives in Logan, Utah with his wife and 3 kids. He is passionate about healthy, effective nutrition, functional strength, mobility, and finding the absolute best gear for the job. Jeff shares his experiences as an endurance coach and will have a wealth of advice to offer on the UTMB® Experience trip. Jeff is also a Patagonia Trail Ambassador, as well as a member of the Altra Elite Team.

Milo Zanecchia

Milo Zanecchia

Trip: Italian Dolomites, June 16 – 23. Milo Zanecchia is a Swiss-American adventure filmmaker and photographer. You can often find him trail running in the Alps carrying heavy video equipment and with a drone strapped to his back. As a teenager, Milo lost 80% of the vision in his right eye when his retina detached due to a sports injury. Forced to ditch contact sports, he turned to mountain sports of all kinds and parlayed that love into a career. Based in Lugano, Switzerland, you can find Milo’s work in Trail Runner and Adventure Journal, Outside, and for brands like The North Face, Salomon, Teton Gravity Research, as well as Swiss Tourism, and many other places. Milo has driven from Switzerland to Mongolia by car, lived in a mud hut in Malawi for months, slept in the deserts of Oman, and bivy-camped on cold peaks in the Alps. He lives for the outdoors and is excited to share an adventure with you.

2018

Brendan Leonard

Brendan Leonard

Trip: Guided Haute Route, September 3 – September 13, 2018 Brendan Leonard is an adventure writer, award-winning filmmaker, speaker, and creator of Semi-Rad.com. Alcohol landed him in rehab at age 23, but since then he’s gone on to get a Master’s Degree, live out of a van for three years, spend cumulative weeks below the rim of the Grand Canyon, climb the Grand Teton in a day, and bike across America. Brendan recently completed the Run Rabbit Run 100-mile race. His writing has appeared in Alpinist, CNN, Outside, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Backpacker, Adventure Cyclist and dozens of other publications. His most recent book is Sixty Meters to Anywhere.

Brody Leven

Brody Leven

Trip: Guided Haute Route, September 3 – September 13, 2018

Brody Leven is… himself. The fact is, it’s hard to describe his place in the outdoors world, because he’s not easily pinned down. Which seems to be exactly where he likes to be. (Just check out his bio.) There are a few facts we know about him, however. He’s a pro skier, and spends his time scheming and then pulling off great adventures that have him skiing, climbing, trail running and mountain biking around the world, from Uganda to Montana. He is deeply committed to environmental stewardship – and that’s not just talk. He crafts his own path, and goes and does it. In that sense, he’s a role model for all of us, whatever our age. Here’s something you don’t know about him: He ran his own mobile DJ business. (Will we be dancing at Cabane Dix?) We’re psyched to spend time with Brody trail running through the Alps and just plain hanging out, laughing, figuring out life, soaking in the Alps scene… and daydreaming about what’s next.
Julia Bleasdale

Julia Bleasdale

Trip: The Wild Engadine, July 3- July 9, 2018. British-German trail runner Julia Bleasdale, 36, lives in Pontresina, Switzerland, in the Alps’ Engadine region. Mountains have almost always been a part of Julia’s life. Her parents met on a peak in Austria’s Stubai Alps. Childhood summers were spent amid mountains and lakes. Julia has raced around the world for both the UK and Germany, most notably at the 2012 London Olympics. She now calls the Engadine her home, and is actively developing a lively trail running scene there. Today, though, she prefers to run solo and with friends and guests through the mountains and pastures of the wild Engadine. We’re delighted to have Julia joining us for a day of running when we’re in Pontresina.

Krissy Moehl

Krissy Moehl

Trip: The Wild Engadine, July 3-9, 2018. Run the Alps is delighted to have US ultrarunner Krissy Moehl as a guest runner on our Wild Engadine trail running trip, presented by Julbo. Krissy Moehl is one of US’ best-known trail runners, having competed in more than 100 ultras. Her career spans nearly two decades, and has included a wide range of adventures around the world, from the Alps to Chile. In 2015, she became youngest woman to complete the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning. She has won Europe’s prestigious UTMB twice. Krissy has appeared in a number of trail running films, hosted a TEDx Talk, recently authored Running Your First UItra, and is one of the early contributors to Trail Sisters. Krissy will be joining us for our trail running adventure in the wild Swiss Engadine. She’ll share her insights into trail running, including training tips, nutrition, injury prevention, and racing advice. We’ll improve our technical skills with her supportive guidance, as we run through some of the most beautiful territory the Alps have to offer. We hope you can join us!

Blog

Run the Alps Announces Salomon Limited Edition Collaboration!

Run the Alps Announces Salomon Limited Edition Collaboration!

Run the Alps is pleased to share the very first news of a special Alps trail running collaboration with Salomon– and the first chance to order your limited edition Run the Alps gear!

Guided

Tour du Mont-Blanc

Tour du Mont-Blanc

The Tour du Mont-Blanc is the most famous trail running route in the world, and for good reason. Wandering over mountain trails from France, to Italy, to Switzerland and back into France, the “TMB” footpath includes some of the most iconic mountain terrain anywhere. We’ll kick off the trip with a day of running one of Chamonix’s

New gear

Reusable Euro Market Bag

Reusable Euro Market Bag

Thanks to our crew and friends here in Chamonix, it's not unusual to spot our reusable bag at the Saturday morning market. Now, you can use it at your local farmer's market, too!