Why Run the Alps

We actually do run the Alps, and have for decades! Our guides have years of experience trail running and trail racing in the Alps, and many of them call the Alps home, too. And when they’re not in the Alps, many of them are deepening their guiding experience with expeditions around the world.

No matter how many clients have signed up, if you’ve signed up for one of our standard guided trips, the trip is going. Period. That means no juggling of vacation schedules or travel plans.

On rare occasions, some special trips, such as those with guest runners, require complex planning and costs and may be subject to trip cancellation. Please contact us for details.

Our guide-to-client ratio is as good or better than any other tour provider we know. Many of our trips have a 3:1 client-to-guide ratio.

International Mountain Leader (IML) guide certification is the law in France, and is the industry-standard level of training for European guides. Our IML-certified guides include leaders in the field — a number have more than a decade of full-time guiding experience.

Our guides have a specific focus and interest in trail running — they’re not hiking guides leading a trail running trip. Some of our guides are elite runners ranked by the International Trail Running Association. Others have been trail running or racing in the Alps for more than two decades. In every case, they have a strong interest in trail running.

When you call larger companies, it’s rare to get somebody on the phone who really knows the on-the-ground details. We do, and can give appropriate advice each time you call. From May through September, we also have someone on-the-ground in the Alps, to help you if any challenges arise.

We’ve partnered with Alpinehikers, one of the most highly-regarded tour companies in the Alps. Alpinehikers handles the logistics of every Run the Alps trip, including hotel bookings, baggage transport, taxi service, and more.

We offer a level of accommodations that include amenities such as private bathrooms and bedrooms at hotels, except for when we stay at more rustic alpine huts, which have shared facilities. We work with high-quality accommodations with whom we have long-standing relationships.

Our trail running materials are more than just hiking guides that can be purchased online. We’ve worked hard to develop written materials specifically focused on the needs of trail runners. Each of our run descriptions includes detailed information on the route, and every client receives a copy of our 47-page Guide to Trail Running in the Alps.

Run the Alps was founded by Doug Mayer, who for more than two decades has traveled between the Alps and the United States. That dual life has given him a unique perspective on the different nature of trail running in the Alps — from minor considerations like the use of trail running poles, to larger topics like unique alpine weather considerations, that are important for a successful trip.

If you’re interested in taking part in one of the many Alp trail races, we can help. Run the Alps has deep trail racing knowledge among our staff and guides. We reserve bibs for many major trail races, and count a number of Race Directors among our friends.

Our guided Switzerland trail running trips all include first-class SBB Swiss rail passes.

As always, we invite your questions. Contact us any time!