The rise of trail running
There is absolutely no denying the extraordinary and continued growth in trail running, it is becoming the fastest growing sport in the UK and Europe and every summer there is a huge choice of races across Alps.
Trail running is one of the biggest trends in the running sector. With ultra races seeing a hige rise in popularity, no longer just for elite athletes but a challange awaiting anyone willing to give it a try! More and more people every year are stepping out of the gym and off of the pavement to discover amazing places. Being outdoors and at one with nature provides the perfect escape from our hectic lives. Whether it's running in the mountains, forests or through rural parklands, trail running is sure to reignite your love for sport and the great outdoors!
Trail running consists quite simply of running and hiking over trails, pushing runners to their limits in some of the most beautiful locations! Chamonix has long been a place where pushing the limits is second nature, from the very first alpinists and mountaineers of the 18th century to the most noted of modern day mountain men and women. Chamonix is the place where they come and test themselves.
Chamonix, host of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc which is most probably the toughest footrace on earth. Held each year the UTMB attracts thousands of runners from all over the globe who try to complete one of the five races over 6 days ranging from a very respectable OCC which covers 55km distance and 3,500 meter incline, to the UTMB itself which covers an incredible 171km with a staggering 10,000 meter incline and must be completed in a maximum of 46 hours. (We are exhausted thinking about it!)
As well has hosting the UTMB Chamonix is also host to the Mont Blanc Marathon and Asics beat the sun event (Run The Alps provides a full list of all the trail running events in the Alps). Naturally this means that trail running is a huge sport in Chamonix. Just walking through the town centre it is clear to see its presence with shops like Asics, Salomon and The North Face to name a few lining the streets. During the summer months you will not be out of place in your running shorts. You can finish a run in the town centre and go straight into a café for a coffee, or for a beer and feel perfectly in place!
Ultra trails may not be for everyone but we gauarntee if you take your runs out of the gym, off of the pavement, and onto your local trails you wont regret it!
New to trail running:
Take a look at this great article by Runners World with 21 quick tips for taking up this exciting sport! Tips include everything from how to keep safe, what equipment you need to leaving your ego at home!!
Marathon du Mont Blanc
28th June to 1st July 2018
The first of Chamonix's Summer Events 2018 is a trail event consisting of 8 races that for 4 days sees the Chamonix Valley vibrate with the rhythm of the races, 30,000 people will be in Chamonix to participate in this event, and everything is done to welcome runners and spectators in the most amazing surroundings.
A few of the 8 races taking place are the 80km, 42km, 23km, and the KM Vertical du Mont-Blanc (vertical km)
UTMB (Ultra Trail Mont Blanc)
27th August to 2nd September 2018
Unique in its kind, this event crosses 3 countries on foot (France, Italy and Switzerland), covers 166 kilometres and a 9,400 metre climb in one fell swoop.
Five races over 6 days ranging from a very respectable OCC which covers 55km distance and 3,500 meter incline to the The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® which covers an incredible 171km with an impressive 10,000 meter incline. The original and the 'king' of all races, the UTMB must be completed in a maximum of 46 hours, with the most accomplished athletes crossing line in under 24 hours! WOW!!!!
With races starting and finishing in Chamonix through-out the event, the town is a hive of activity and emotion as the exhausted athletes cross the finish line!! This really is an event not to be missed! For a full list of all the races and the race schedule for 2018 please visit their website
What the experts have to say!
Doug - Run the Alps
Here in the Chamonix valley we have three great organizations powering the sport: Club des Sports, UTMB, and CMBM the local trail running club. All are lively, growing, and have lots of enthusiasm for trail running. We also have a series of iconic events: The 8 races that now make up the Mont Blanc Marathon, the UTMB races, and in the fall, our own Trails des Aiguilles Rouges race. When you put together those organizations and events, along with the beautiful and challenging terrain, and trails throughout the valley, you have a formula that's really unstoppable. It feeds on itself too - here in the Chamonix valley, you have people coming to trail run, and staying. They are sponsored athletes, coaches, and people like myself-- I write on the topic as a Contributing Editor for Trail Runner, I trail run a lot myself, and am the founder of Run the Alps. That then creates a critical mass of people energized to inspire more trail running events and activities!
Nikki - The Adventure Running Company
High energy and laughter is so important when we run, if it wasn’t fun then I suppose we wouldn't do it ?! Although Chamonix’s incredible scenery helps to lure us onto the trails, there is also something magical about being with a small group of like minded folk exploring this incredibly beautiful & magical place.
When you combine Chamonix (The capital of trail running), with Amazon Creek's Luxury Chalets you have the perfect reciepe for the ultimate Runcation (A vacation crafted around a running event or excursion)!