Ever wanted to do something out of the ordinary? Tackle a new challenge in a different part of the world? Take a look at some of the unique running events that take place in Chamonix every year.
Marathon du Mont Blanc
This weekend is packed full of events and has something for everyone. Endurance runners will find the 80km ultra marathon throws up a few challenges, whilst those who are built for speed can pit themselves against the Vertical KM. There are races for little ones, a 10km and half marathon for beginners and, of course, the classic Marathon du Mont Blanc - 42km of forest trails, alpine meadows, mountain ridges, steep climbs, gnarly descents, stunning views and some of the most amazing supporters you’ll ever meet. The atmosphere is incredible and the whole town turns out to wave, cheer and shout your name as you run past!
Positive altitude gain: 2730m
Date: Thursday 22 June to Sunday 25 June 2017
Tour des Fiz
The Tour des Fiz is a stunning course that circles round a large plateau high up in the Fiz mountain range, about 20 minutes drive from Chamonix. There are three options to choose from, all of which follow longer or shorter versions of more or less the same route past shimmering lakes, deep gorges and crashing waterfalls. Fuelling stations are at mountain refuges and are staffed by wonderful locals who hand out drinks and snacks as you pass.
Distance: 61km / 30km /22km
Positive altitude gain: 5000m / 2300m / 1500m
Date: Sunday 30 July 2017
Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc
A world-famous race that attracts some of the best trail runners on the planet. Nonetheless, there is a great inclusive ambience that welcomes everyone regardless of their experience. The route passes through France, Italy and Switzerland as it makes its way around the base of Mont Blanc. The event is a week-long affair that includes a number of other races such as the CCC (100km), TDS (119km), PTL (300km) and the slightly more manageable OCC (53km). It is worth coming just to watch this incredible race, even if you’re not quite ready to run it!
Positive altitude gain: 10,000m
Date: Monday 28 August to Sunday 3 September 2017
Trail des Aiguilles Rouges
Not one of the longest but certainly one of the hardest! The Trail des Aiguilles Rouges changes route each year but is renowned for always including some of the gnarliest ascents and hairiest descents of all the Chamonix races! Criss-crossing the mountain ridges and topping some of the highest peaks in the valley, there is also a shorter version that is an excellent race to aim for if you’re not quite ready for any of the longer ones yet but still want to test yourself on a mountain course.
Distance: 50km / 15km
Positive altitude gain: 4000m / 1200m
Date: Sunday 24 September 2017