Nowadays, many practice running in all its forms. But the phenomenon of the moment is the great success of mountain running with its main variants: trail running and skyrunning. Mont Blanc, with its astonishing group, serves as an unrivaled set.
Also in this field, Courmayeur has become one of the most important centers on an international level, both for the great beauty of the courses for anyone who wants to train and have fun, and for the importance of the competitions held in its territory.
Training for running and trail running in Courmayeur
For those who run regularly the summer holidays do not mitigate the need to keep in training. The most beautiful routes are the valley bottoms of Val Veny and Val Ferret. The latter, in particular, allows a ride from Planpincieux to Arnouva of about 15 km round trip, very pleasant, with some respectable climbs, but easily surmountable. Other routes take place between Courmayeur and Morgex, partly on asphalt and partly on dirt.
Trail running funs in Courmayeur can touch the sky with a finger. They are spoiled for choice. But above all, they have the privilege of being able to train on the routes that are part of famous races. Extraordinary is the so-called “balconata” overlooking the Val Ferret, which allows a long up and down path from the Bertone Refuge to Arnouva, passing through the Bonatti Refuge. Also famous is the long crossing from the Col de la Seigne to the Maison Vielle Refuge, above the Val Veny.
The same goes for Nordic walking fans too. Guido Azzalea, one of the most famous representatives in this field, lives in Pré-Saint-Didier and is available to teach and / or accompany.
Trail running and skyrunning races in Courmayeur
At certain times of the year, Courmayeur is in turmoil for some of the most famous trail running races in the world.
In the collective imagination of trail running enthusiasts, two races occupy the highest step: the UTMB and the Tor des Geants. The UTMB is by far the most sought-after race. And if it is true that the departure and arrival are in Chamonix, in Courmayeur it transits and is the most important intermediate base. Very sought after is also the Tor, because it is considered the toughest race.
Other shorter but still important races accompany them. On the same days as the UTMB, two other sister races depart from Courmayeur: the Courmayeur Champex Chamonix (CCC) and Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie, better known as TDS. Running roughly around Mont Blanc in opposite directions, they both end in Chamonix.
Similarly, the Tor des Geants is accompanied by other races involving Courmayeur: the Tot Dret, the Passage au Malatra and the Tor des Glaciers. The Tot Dret is a race that takes place at the same time as the Tor, but faster, covering the last 130 km from Gressoney to Courmayeur. The Passage au Malatra, on the other hand, takes place on the last day of the Tor des Geants and takes place on the last part, through the legendary Col du Malatra.
The Grand Trail Courmayeur is also very popular. The race takes place on three routes of different lengths (up to 100 km), which start and arrive in Courmayeur, winding through the valleys around La Thuile, Val Veny and Val Ferret.
Arrancabirra, a nice 18 km race around Val Sapin, dedicated to beer-based refreshments, is much loved for its easy going attitude.
In recent years, the UYN Vertical Courmayeur Mont Blanc has entered the cult events. It is a vertical that develops from Courmayeur to the arrival of the Skyway at Punta Helbronner, with a climb of over 2000 m.
The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB): the most famous ultra trail race in the world
In the collective imagination of trail running enthusiasts, two races occupy the highest step: the UTMB and the Tor des Geants.
The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) represents the absolute reference race in the world, the one to which all the others are related.
During the year, ranks of runners take part in other similar races from all corners of the globe to earn the fateful score that will allow them to be included in the draw for the highly sought after UTMB bibs of the following year.
The UTMB is a 171 km race held at the end of August. It starts and arrives in Chamonix, after having completed a full circle around the Mont Blanc group, in French, Italian and Swiss territory. Courmayeur is the most important intermediate stage, where the runners arrive in the morning of the second day, after having spent the first night and covered almost 80 km. Here they find refreshment, the possibility of rest and support from their respective assistants. From here they set off again for the assault on the second half of the race, which in large numbers will also see them engaged for a second night, before the long-dreamed arrival in Chamonix.
The Tor des Geants: the toughest trail running race in the world
If the UTMB is the reference race, the Tor des Geants is considered the longest and most difficult mountain race in the world.
The competitors start from Courmayeur and return there after having covered the two Alte Vie of the Aosta Valley, for a total of 340 km and about 26,000 m of elevation gain.
Such a titanic test is made possible by a great organizational machine which has its headquarters in Courmayeur. In addition to VDA Trailers, the company that promotes it, it also includes members of the Civil Protection, the Alpine Rescue and a large group of volunteers, who take turns giving assistance to athletes in the most inaccessible and remote places of the Aosta Valley. But a fundamental role is also played by the inhabitants of the Valley, who participate with enthusiasm and warmth in supporting the competitors.
Hotel Aigle seems to have been made to satisfy runners of all levels.
Firs of all, it allows you to quickly access all the most interesting and enjoyable training routes. A fact that applies both to the trails of Val Ferret, Val Veny, Val Sapin, and to those of Morgex, La Thuile, Chamonix and the whole French side of Mont Blanc.
Secondly, thanks to its position and the convenience of the Mont Blanc tunnel, the Hotel Aigle is the ideal base for participating in the famous races that are held on both sides of Mont Blanc: UTMB, CCC, TDS, Tor des Geants, Tor Dret, Gran Trail Courmayeur, UYN Vertical.
But that is not all. In addition to an ideal overnight stay from a logistical point of view, Hotel Aigle offers trail runners other important things. A special care in nutrition, from dinner to breakfast in the morning. The possibility to prepare snacks for longer rides. Information material, maps and guides to plan the routes. Advise for purchasing or renting part of the equipment.
But our commitment goes even deeper. It is a commitment made up of advice and suggestions. A commitment based on knowledge and the stories of how others have experienced competitions or training laps, of the problems they have encountered, of the emotions they have experienced.
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