When you think “dream trip,” it might go something like this: A week in the Alps, running the region’s steep mountain trails, taking in the dramatic scenery, stopping for croissants and cappuccinos at remote mountain huts. Oh, and with someone else hauling the luggage and taking care of logistics and dealing with all the other parts of vacation that end up feeling like work.
Well, here’s your chance! The runner who logs the most miles over the course of the 2017 Trail Runner Trophy Series will win just such a trip, organized by trail-running tour company Run the Alps.
Run the Alps, founded by longtime trail runner and Trail Runner contributing editor Doug Mayer, is offering the winner its Tour du Mont Blanc package (plus half off for a friend). The tour roughly follows the route of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, arguably the world’s most famous trail race, circumnavigating the iconic Mont Blanc Massif.
Starting from Chamonix, France, runners spend seven days in some of the most beautiful and dramatic mountain terrain anywhere. Every day includes high-alpine passes, lush mountain meadows, remote mountain huts (that’s where the coffee and croissants come in) and (it almost goes without saying) stupendous views: dozens of glaciers, sharp mountain arêtes and the fabled “needles,” or aiguilles, of the Chamonix Valley.
The tour includes a rest day in Courmayeur, Italy—a chance to soak in the nearby hot springs, explore the incredible Val Ferret or simply wander around the old village, with its bakeries, gelaterias and streetside cafes. (Seriously, we hope you like croissants.)
The Trail Runner Trophy Series, presented by Altra, is a points-based series of more than 200 North American trail races. With races all through the summer and into September, there’s plenty of time to get into the action. (Check out the complete list of races here ; it’s got 5Ks, 24-hour timed runs and just about everything in between.) Regularly updated standings let runners track their progress through the season, and see how they stack up against nationwide competition nationwide.
The guided Run the Alps tour isn’t the only prize offered on offer, of course. The runner who finishes the most Trophy Series races (the “Trail Fiend”) will be featured on the cover of Trail Runner‘s March 2018 issue. And many competitors will win trail-running gear from different Trophy Series sponsors.
Note: Previously, we announced the 2017 Trophy Series grand prize as entry into the Ultra Fiord race in Patagonia. Due to the strenuous and extremely technical nature of that race, however, we decided to switch to the Run the Alps tour, which will appeal to a wider swath of runners.
Trophy Series presenting sponsor Altra Running is a leading trail-running shoe brand. Based in Utah, Altra’s running-shoe innovations—including a cushioned Zero Drop shoe and a foot-shaped toe box—are born from long hard runs in the nearby Wasatch Mountains.
Run the Alps offers a variety of guided and self-guided trail-running trips throughout the Alps, for all abilities. Founder Doug Mayer is also a contributing editor at Trail Runner; you can read a few of his stories about running in Switzerland here and here. More information is available at their website: www.runthealps.com.