The wild unspoilt nature of the Mont Blanc area is the terrain of choice for several famous international trail events, which draw enthusiasts and expert runners from around the world.
The trail season opens in summer with the Gran Trail Courmayeur. Then comes the mythical race every trail runner dreams of running, the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®, a complete circuit of Mont Blanc passing through France, Italy and Switzerland. A few days later, the world’s hardest endurance trail, the Tor des Géants®, is run entirely in Valle d’Aosta, starting and finishing in Courmayeur Mont Blanc.
Taking place in the first half of October are Arrancabirra®, a fun run that’s part competitive sport, part beer festival, and the non-alcoholic version for children, Arranchina®.
The Winter Eco Trail by Night is a different thing altogether, an incredible mountain running race by night which takes place in the depths of winter on a 20 km snow-covered circuit in Val Ferret.
For several years one of the most important ultra-trail races in the world has been taking place on the route of the Mont Blanc Tour: the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc®. Four races make up the event:
With the justly-merited reputation of being the world’s hardest trail, the Tor des Géants® - a Val d’Aosta dialect term meaning “tour of the giants” - is run over 330 kilometres with a total vertical ascent of 24,000 metres. The “géants”, or giants, are the 4000m+ mountains of the Alps: Mont Blanc, Gran Paradiso, Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn.
A tongue-in-cheek race taking place in early October. The race is part love of the sport and nature, part love of beer. It is run over 18.3 kilometres with six Drink Areas where runners can top up on beer.
The only winter trail running race by night, it takes place on the groomed cross-country runs of the Val Ferret. At “only” 20 kms, it is a relatively short trail race.
Two races, both starting and finishing in Courmayeur: long route, 80 km to be run in under 22 hours, short route, 50 km to be run in under 13 hours.