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Tor des Geants 330 K 24 000 D+

September 8, 2011

Trail running on high altitude in the Alps is an amazing experience. Participating in a race event will let you enjoy the mountains without having to worry about logistics, food and water supply. The organisation will also scout the most beautiful trails.

They say it’s “the longest non-stop ultratrail race in the world” – Tor des Geants 11-18 September.

Sunday, September 11th, there will be 500 participants starting at the town square of Courmayeur, on the italian side of Mont-Blanc, or Monte Bianco. The race course predominantly on single trails will circumnavigate the stunningly beautiful Aosta Valley, passing picturesque mountain villages at the foothills of the Monte Rosa and Monte Bianco massives with plenty of 4000m peaks, hence the name “Tour of the giants”. This non-stop ultra trail race with a total distance of 330 km and a vertical climb & drop of 24 000m will challenge even the toughest ultratrail runners. The distance is double as long as the Ultra Trail de Mont-Blanc (UTMB), which has been called one of the toughest ultratrail races in the world. TDG has already become very popular and the entry list of the second edition has been limited to 500 runners. Since it’s a non-stop “ultra-ultra” over several days, managing sleep deprivation will be a decisive factor. However the time limit is 150 hours (approx 6 days) so there is no need for rush. Thanks to Tecnica and Aosta Valley I will be able to cover the race on location for Scandinavian media. Check out the TDG video clip.

It strikes me that this kind of ultra trail events are becoming increasingly popular. At this moment there is another foot race going on across the alps: Transalpine-Run, with a beautiful course, perfectly organised by Gore Running & Plan B. I know beacause I have done it twice. Read more about the 2011 race here. Only a few years ago (2006) I was the only swedish participant in the Transalpine-Run . This year there are nine swedish runners. And 2005 when I did my first UTMB we were 2 swedes; this year there were 10 brave swedes on the starting line (of whom only 5 made it all the way to the finish).

It also seems that trail running has become more popular here in Sweden. Nowadays I occasionally meet other trail runners off the beaten tracks, something that never happened a few years ago. Swedish trail races have also grown. Today they can attract more than 100-150 runners, something that was quite uncommon 5 years ago. However, of course they don’t come close to mass events like ‘Midnattsloppet’ with 14 000 participants.

While in Aosta Valley I will also have the opportunity to try out some cheese, wine and of course the new Tecnica Trail running shoes. I’ll get back with reports about smell, taste and performance.

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