by Maria E. Bellini
There are plenty of well known Ultras in the Alps. With super long distances to keep you on your feet for the best past of 24 hours. But what if you just fancy a taster of some spectacular alpine trail running? Something that won’t leave you whacked out for the rest of your holiday?
We’ve come up with four trails all under 30k, (though some have an ultra distance too). All these trail races have hefty race profiles (this is the Alps after all!) and reach altitude in a relatively short space.
If you are thinking of running one of these Italian beauties, don’t miss our article on training with poles, as they could most definitely come in handy.
Short trails in the Italian Alps
#1 – QuarTrail – des Alpages
When: 18 May 2019
Where: Quart – Aosta Valley
What: 26 km 2200m D+ (and 50km 4100m D+, and 14km)
QaurTrail starts and finishes in Aosta’s Quart Castle. Just a few kilometers from the Aosta Valley’s main city of Aosta, the QuarTrail offers several distances and has runners soon climbing up steep inclines. As this trail races’s name suggests, the route brings runners to several “Alpages” – alpine pastures, which in May will be in full spring bloom, guaranteeing trail runners a different view of the Alps, rather than the more frequent summery views.
#2 – Trail della Becca di Viou, VERTICAL
When: 23 June 2019
Where: Valpelline – Aosta Valley
What: A 9km VK – 1900m D+
From the main town square of Valpelline to the summit of “Becca di Viou”, the Trail della Becca di Viou VERTICAL is one for lovers of altitude. A challenging uphill adventure of 9 kilometers starting from an altitude 960 meters s.l.m. right up to 2,856 meters at the summit, where you’ll be rewarded with some incredible views of all the Aosta Valley’s “4 thousanders”, from Mont Blanc to Monterosa, Gran Paradiso and the Matterhorn.
#3 – Licony Trail
When: 6 July 2019
Where: Morgex – Aosta Valley
What: 25k 1650m D+ (and a 70k Ultra)
Due to snowfall in 2018, race directors were forced to move this June event to October 2018. This year the Licony Trail is scheduled to take place at the beginning of July. This early summer date, is a great time to enjoy the Alps, as snow has gone, temperatures should be mild, and as it’s the beginning of the season the trails should be relatively free of hikers.
If you are after the Ultra distance check out the 70km which has a generous 5000m D+.
#4 – La Thuile Trail
When: 27/28 July 2019
Where: La Thuile – Aosta Valley
What: 25 km 1500m D+ (and 60km 3500m D+, and VK)
The La Thuile Trail starts from the town of La Thuile and the 25k route takes runners along the path named “La Balconata” (The Balcony), to reach the Deffeyes refuge at 2.494 meters. Spectacular views across the Ruitor glacier and alpine lakes. Not to be missed!
Maria Elisabetta Bellini is Italyontrail.com’s founder, born in the U.K, she came to running whilst living in Italy, where she still lives and trains. Never ceasing to marvel at what’s at the summit of a hill, or around the bend along the trail, she loves using trail running as a means to explore nature, contemplation and Italy.