We've been loving all the submissions coming in so far between the mile time trials, creative routes, and ones with all the vert. Keep them comin! You can register and get in your submission by tomorrow, May 2, 2020.
Please grab your favorite post-run beverage and join our virtual hangout post-run at 3pm Pacific Standard Time. The link will be sent to all our registrants.
You can join the Strava event here and register here. Can't wait to be out running with you all virtually tomorrow!
We're back with our runner's rec series featuring our favorite local running tips from around the world. Our latest rec is from Julia, who doubles as a California/Chamonix local. We can't wait to get back on these trails soon!
Q: Name/social media handle:
Julia Maxwell: instagram @juliarmaxwell ; Ross, California.
Q: Where's your favorite local running spot?
My favorite day run from Chamonix city center is a stunning single-track loop that crosses the Balcon Nord (‘North Balcony’ of the valley). It’s the quintessential alpine run: lots of vert, incredible views, and, of course, amazing coffee and tarts.
If you only have one day to get out on the trails in Chamonix, this is a must-do. Starting in town, head to the base of the Grand Balcon Nord. Follow signs for the Plan de l’Aiguille, which direct you up a steep, wooded single-track that zig-zags up the mountain. This is a serious climb but it’s totally worth it – when you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the Mont Blanc glacier and the valley below. Stop to take in the sights with a cappuccino and a snack at the Refuge du Plan de l’Aiguille – their homemade fruit tarts are the best you’ll find in the valley.
Back on the trail, follow signs for Montenvers train/Mer de Glace station, which will lead you on a beautiful single track that skirts high along the ridge of the Balcon Nord. The trail crests at the stunning Signal Forbes lookout, then drops down to the Montenvers hotel and train station. After a lemon soda at the Montenvers café, follow the shady trail back down the mountain to complete the full loop back to Chamonix. Or, if you want to save your knees from downhill running, you can hop on the historic Montenvers train, a cogwheel railway that will drop you off back in town.
Q: How many miles/elevation gain?
The climb up to the Refuge steeply climbs about 2200 meters (~7200 feet). The entire loop is round trip at least 10-12 miles.
Q: Best time of year to run it?
June or July is ideal. If you can, start your run earlier in the day – the section along the ridge connecting the refuge and the Montenvers hotel can get crowded by mid-morning, as it’s a popular hike for tourists who have taken the cable car up the mountain.
Q: Favorite nearby post-run snack/beverage?
My favorite casual lunch spot in Chamonix is Hibou Deli – get the halloumi wrap with a side of their freshly made salads.
Thank you Julia! Have a recommended hometown run and a favorite spot to grab a coffee or beer? We want to hear from you! Send us an email at RuncationTravel@gmail.com, or message us on social.
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