Trail Races You’ll Want to Participate in. Part 1
Time for some hardcore runs? Because let me tell you upfront – such a thing as a relaxing trail running race does not really exist, unless it is one you and your friends organized for your weekend. Some might simply challenge your training routine and preparations, but there are ones that can bring even the most devoted and well-prepared runners to tears. Whatever your preferences are, please keep in mind that it is yourself you should be challenging in the first place, so don’t push it too hard.
Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc
As you can probably guess from the words “ultra” and “Mont Blanc”, this is a challenging trail run in the French Alps. And it is the first one on this list, because it is considered to be the peak of trail running competitions by many! It is not so hard to see why. First, it is not all that easy to enter. You need to score points over the course of quite some time and you can do that by participating only in races and running events that qualify. Alternatively, you can do that by a ballot, but it’s not necessarily a guaranteed entry.
There are seven events in place ranging from 15km to an astounding 171km, but make no mistake, there is no race for complete beginners. Even the 15km will get the best out of you because of the highly challenging terrain and climate conditions. There is also a team event that amounts to 290km, and as if that wasn’t challenging enough, includes a total of 26,500m ascent. Bottom line – if you’re really into trail running and like to set long-term goals, this is that; if you have been active in a trail running community for a long time and can’t seem to find anything challenging enough anymore, this is that as well. The events usually take place between 27th of August and 2nd of September, so if you’re thinking about participating, better plan in advance!
Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs
Trail running and endurance could pretty much go as synonyms, and Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs stand as a monument to that. The races take place in the beautiful Nevada late July and cover distances of 161km, 80km and 55km. So yes, you need years of preparation, and no, there is no easy way about this. While the shorter two races welcome all participants to register using a ballot system, the longest one has very strict time standards for qualification to help ensure at least the majority of runners complete the race. And it’s not just the distance; the races are planned out and designed to include hills and drops for the maximum challenge.
Kielder Dark Skies Marathon
If you’re looking at the list and not seeing anything at least remotely suitable for your level of preparation as of today, this one might be a good option for you – while it is a marathon, it does have a 14-mile option, which is doable for many. It is on the list for one exceptional reason though – it takes place at night in the largest area with protected night sky in the whole of Europe. Only the runners’ headlights and the moon lead the way through the trees! A spectacular experience.