Best trail running races in Aosta Valley

Written by on May 18, 2021 in Aosta Valley, Sport and Adventure

VALLE D'AOSTA-Tor des Geìants Courmayeur (foto Enrico Romanzi

Best trail running races in the Aosta Valley

There are so many incredible running trails in Northern Italy, especially in the Aosta Valley and in the Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso that stretches to Piemonte region. Running on these trails offers you breathtaking, panoramic views of the Italian Alps, waterfalls, deep valleys, glaciers, incredible rock formations and wildlife. The Gran Paradiso National Park was the first national park designated in Italy.

Although many of the trails in the Italian Alps are designed for expert runners, there are several moderately-rated trails in the area for the medium level runners. The best season for running races is from spring to early autumn. Most of the running trails are closed during the winter months due to snow and ice accumulations.

The Aosta Valley is a fantastic place not only for the trail runners, hikers and nature lovers but and ideal holiday destination for the whole family.  There are plenty to do also for the “non-runner” members of the family including children.

It is difficult to list all the trail running races as there are so many, but we do our best to do so for all the main events that are confirmed for 2021.

Summit of Torgnon's trail - Best Trail Running races in Aosta Valley

Best trail running races confirmed for 2021 in the Aosta Valley

Races in May

23rd May – One of the first trail running race is the Torgnon Pink Trail, which is a 19 km trail with 1 200m dislivello (elevation gain), starting from Torgnon, a charming and sunny village in Valtournance. The trail reaches La Becca d’Aver and it is for ladies only. Combines sport and solidarity.

29th May – Quart Trail des Alpages the starting and finishing point is the lovely Quart Castle. The main race is 50 km with 4 100m+ elevation gain or you can enroll for the 26 km with 2 000m+ race. On the same day and the same place there are also 3 other non-competitive races, 26 km, 14 km and a little 6 km plus one for the children from 10 years+.

Races in June

5th June – Vertical Finestra di Cignana – in the Gran Paradiso National Park in Valtournenche. The route is 6 km with 1 100m+. The vertical races are shorter and steeper respect to the tours of trail running races.

19th June –  Vertical Tsaplana – also takes place in the Gran Paradiso National Park in Cogne in Frazione Gimillan arriving to the Madonnina statue on the top of Tsaplana. It is a new Trail starting from this year. The route is 5 km with 900m+. There will be also a non-competitive race in place at the same time.

Running through the Alps - Il dente del Gigante mountain peak in the background

Races in July

9-11th July – Gran Trail Courmayeur (GTC) – Courmayeur is located at the foot of Mont Blanc, and has the honor of being Italy’s highest town. The Valle d’Aosta Trailers, organizes three races that traverse the legendary landscape just outside of town. The 30 km route travels mainly along Val Ferret, and showcases a panoramic view of Courmayeur from La Suche. The 55km route explores Val Veny, featuring a new route, dell’Orrido in Pre Saint Didier, with a panoramic view crossing through Colle di Youlaz and Col Chavanne. If you don’t want to miss anything, you should take the 100km route which combines the best of both with a 7 900m+ elevation gain.

18th July – Becca di Nona and Comboe starting from the Piazza Chanoux in the centre of Aosta. Becca di Nona is a 13 km with 2 500m+ running race, while the Comboe is a shorter route of 9 km with 1 500m+. Reaching the peak of Becca di Nona (3 142m) , there is a magnificent view over the mountains of the Valley. Number of entries are limited 500 racers only. There is also a leisure,  non-competitive food and wine walking route, the La Montée des Gourmands, that allows you to combine sport, nature and good food. However this year it is cancelled because of the regulations of Covid-19.

24-25th July – La Thuile Trail – starting and finishing in the stunning town of La Thuile near the French boarder. You can select from 3 races – Trail 25 km, Ultra Trail 60 km and Vertical 4.2 km. The route of 25 km runs through breathtaking panoramic places and important historical sites of La Thuile. The runners will reach the Refuge Deffeyes via the beautiful and panoramic «balcony», from here you carry on until the majestic Ruitor glacier, its moraine and its wonderful lakes. The race finishes again back in the village of La Thuile.

The new race of Ultra Trail with its 3 400m+ elevation gain is introduced this year. The route follows the tested 25 km and then continue through the Youla valley bypassing Mont Nix. The runners carry on to Colle di Berrio Blanc, then they will reach the maximum altitude of almost 2800 m at Mont Fortin. They will enjoy the view at Col Chavanne and then go through the entire valley returning to starting point. The 4.2 km vertical route with 1 100m+ will finish at the top of Chaz Dura at 2600 meters, a panoramic point from which you can admire the magnificent Mont Blanc and the mountain ranges starting from France to the Matterhorn.

31st July – Uyn Vertical Courmayeur Mont Blanc – Courmayeur – Vertical race for the uphill challenge, choose from VK1 (7k with 900m+) or VK2 (11k with 2 000m+). If you are looking for a bigger challenge take on the T54 Vertical Trail or also called Trail del Battaglione with its 54 km and 4 000m+ elevation gain on the 1st August.

going through the Alps - Best Trail Running races in Aosta Valley

Races in August

23rd August – UTMB® International (Ultra Trail Mont Blanc) -Last week of august, trailers are coming from all over the world to run beyond borders around the Mont Blanc mountian range  in France, Italy and Switzerland.  There are 4 events of the UTMB® featuring distances beyond 100 km.  The UTMB starts from Chamonix and finishes its 170 km trail in Courmayeur, going through all 3 countries.

The CCC was the “little sister” of UTMB, but today it is one of the most prestigious race. It starts from Courmayeur and quickly climbs to 2500m of altitude to enjoy an exceptional landscape, facing the Mont-Blanc and the Grandes Jorasses. Then you will pass to through Switzerland and the finish line is in the heart of Chamonix. CCC trail race is 100 km with 6 100m+ and will take place 27th August. TDS is another unique race and this new edition of the TDS® takes runners to explore the Beaufortain region 145 km with 9 100m+ on 24th August. OCC is taking runners through the Swiss Valais region. The race starts from Orsières located southwest of the canton in the Val d’Entremont and follows 55 km with 3 500m+.

28th August – Ultramarathon du Fallère – The race takes place in Saint-Oyen and it is a 61 km with 5 100m+ elevation gain. The Ultramarathon du Fallére is a thrilling race that will put you to the test with steep climbs, rocky ridges, technical descents, single tracks in pristine ridges and valleys.

Mountain Hut Monte Faller - Best Trail Running races in Aosta Valley

Races in September

4th September – Castle’s Trail – Verrès. It is a 23 km with 1 530m+ gain running through Verrès, Challand-Saint-Victor and Montjovet, with magnificent panoramic views between castles and nature.

1-4th September – Ultra Tour Monte Rosa – The race starts and finishes in Grächen, Switzerland. UTMR is a 170 km ultra trail race along a classic European long distance footpath, the Tour de Monte Rosa. The race route leads anticlockwise around the Monte Rosa massif, making a compete circuit of the Mischabel Peaks and the 4000m summits of the Nadelgrat ridge. At 4634m Monte Rosa is the second highest mountain in the Alps and western Europe. The UTMR event can be run as a 170 km single-day ultra race, or as a four-day stage race of 41, 42, 45 and 44 km – starting from Grächen/Zermatt/Gressoney la Trinité/Macugnaga. There is also a 100 km race from Gressoney to Grächen called the UTMR 3 Passes Ultra.

The full tour is an alternative to the UTMB, though more technical and more wild, taking runners 20% longer to complete than the UTMB course.

10th September – Tor des Glaciers Tor450 – starts and finishes in Courmayeur – Most of the trail’s 450 km route is along the forgotten Alte Vie 3 and 4. It crosses ridges that are largely unknown and touches on ancient glaciers far away from the usual trekking routes with 32 000m+ altitude gain! An endurance test reserved exclusively for 200 runners chosen to take on the little-known trails and ridges of the Aosta Valley.

11th September – Tor des Géants Tor330 – starting and finishing in Courmayeur.  The Tor des Géants® is the first race of this kind to cover an entire region, running along its spectacular paths at the foot of the highest mountains in the Alps. And through the Gran Paradiso and the Mont Avic National Parks. All of these particular features help to make this such a unique and unmissable race through its 330 km with 24 000m+.

14th September – Tot Dret Tor150  – starting from Gressoney Saint-Jean – finishes in Courmayeur. 130 km with 12 000m+. A challenging and fascinating race, admiring the most desirable mountains in the region – Monte Rosa, Cervino and Mont Blanc – as a majestic backdrop.

18th September – Passage au Malatrà Tor30 – starting from  Saint-Rhémy-En-Bosses finishes in Courmayeur. 30 km with 2 300m+ It is in a magical setting crossing the narrow Col de Malatrà Pass at an altitude of 2925 metres is like passing through the ‘gateway to Paradise’.

19th September – Oropa Trail – Oropa (Pralungo, Biella)- Oropa Trail was created with the aim to promote the area of Oropa mountain and the Sanctuary of Oropa, recognized as Unesco heritage, to all mountain running enthusiasts. There are 2 races organised for the same day: 24 km with 1 300m+ and 15 kmwith 490m+.

11th September – Gran Paradiso Vertical – Valsavarenche – 3,6 km with 1 000m+ starting from Refuge du Tètras Lyre.

Sanctuary of Oropa with its mountain around it - Best Trail Running races in Aosta Valley

Races in October

3rd October – Vertikal Tovo – Oropa. The starting point is near the Sanctuary of Oropa and in 2.9km you reach the top of Monte Tovo after 1 000m+ elevation gain.

10th October – Vertical del Mont Mary – Saint-Christophe just outside of Aosta town. You can select from 2 races – from K1 with 1 000m+ that finishes in Voltolanaz  and K2 or VerticalTrail race with 2 250m+ arriving to the summit of Mont Mary. You will have a panoramic view from the Mont Blanc to the Grand Combin, from the Matterhorn to Mont Barone.

Find out more about the Best trail running races in Northern Italy.

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