Running has long been a popular way to get some fresh air, relax and take your mind of your daily stresses while also getting in some much needed exercise. But, it seems to have exploded over the past ten years. Ever-increasing numbers are registering for marathons, half marathons, 10k’s and fun runs across the globe, while the popularity of trail running is gathering momentum at the pace of Ryan Sandes (one of endurance trail running’s superstars).
Not happy to just run distances most people can’t drive in one sitting, endurance runners are taking things to the next level with Skyrunning.
Skyrunning is defined as high mountain running – sounds simple enough. Except that to qualify as an official event the trail needs to be at least 2000feet above sea level and have an average incline of 30degrees!
While it’s clearly not for everyone, one can only imagine that Skyrunners are getting off on some kind of natural high, high up in the sky!
Clearly altitude endurance is a long-term goal, so perhaps you should start with something a little easier on the lungs and a lot easier on the eye. Below is a list of some of the worlds most scenic trail runs to get you started.
Imogen Pass Run, USA
Set amongst the 14,000-foot peaks of the San Juan Mountains, the Imogene Pass Run is a rite of passage for Colorado trail runners. Beginning in Ouray, the race follows a 17-mile dirt road that connects the former mining outpost to the ski town of Telluride.
Mont Blanc, France
The trails surrounding the town of Chamonix in the shadow of Mont-Blanc, Europe’s highest Mountain, are the stuff of legend. Every year the Mont-Blanc Marathon starts in the town square before leading runners on a 26.2-mile loop through ancient hamlets and high-alpine meadows.
Table Mountain, South Africa
Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa is a runner’s paradise. With numerous trails offering scenic wonder for novices and experts alike, this is one mountain you won’t want to come down from.
Mount Fuji, Japan
One of the most beautiful places on Earth, Japan’s Mount Fuji is an epic place to run. Miles of trail run the circumference of the mountain making it the perfect place to stage the Mount Fuji UltraTrail race. The 168km course starts and ends at the Yagizaki Park in Fuji-Kawaguchi-ko Town in Yamanashi Prefecture, circulating around Mt.Fuji, cumulatively gaining about 9,500m of altitude.
Whistler Black Comb, Canada
With elevations ranging from 3,000 to 7000 feet (2000 metres) Whistler’s alpine trails can be challenging with lots of vertical gain and thin rarified mountain air. But, runners are more than compensated with epic glacier views, flowing creeks, wildlife sightings and expansive meadows of alpine flowers.