Each week, ITRA suggests to discover trail-running races from around the world. This week, we are going to travel from Austria to Sweden, but also France and Lithuania. The world is trail !
The city of Salzburg, UNESCO world heritage site and the breathtaking region of the SalzburgerLand, are the stage for Austria's most famous ultra trail event. Since November 2015 mozart 100® is a future event within the Ultra-Trail World Tour.
The course takes the participants from the city centre in front of the Cathedral along the trail of Sound of Music through one of the most magnificent regions of Austria with its beautiful forests, meadows, hills, rivers to lake Fuschlsee and back. Runners and accompanying persons who do not wish to cover the full distance of 104,3 Km can choose from three alternative events over 56,6 km, 25,8 km and 11,5 km.
This year, 900 athletes from more than 40 countries will be participating in one the four events. The main discipline, the Scenic 100 awaits several top runners at the starting line. The defending champion Daniel Oralek, Czech Republic will be challenged by the Hungarian Gabor Muhari and the Austrian top athlete Andreas Pfandlbauer. The women’s field is highly competitive, too: Defending champion Marija Vrajic, Croatia will face Italian ultra trail champion Francesca Canepa and the New Zealander Fiona Hayvice with two UTWT-titles (New Zealand, Australia) this year.
The organizer, Josef Mayerhofer, stresses the pioneering role of mozart 100® in ultra-trail running in Austria : "Our main objectives are to bring many road runners into nature and to create an unforgettable overall experience for our participants.
The High Coast Ultra 129 km runs through the world heritage of the High Coast (Swedish : Höga Kusten), sited in the northern part of the coast of Sweden, on the Gulf of Bothnia. Since the last ice age, the land has risen 285m above sea level in this area, which accounts for the unusual landscape with tall cliff formations. The High Coast is excellent for hiking and The High Coast Trail is ranked as one of the top of Sweden's hiking trails.
The High Coast Ultra was conceived to be the first stage footrace along the 128 km long trail that starts in central Örnsköldsvik, follows the coastline and takes the runners through beautiful woodlands, mountains with stunning views, rocky coasts, bays and protected nature areas. On its way it passes the most popular places to visit in the High Coast like Skule Mountain and Skuleskogen National Park. A grandiose finish takes place at the High Coast Bridge (Swedish: Höga kusenbron). There's also provided a shorter race of 75 km, that starts at the foot of the Skule Mountain.
This weekend of 18 June, on the occasion of the 5th edition of the UTPMA, they will be 1200 runners (612 and 584 on the 105k on 43k) from the start line for the conquest of Europe's largest volcano.
The Ultra Trail du Puy Mary Aurillac will start on Friday night at midnight, from Aurillac (620m) to places with poetic names: Pempadouyre, le Courpou sauvage, l'Elancèze (1571m). The transition to Gliziou will be the occasion to admire the Puy Griou that will not climbed this year to better run the climb to the Lead of Cantal (highest point at 1855m).
Then, it will be time for a little break with the descent to the Lioran station. And it will start again towards the peaks arranged in stars and valleys with reliefs constantly renewed. A lot of difficulties for runners : Bec de l'Aigle (1700m) Nipples of Venus / Bataillouse Puy, Puy Mary (1785m) with the always difficult transition from the breach of Rolland, Puy Chavaroche (1739m) ... so many famous peaks with unforgettable panoramic views before the dreaded descent of Piquet and refueling Mandailles. The result will be a little softer but not without surprise with buron Cabrespine (1464m), Saint-Julien-de-Jordanne, the gorges of the Jordanne and Lake Graves. Before joining Aurillac after 105km and 5500m of D +.
The Marathon Jordanne (43k and 1800m D +) will start on Saturday morning at 10am from the pretty village of Mandailles (900m altitude) before the climb to the Redondet to reach the highest point in Puy Chavaroche (1739m). Then, the participants will be on the ridges to discover the finest views of the Cantal mountains. The final will be the same as the Ultra with a passage through the gorges of the Jordanne and Lake Graves before to reach the finish line in Aurillac.
The Kernave-Vilnius Trail is a perfect race to test your strength and endurance in a 82km route, but also to get in touch with Lithuanian history and discover the stunning nature. The start line is located in a small village of Kernave, the first historic capital of Lithuania, now part of UNESCO heritage list. Most of the time, the trails next to Neris river will take runners to ancient mounds, sacred pagan areas and small villages. The finish line is situated in Vingis park, at the heart of current capital of the country, Vilnius.
Though Lithuania has no real mountains, the participants will find plenty of shorter but steep ascends which combines to a total of 1600m D+ throughout the course, with some fast descends, narrow forest paths, wild nature...all that you could want in a trail-running race ! For those who are not willing to try a 82km yet, there are two other races of 42km and 10km.
Other races also on the international calendar this week : http://itra.run/page/290/Calendrier.html
Organizers, to promote your race on Trails of the week, please feel free to send us your race details (resume, pictures...) by email at : firstname.lastname@example.org