Trails of the week - May 23/29

Each week, ITRA proposes to discover trail-running races from around the world. This week, we are going to travel from France to Greece, but also Denmark and Portugal. The world is trail ! 

Azores Trail Run / Portugal

In the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, halfway between North America and Continental Europe lies the breathtaking archipelago called the Azores. This autonomous region of Portugal consists of 9 mysterious volcanic islands of untouched natural beauty whose spectacular landscapes have been carefully preserved over time.

In this modest Portuguese territory, and on the beautiful islands of Faial, Pico, S. Jorge and Santa Maria the thrill-seeking adventurer will experience an event like no other : The Azores Trail Run, a technical race between the landscapes of the archipelago.

The Azores Trail Run is the race that started it all. She was conceived in 2011 with a group of only 20 athletes all from the island of Faial.  Over the past 4 years, new distances have been added : The 10 Volcanoes (22Km), the Coast to Coast (48Km), the Blue Island Trail (70Km) and the Skyrunning Verticla (1000 D+). For this year, 700 hundred international runners are already registered.

Trail des Pyramides Noires / France 

The third edition of the Trail des Pyramides Noires will be held on May 28. The Trail des Pyramides Noires offers several formats to discover the mining heritage (declared World Heritage by UNESCO) ! For those in search of adventure, the Ultra version includes 105 km and more than 20 climbs for 1650 meters of vertical gain ! But in the meantime to be prepared for the ultra, participants have also the choice to experience the atmosphere and the character of the race with other shorter distances : 50, 35 and 22 km.

More than 900 runners are registered for the 2016 edition, an edition maintained in the spirit of the events organized by the Mission Bassin Minier Nord-Pas de Calais : a race in favor of the development of the territory. Indeed, this event is part of the overall strategy in favor to equip the territory with hosting infrastructure stations and relay spots "Sport and Nature", connected by a network paths and mesh services dedicated to the reception of tourists and residents.

Maxi Race du Lac d'Annecy / France

The last week end of May is now well know in the trail-running world : This is the week end of the Maxi Race du Lac d'Annecy. The most famous and difficult race of the event proposes to runners to do the entire tour of the lake of Annecy (83,7 Km and 5190m D+). The Tecnica Maxi Race was last year the 2015 Trail Running World Championship. This year, more than 6000 runners will be on the start line to discover the mountains around the beautiful lake of Annecy. 

The event offers 7 different races for all runners. The Vertical Race will be the first race to begin Friday afternoon, with 4 Km and 850 D+ to reach the summit of the Mt Barron. Then, on Saturday, the Technica Maxi Race, the most difficult race of the event, will start, in solo or by relay of 2 - 4 runners. The Femina Race Compressport, a race of 15 Km and 1000 D+ exclusively for women will also be held on Saturday. Sunday will be the day of the Marathon Race (40,6 Km 2640 D+) and the Trail Découverte (15 Km, 1000 D+). The Compressport XL Race will be the only race in two days (85 Km, 43,5 the first day, 42 the second). 

As each year, the level of runners will be very high. The Technica Maxi Race will be the last chance for elites runners to be qualified for the Trail World Championships in october (Portugal). The first 3 men and first 2 women will be automatically qualified for the event.

A lot of elites runners will fight for the win around the lake of Annecy : Michel Lanne (who lives very close to the start line), Ludo Pommeret, Sébastien Spehler, Aurélien Collet, Erik Clavery, Clément Molliet and Ugo Ferrari. Other famous names will be on the start line of the Compressport XL Race, like Thomas Lorblanchet, Seb Chaigneau, Christophe Perrillat, Matthias Mouchart and Sylvain Perrin. On the women side, Juliette Blanchet, Andréa Huser, Denise Zimmerman, Landie Greyling, Lisa Borzani, Emilie Lecomte and Aurelia Truel will try to reach the finish line in fist position.'annecy/952-tecnica-maxi-race

Metsovo Ursa Trail / Greece

In its 4th edition, Metsovorace will feature two different races, with the marathon distance Ursa Trail and a shorter version, the Tracks of the Bear. The distances of the races «Ursa Trail» and «The Tracks of the Bear» will be 40km for 2700m total positive climb and 20km for 1050m total positive climb, respectively. Almost 1200 athletes in total are expected to participate in two of the most aesthetically beautiful but also technically challenging races in Greece.

The organizers have designed the routes with the aim to bring the athletes through the habitat of the bear and also raise the awareness of environmental protection towards the prevention of extinction of the brown bear. The route goes through some of the historical pathways and monuments of exceptional aesthetic and natural value in the region. The first part of Ursa Trail forms figure eight (8) and lies east of Arachthos river in the region of Anilio village while the second part, which is also the route of the small race, extends west of Arachthos in the area of Metsovo.

Nordisk Extreme Maraton / Denmark

The Nordisk eXtrem Maraton is a trail-running race in two days with great experiences and adventures. The race takes place in Denmark's largest forest complex and in some of the country's most beautiful scenery ! The XT21 (Extreme Trail) will be run in solo trail in 2 stages on a weekend. The XT42 (Extreme Trail 42,2km) will be also run in solo but in 3 stages on a weekend.

During two days, participants move over hills, through valleys, crossing the marshes and swamps, passing Gudenaeen and experience stunning views. The overnight will be in an idyllic Night Camp out in the open inbetween the stages. The teams must be self-sufficient along the way - an experience and an adventure !

Other races also on the international calendar this week :

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