Kirsty Reade, Run247 columnist and Berghaus Trail Running Team member, reports from the team's training camp in Chamonix - guided by our very own Julia Tregaskis-Allen. Read more on Kirsty's week in the Chamonix valley. If you're interested in improving your performance on a trail camp in the Chamonix valley - the new Mecca for trail running - click here for for more info.
"Last September I was looking for a trail running holiday and came across Tracks & Trails’ week-long Alpine Trail Running Camp. I booked and headed to Chamonix - little did I realise what it would lead to...! The Camp, for all levels of runner wanting an introduction to mountain trail running, covered a lot - from orienteering, speed hiking a climb on the world famous Mont Blanc Marathon route and other mountain runs practising technical trail technique, to running form instruction and heart-rate monitoring.
Chamonix is quickly becoming the trail running Mecca of Europe. Known for decades as the climbing and extreme skiing capital of the world, Chamonix's vast network of trails suitable for running remained relatively undiscovered. Recently, though, widespread media coverage of events such as the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc and the CCC (Courmayeur - Champex - Chamonix) have brought trail running into the limelight and exposed Chamonix to a new legion of outdoor athletes keen to explore the natural wonders of the Mont Blanc massif.
South Tyrol, known by the Italians as Alto Adige and German-speakers as the Südtirol, is a picturesque, tranquil region in northern Italy and home to the Dolomites mountain range. The Dolomites, also known as the ‘Pale Mountains’ for their limestone hue, are a UNESCO World Heritage site and the South Tyrol’s truly unique natural wonder. It’s no exaggeration to say that the forests and mountains here are widely regarded as being among the most attractive landscapes in the world. Indeed, the recognition given by the protected status of UNESCO since June 2009 is testimony to just how well preserved and unspoilt the natural environment remains.
Remember the good old days of fumbling with an OS map in a howling wind, then trying to locate the compass in one of your jacket’s many pockets (only to realise it's embedded firmly at the bottom of your rucksack…)? Remember too the early heart rate monitors that ate batteries, were clunky and didn’t seem to work reliably for more than a few weeks before they’d start to provide inaccurate readings that were off the charts?
Great news for Scott as this month's Trail Running magazine have given their trail shoe the eRide grip the thumbs up. Scott were up against well known brands such as Salomon, inov8 and Asics with their winter trail shoe. 20 different shoes were on test and the eRide won the review over all.
I’ve recently returned from a weekend trail running camp in the French Alps and had a truly awesome and inspiring time. I never realised there was so much technique involved in off road running, although I’ve always struggled steadying my down hills- almost as much as up hills…so what better place to learn than in Chamonix, with a glorious view of Mont Blanc to keep me motivated.
Janet and I spent a further 2 weeks continuing our training in preparation for the big day - the Everest Marathon. In the Gokyo Valley we ascended Gokyo Ri at sunset and visited the glacial lakes surrounded by views of the Everest range and Cho Oyu, 8201m. Runners were able to take things at their own pace depending on their acclimatisation.
Welcome to Nepal, Solukhumbu Valley, Everest Region! I have just completed a fantastic 5 weeks leading treks to Everest Basecamp and up the famous Everest view point Kala Pattar (5550m). What with wonderful scenery, challenging climbs, beautiful people and culture I already know that I will soon be coming back!