Races and trail running: the best summer challenges in 2020

Following the cancellation of many sporting events, a number of new mountain and trail running options are on offer to allow you to keep fit while testing yourself against other participants through the summer. Forget about bibs and medals and take up the forthcoming challenges just for fun or to exceed your own limits and discover, or rediscover, the beauty of the Valais by losing yourself in its enchanting natural environment.

Cristal Sport Challenge, Pays du St-Bernard

The Cristal Sport store in Orsières is launching the first edition of the Cristal Sport Challenge. Every month between June and August, a different route of between 15 and 20 km in length, will be promoted in the Entremont Valley. Competitors use the Strava application to register their times on and a ranking will be drawn up for each stage as well as for every trail.

Cristal Sport Challenge, Pays du St-Bernard, Valais, Switzerland

Pure Energy Challenge, Verbier/Val de Bagnes

The Pure Energy Challenge will bring together two trails and two bike races during the months of June, July, August and September 2020, allowing sportsmen and women to measure themselves against others on four routes put together by trail fans from the region to while discovering the new Verbier/Val de Bagnes trail resort.

Pure Energy Challenge, Verbier, Val de Bagnes, Valais, Switzerland

Trilogie de St-Luc (St.Luc Trilogy)

Between July 1st and September 30th, 2020, runners are invited to take part free of charge in teams of two in this 21-kilometre mountain race with its 2,100-metre uphill climb. The route passes through St-Luc’s three highest points at more than 3,000 metres above sea level, namely the summits of Bella Tolla, Tourtemagne and Toûno. Competitors will be required to take a selfie in pairs at the start of the race, as well as at the compulsory stages and at the finish. At four strategic points, they will also have to tear out a page from a notebook containing their number assigned at registration.

Trilogie, Saint-Luc, Valais, Switzerland

Challenge St-Luc (St-Luc Challenge)

The St-Luc Trilogy’s little sibling, this challenge features a 15- kilometre run with a 1,400-metre uphill climb. Feasible between July 1st and September 30th, 2020, the route leads runners to the top of Bella Tola at an altitude of 3,025 metres. Times will be monitored by means of selfies done by the athletes at strategic points during their race and a ranking will be issued at the beginning of the autumn..

Challenge St-Luc, St-Luc, Valais, Switzerland

Tzoumazing Challenges

A climb on foot in June, a road bike ride in July and a trail in August: these are the challenges on offer this summer in La Tzoumaz according to an idea launched by Perraudin Sports. Participants can choose the day and time of the start of their race, the routes of which will be posted online on the first day of each month with instructions and places in which to take photos. The challenges will be broadcast on social networks and prizes will be awarded to the best on each route according to a final ranking established at the end of the challenge.

Tzoumazing Defis, La Tzoumaz, Valais, Switzerland

Val d’Hérens Alps Trail

The Val d'Hérens Alps Trail offers marked routes equipped with a timing system that interacts with an application. The race starts automatically when you pass near the starting beacon, records your time at intermediate points and ends when you reach the finish of the race. Two itineraries starting from Evolène currently exist in this format and running enthusiasts will also be able to test their performance this summer on the trail between Thyon 2000 and the Grande Dixence, thanks to the implementation of a timed route on the platform.

Alpes Trail, Val d'Herens, Valais, Switzerland

Brothers’Project by AlpsXperience

This summer, brothers Candide and Jules-Henri Gabioud hope to take on two challenges in the heart of the Valais and its enchanting landscapes. Between June and July, the brothers will be running two routes independently and without stopping, starting with the Petite Trotte d'Orsières (PTO), a 100-kilometre route with 10,000-metre uphill climb. Those interested will be able to follow the pair on social networks and the bravest amongst us will be able to time themselves on the same route during the summer months. The second stage will feature 180-kilometre long itinerary between Zermatt and Chamonix, with 15,000 metres of positive gradient. 

AlpsXperience, Valais, Switzerland

The Montheysanne

While the usual start to the Montheysanne is unlikely to happen in 2020, the race will indeed take place this summer but in a different format within which all interested parties can participate by completing the circuit of their choice over a distance of 2.5, five or ten kilometres before August 23rd. To support the La Montheysanne association, and as an exception, this year men will be allowed to take part in the race.

Montheysanne, Monthey, Valais, Switzerland

The Tour des Alpages

Thanks to four QR codes placed on the official Tour des Alpages route, riders will have a chance to beat the clock over the summer. Until August 23rd, athletes can set off on this route equipped with their smartphones and scan the different codes to validate their times. While there is no ranking on the cards, participants will be eligible for a draw with token prizes as well as entries to the 2021 edition.

Tour des Alpages, Anzère, Valais, Switzerland

Mattmark half-marathon

In September, enjoy a run at the heart of the Saas Valley, where three courses of varying distances await you, such as the half-marathon, the Mattmark lake tour and a special race suitable for children. You can also enjoy training year-round on the large, well-marked half-marathon course starting from Saas-Balen, following the signs indicating the kilometres to be covered, so that you are ready for the big day.

Sierre-Zinal

This summer, the legendary race will take place from Monday August 17th to Friday September 18th. For 33 days, the participants registered for the 2020 edition will be able to set off at their convenience on the Course des Cinq 4000. Race numbers will be distributed at the start of the race by the staff and refreshments will be available at Chandolin. Prizes will be awarded to all finishers and a final ranking will be established at the end of the challenge.