The world is full of beautiful places to explore. In this second part of Athlete's Insights our running athletes guide you through their favourite spots from French Alpes, through Scandinavian forests to San Francisco.
Adam Kovacs enjoys training in Scandinavian forests. “I like running on smooth, muddy ground far from the roads. It is exhausting, but so wonderful. You can make your fastest split time if you meet with a bear ;)” Adam Kovacs
Celine Lafaye lives in the French Alpes, where she finds many places to love: “What is magic in mountain is that you can find a big diversity of landscapes in a small perimeter and the mountains are different in each season: you can travel as you stay in the same place”.
In Grenoble, where she lives, one can choose between three completely different mountains… Vercors, Chartreuse and Belledonne. “It is THE perfect spot for trail running”, according to Celine.
Her favorite training course in Grenoble is the Bastille and the mountain above “the Rachais”. There are lots of trails. “You go up in a way and down in another, you can play…I like so much to go up in the night to see all the lights of Grenoble with Belledonne in the back…and to be alone with the nature in the silence.” You are so close from the town but in the same way in the nature…
Ian Sharman loves running on Mt Diablo in the San Francisco Bay Area. “It has so many varied routes to the summit with different degrees of difficulty and views of the surrounding area that are stunning.” Given that he focuses on the Western States 100 each summer, it’s got very similar terrain except longer and steeper climbs. Even more it gets really hot in the couple of months before that race, which prepares his body for the heat of the WS100 canyons.
Fabian Alraun’s favorite spot is right next to his door, the mountain is called Asten. “There you have a very nice scenery and different possibilities of tracks.”
“In the last years I have been in different locations for training. The place I prefer is the Oberengadin; there are so many beautiful trails.” Says Gerd Frick. His favorite one into Val Roseg which starts from Pontresina, climbing at the end of the valley to Forcla Surlej.
Marco De Gasperi has his favorite course a few kilometers away from where he lives. “I travelled a lot around the world, seeing beautiful natural environments great for running, but here is where I found the best conditions to get in peace with my own, and I’m sure the training here works better!”
The single track starts at 2500mt altitude and it goes until 3100mt on the ridge of a mountain before the last short downhill that closes a loop of 13km. The track has been made during the World War I, and passing through several tranches you can sense the glorious history of this place. “When some runner friends from abroad come to see me, I often took them over there, including the well-known Passo Stelvio.” Marco adds.
Top of the banks of the river and Torío and Bernesga in towns like Villalfeide and Ciñera are Pablo Villa's favorite place to train. “Browsing through technical peaks such as Polvoreda or through magical places like the Faedo in Biosfera Trail is the best way to enjoy Trail Running!” Pablo describes.
Simona Staicu likes the forest close to her home. “It is a very nice place with a lot of big hills. I really enjoy training there.”
Stephen Wenk spent most of his summers and national holidays in this remote valley called Bregaglia, next to the Swiss Italian border. “It’s always something very special to be there.” Stephan explains. “I think our destiny as trailrunners is to discover always new trails and areas on this beautiful world. It is very important for me that the landscape is not only scenic but also authentic” he concludes.
Ryan Bak has his favorite training run on the Green Lakes trail outside of Bend, OR. “You can get lost in the scenery as you run alongside creeks and past waterfalls and lakes at the foot of several peaks in the Cascade Mountains. You can also take various off shoots to add extra vertical up to the summits of the Three Sisters (10,000’+) and Broken Top”, Ryan Bak.
Kevin Everett has “ a passion for running a singletrack trail, called Hulls Gulch that is just over a 10min run from my front door.” It is part of Boise’s Ridge to Rivers Trail system with over 130 miles of trails. This one starts at the base of the mountains and follows the flowing stream (6months of the year) up. “Often alone, the scenery is stunning and the combined sounds of the water coupled with my foot strikes and breathing makes for an invigorating run every time. On the long days you can get up near the top and be rewarded with a waterfall and view.
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