What is trail running?
Trail running has really taken off in recent years. It gives running enthusiasts a new way to practise their favourite sport by using natural obstacles and elevation changes. So what is a trail run? A trail run involves taking a route across varied terrains (mountains, forest, countryside etc.) set in the heart of nature. The main challenge lies in the terrain, with its loose footing and the added problem of changeable weather conditions. What sets trail running apart from regular running is its real harmony with nature as well as the changes in elevation, which can range from 500 to more than 7,000 metres.
Trail State of Mind
Trail running brings you face to face with yourself. Forget the stopwatch and the rankings; this is first and foremost about giving everything you’ve got to get across the finish line.
Discover the trail spirit; a personal challenge to prove to yourself what you are capable of, find harmony with nature and learn to listen to your own body.
Jura Mountains Land of Trail Running
There are many trail runs in mid and high mountain areas. The most well-known race in France is the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (166 km and a climb of 9,400 m). Throughout the year, lots of trail runs are organised with distances that most runners would be able to manage. Many races are organised annually in the Jura Mountains, such as the legendary Transju’trail (June 6-7, 2015), Trail des Sangliers (September) and the extreme trail, “Un tour en terre du Jura” (July 11-12, 2015).
The Jura Mountains are an ideal place for this sport, given its several technical, undulating courses with big climbs as well as its practice routes. Owing to the mountainous nature and the quality of the landscape, the Jura Mountains offer many options for trail running. You can take up this sport for the first time by running the many marked paths. You can be at one with nature in the Jura Mountains, as you admire the spectacular, unspoilt landscapes.
Jura Mountains: Land of Champions
Furthermore, the Jura Mountains are the birthplace of Xavier Thévenard, champion trail runner and winner of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTBM) in 2014. Xavier Thévenard was born in Nantua and spent his childhood in Les Plans d’Hotonnes, in the Ain area of the mountains. Xavier originally took part in biathlon, so was never destined to become a trail running champion. He discovered his passion for the sport at the 2009 Transju’trail event. Since then, he has won race after race, proudly representing the Jura Mountains.