The Bauges Mountains, high in the French Alps, provide stunningly beautiful alpine countryside, and an ideal location for a number of trails for walkers and hikers to enjoy.
Races for long-distance runners take place here as well, and are held on the Faverges Icebreaker Trail. All the trails follow pathways through the Bauges Mountains Natural Regional Park, which offers amazing views of the surrounding mountains and over the forests and valleys..
Faverges Icebreaker Trail Race Course Options
There are three course options for races that begin and end in the Simon-Berger park in Faverges. One of these is the Sambuy Maratrail. A “maratrail,” by the way, is a trail for marathon runners. The Sambuy Maratrail covers a loop of 48 km and runners must be able to cope with its 2900 metres of vertical gain. This race is limited to 550 participants, begins at 7 am, and is suitable for experienced long-distance and marathon runners only. It is part of the French National Trail Running Tour.
The “Sources du Lac Trail” is a much easier option for runners, taking in 29 km of route and with a lower 1500 metres of vertical gain. The name of this trail refers to the glacial valley that is the source of the waters that form Lake Annecy. This race starts a bit later at 9 am, but like the Sambuy Maratrail, it is limited to 550 participants only. This race and trail is also a part of the French National Trail Running Tour.
The easiest of the three race options is the Bauges Discovery Trail, or Bauges Trail Decouverte, as it is known in French. At only 11.5 km in length, this is by far the shortest trail and is the best one for inexperienced runners. This trail only includes a climb of 550 metres of vertical gain, which is a lot less than the other trail choices provide. This trail starts the latest too because it begins at 9.30 am. The Bauges Discovery Trail is also the cheapest to take part in because it costs just 15 €, whereas the Sambuy Maratrail is priced at double that amount and the Sources du lac Trail costs 25 €.
Not only mountain races
The Faverges Icebreaker Trail is not just for participants who want to take part in the races but also for the public. Free shuttles run every 20 minutes to take people from the starting point in Faverges up to the Sambuy ski area where spectators can watch the runners. Entertainments, refreshments and meals will also be available throughout the day of the Faverges Icebreaker Trail.
Because these events are taking place in France, they make for excellent opportunities to practise speaking the language of the country. In the town of Annecy, which is also in this part of the Alps, we are proud to have our own Ifalpes French Language School where you can take courses that will help you learn. There is nowhere better to learn French than in France!