“During the long alpine summers, my body and mind sometimes demanded a respite from my self-imposed two 12 hour back-to-back training days over the route of the UTMB. It was probably inevitable that I would turn back to those mountains that had first held my curiosity and passion as a six year old child. So I would find myself making two far longer than 12 hour back-to-back training days running on the magnificent trails around the Monte Rosa on the Swiss-Italian border, anonymous and unrecognised, no other runner to be seen. These were the mountains that I had first looked up to as a child and then explored more intimately over the intervening years. As I learnt to know and to love the trails of the Tour de Monte Rosa, the 150km footpath encircling the beautiful massif of the Monte Rosa which passes beneath a multitude of other 4000m summits including the iconic and awe-inspiring Matterhorn, I realised that these were the trails that I wanted to share with other runners. The idea of a new ultra marathon race was born.
“The idea remained only that until, after hours of discussion with Richard, it started to take seed. He finally persuaded me to at least try to manifest the potential and make it a reality. Joined also by Richard’s friend Jon, the idea germinated and now word is spreading.
“Why another race? My objective is simple – to share the joy that I have had from running. Over my years of running in the mountains I have explored incredible landscapes, experienced different cultures, shared great experiences and explored my own physical, mental and emotional limits. I have challenged myself in all sorts of ways and learnt a huge amount about myself and others. It is all of these things that we hope to encourage people to experience for themselves – not only during the race, but during their journey to reach the start line, and their journey beyond the finish line.
“Come and join us.”
Lizzy Hawker, in Runner published April 2015