Alpine trail running days 2 and 3: More hills and the Mont Blanc marathon route

Day 2: Chamonix – Bel lachet hut – Les Houches


At the Bel Lachat hut, with Aiguille Verte behind.

I arrived at the meeting point for the second day of trail running and was told I was going up more hills. Eek. Off we set then – immediately up a steep hill towards the Bel Lachet hut some 2000m up. Parts of path were shaded in trees and other parts were more exposed. It was extremely hot (32 degrees) as we were on the south facing side of the hill.

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The snow line is unusually low this time of year so we had to traverse some sections of steep snow, which is pretty hairy in trainers! At one point we saw a professional trail runner walking too on a steep stretch, so it made me feel much less guilty for walking rather than running (more like shuffling!) on the same stretch. Having got to hut, we headed across and down to Les Houches. On the way down I started to feel a twinge in my knee. I’d already booked in a sports massage and was hoping he could help out. The massage, as always, was extremely painful, but just what I needed to loosen up my leg muscles! He’s also explained that, when I get back, I need to build on strengthening my left leg.

Here is a short video sneak peek at my trail running on day 2.

Total distance: 22km

Day 3: Chamonix to Vallorcine via the Mont Blanc marathon route


Today I was a little apprehensive. Every time I go for a 5k run at home, I feel as though I might have to stop after 1km (it doesn’t seem to get easier with time for me!). Add to that the fact that you have covered 39.2km over 2 days and have a twinge in your knee and you have a recipe for a potential freak out. Having found out the the route was going to be flatter today (there is no such thing as flat here by the way people), I decided to suck it up and get on with it.

We headed out on the Mont Blanc marathon route from Chamonix towards Vallorcine.  Whilst the hills and the views over the mountains have been stunning, this really was a pretty run. I love running past luscious green fields listening to the sound of cow bells. My favourite section was the forest path, which was lovely and clear and undulating within my comfort level (ie, not an unrelenting hill or mountain!).

My knee did start to seize up a bit at about 10km, so we stopped to dunk my knee in a crystal clear and ice cold stream.

My nose has been streaming all week and we suspect it might be hay fever (spring has arrived very late here) so I am now ratting around with hayfever drugs, pain killers, and supplements.

More hills again tomorrow. 🙂

Total distance: 16.5km


2 thoughts on “Alpine trail running days 2 and 3: More hills and the Mont Blanc marathon route

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