The Trail Runner's Bucket List: Mont-Blanc Marathon, France

From a ridge run through the Montana sky to a marathon in the heart of Africa, these ten races have one thing in common: They'll push your limits in some of the most spectacular terrain on earth.

Mont-Blanc Marathon France trail running running marathon

    Photo: Mille Pattes Macon/Flickr

One of the world’s premiere trail races, the Mont-Blanc Marathon starts in Chamonix's central square before leading runners on a 26.2-mile loop around the surrounding valley. Along the way, racers pass through ancient hamlets and high-alpine meadows, all in the shadow of Western Europe's highest mountain. This is ultra athlete Kilian Jornet’s training ground, so be prepared for a burly ride, including more than 8,000 feet of climbing. While most people finish in over six hours, Jornet set a record last year with a blistering time of 3:38:24.

Race Date: July 1, 2013

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