By Mathias Eichler
Run the Alps started a cool blog series about the history of Tor des Géants:
What many don’t know is the year before that first edition of Tor, there was a “Zero Edition” with a grand total of four finishers. This wasn’t an official race. In fact, it was a trial run to prove the very concept. At the time, many considered the idea of the Tor route insane and flat out dangerous. They believed the race was too long and too challenging to constitute a healthy challenge for trail runners.
Tor is the harder, longer UTMB. Sort of just one valley over, in the famous and fabulous Aeoste Valley, starting and finishing in Courmayeur, the halfway point of UTMB.
Mount Baker Ultra race director Daniel Probst ran Tor and used this experience as an inspiration to revive the gnarly 55km race, with the long history starting and finishing in Concrete, Washington and tagging Shurman Peak a sub-peak of Mount Baker. Sidenote: The race just went down this weekend amidst gnarliest weather. On Singletrack he mentioned that the race organizers of Tor received €500,000 to establish and market the race. I hope Run the Alps is able to get some more info about this and about how races in the Alps are considered a tourism attraction and welcome and invited into the communities they are held at. Check any website of the big races in the Alps and see the city and communities logos prominently featured in the sponsor section.
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