Long heralded as the birthplace of mountaineering, the Alps above Chamonix, France have evolved over time to become a global epicenter of mountain adventure sports, drawing climbers, skiers, runners and myriad other outdoor athletes from around the world.
“People look at the mountains quite differently than before,” says local mountain guide Johanna Sullivan. “Before it was just going to the top, now it’s about pushing the limits.”
In 2013 as a relative unknown, Jaybird athlete Rory Bosio won the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, one of the world’s premier ultra races that begins and ends in Chamonix. In 2014 she returned and became the first woman to win the race two consecutive years. But this year Rory returned to the valley with the intention of looking at this inspiring place as less of a proving ground, and more of a place to experience the freedom and playfulness of the mountains.
“Running in Chamonix is the epitome of true mountain running…You’re just connected with everything around you, and you feel at home,” she says. “We’re just these free beings in the mountains, and the line between running and climbing and scrambling and almost feeling like you’re flying gets blurred.”
In Track 4 of Run Wild, Rory links up with ultra runners Martina Valmassoi and Fernanda Maciel to explore and play among the rugged trails, dramatic scenery, and rich history of mountain culture that make Chamonix such a special place.
“As a runner if you can shift your goals away from not worrying about PR’s or what the watch says and simply run because it feels fucking amazing, the mountains are a playground,” Rory says. “You just ask, where can my legs take me today?”
Photos by: Adam Clark
Check out the playlist that Rory, Martina and Fernanda run wild to:
To watch the previous episodes click here.