Annecy’s magnificent landscapes between the lake and the mountains are very popular playgrounds for runners and trail runners. How to enjoy the most beautiful sites to practice your favourite sport near Annecy?
Running versus Trail
In terms of running, two disciplines exist. Depending on your tastes and abilities, you can choose the one that appeals to you the most. Running is practiced over distances of 5 km, 10 km, half marathon and marathon. Trail running is also called nature running up to 21 km, medium distance trail running up to 80 km and ultra trail running beyond that.
The terrain is also different. The runner runs on tarmac roads, on marked paths that are stabilised. The trailer prefers the raw terrain: dirt, grass and mud paths. Natural obstacles are welcome: tree trunks, roots, small streams.
For the runner, the difference in altitude is often zero, the road is flat and it is the management of the effort that allows you to improve your time. The shores of the lake are favourable to this form of running with a major event every year: the International Lake Annecy Marathon. The trailer will face steep slopes which make his effort much less constant. Walking is then possible to get to the end. The mountains around Annecy offer all levels of trail running, the choice is yours.
The runner’s equipment is also lighter: t-shirt, running shoes and shorts. The trailer must have equipment to guarantee his autonomy for several hours: hydration, supplies, jacket depending on the weather.
Where to run in Annecy?
We offer you the top 5 nice spots for running near Annecy. They are different in terms of altitude difference, natural environment and difficulty.
- The banks of the lake in Annecy: this is the most popular site, but it is most accessible in the early morning or early evening. The view of the mountains reflected in the lake is unforgettable. You can run from the Marquisats beach to the Petit Port in Annecy-le-vieux, no difference in altitude, ideal for running.
- The Vallon du Fier natural area: Located near the Annecy hospital, it is a wooded area along the banks of the Fier, totally flat, it allows you to run for a good hour on a forest and stony ground. The car park is practical and large.
- The Semnoz forest: Very close to the centre of Annecy, the Semnoz is a mountain with a progressive difference in level, and there are many paths. Be careful to take your bearings as it is easy to get lost. You will be able to see the tracks of the fauna of Haute-Savoie.
- La montagne d’Age: You can reach it by parking at the Poisy tennis court. The forest is generally flat with some small slopes. A good spot for running, less frequented than the previous ones.
- Mont Veyrier: This is the first mountain on the eastern shore of Lake Annecy. It is a very popular trail loop for Annecy residents with a beautiful panoramic view of the lake. It is advisable to be careful in case of greasy ground or snow on certain passages.
Greenweez Maxi-Race on Lake Annecy
This event is one of the major trails on the French calendar. The Maxi-Race du lac d’Annecy allows competitors to discover the mountains surrounding Lake Annecy. It is traditionally held in May. The organisers pay particular attention to the eco-responsible approach of the event: development of social links, reduction of plastic, short-distance or organic food supplies.
The Trail Blanc du Semnoz
The Semnoz resort, which is located 30 minutes from Annecy, organises an annual foot race on the snowy paths at the end of January. The particularity of this event: the start is given at nightfall, at 6 pm. The runners will have to cover 11 kilometres with a headlamp while enjoying the panorama of the setting sun on the Mont-Blanc. The start is at the height of the ski boxes to reach the top of the slopes, the Crêt de l’Aigle and down to the Crêt de Chatillon. This trail is a great success every year, it is recommended to register in advance. Elevation gain: 460 m.
The Trail du Bélier Blanc
In the same spirit as the previous race, the Trail du Bélier Blanc takes place every year at the beginning of February on the heights of La Clusaz, on the plateau des Confins in winter with three options.
- A 14 km night trail, altitude difference 570 metres,
- An 8 km trail with a 330 m difference in altitude,
- A 6 km snowshoe hike, with a difference in altitude of 160 m.
This race also takes place in summer and welcomes a large number of spectators each year.