What an event. The 24th edition of the Swiss Canyon Trail, held in the Val-de-Travers region of Switzerland’s Neuchâtel canton, was held from 7-9 June. More than 2,000 runners took part in the six races (105K, 75K, 45K, 25K, Relay and Nordic Walking) under perfect weather and with no major incidents to report.
On Sunday afternoon, 9 June, just before noon the final finisher of the race’s main event, the 105K (official distance 112km) finished in a time of 30 hours, 29 minutes. Symbolically the last athlete arrived in Couvet just as the weekend heralded its first drops of rain. A record 2005 runners took part in the event, enjoying the race’s many technical challenges and enchanting scenery.
Race organiser and founder Patrick Christinat gave a tired but satisfied smile after the close of the event, remarking: “The results of this 24th edition are extremely positive. The races were closely contested with athletes, many elite international runners, raising the level of the event. They, like, the numerous, dedicated volunteers, supporters, and people involved in the organisation of the event made it all possible.” The Swiss Canyon Trail is now truly an international event of repute. Never before has it been contested by so many runners including leading athletes and a record number of overseas entrants. “We have proved that from now on we are playing in the big league and have become a reference point", rejoiced Christinat, who thus saw the considerable efforts made over the past two decades rewarded. The organisers will continue to work on developing the race and making it an enticing opportunity for athletes. “We are looking for excellence across all levels, and constantly looking for ways to improve our organization,” continued Christinat.
The perfect weather, beautiful nature, challenge racecourses, excellent infrastructure at the Couvet Sports Centre, the support of the communes of Val-de-Travers and Sainte-Croix and the valuable work of some 500 volunteers made it possible to offer competitors perfect conditions to make this edition a success. A success undoubtedly recognised by the attending representatives of Swiss Athletics who came to see the race this weekend. Indeed, the Swiss Athletics Federation has chosen the Swiss Canyon Trail to host next year’s Swiss Championship Trail in the 75K category. “The federation has seen that we are doing a lot to meet its requirements,” closed Christinat. The 2020 Swiss Championships will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Swiss Canyon Trail. Two elements that suggest that the next edition will be extraordinary.