Swiss National Day, August 1st, is a reason to celebrate across the country. In Leysin, there is the added excitement of the annual Aigle-Leysin 21km and 11.2km race!
About the races
There are many mountain trail running races throughout Switzerland, and this one is right in our backyard. The 21km race begins in Aigle (402m above sea level), goes to the top of the Berneuse mountain (2035m), and then finishes in Leysin (1315m). This is equivalent to about 2.5 times the height of the Tokyo Skytree. Every year, about 200 men and women compete in this grueling trail run in the mountains of Leysin. The inclines are relentless and steep from the moment you start until the moment you get to the top of the Berneuse. The top of the mountain is not the end, however, there is still a long, rocky, and difficult descent back to the finish line in Leysin.
The 11.2km race begins at Place Large Leysin (1315m) and goes to the top of Prafandaz. The climb continues to around 1709m and the runners then begin their descent towards Leysin. Although it sounds ‘easy’ compared to the 21km race, it is still a serious physical challenge full of intense inclines.
This year, 20 KLAS students ran the 21km race. After only a few very busy weeks of meetings, qualifying races, training runs, and course orientation, the KLAS students met the challenge of the brutal race. One student (Kentaro Taniguchi) placed third overall in the Junior Division.
Four students and one teacher ran the 11.2km with great success. The podium was filled with the smiling faces of KLAS students in first, second, and third place.
The hills are alive… with the sound of cheering
Many KLAS students and staff also joined the runners at various points along the race to cheer and show their enthusiastic support! Our students were so vibrant with colourful pompoms, noisemakers, and joyful shouting, that many participants commented on how their spirits were lifted by our school during the run. The community of Leysin also thanked us for our amazing participation.
All of the KLAS runners would like to express their heartfelt appreciation to everyone who came out to support us on race day. Thank you so very much! Finally, congratulations to all of our runners. You have accomplished something great that has made you stronger both physically and mentally. KLAS is proud of you.