Top 10 races in Brittany
Breathe fresh air as you run...
Do you love beaches or forests? Ready to go for a night or a whole weekend? Choose the scenery, season and setting for your perfect race. Whatever distance you run, Brittany’s countryside has a route for you.
1. Trail Glazig - In the deep mid-winter
February - Plourhan (Côtes-d'Armor) - Saint-Brieuc Bay - Paimpol - Les Caps
The first race of the season braves the chilly temperatures to cross beautiful landscapes on the border where land meets sea. Warm up on rocky coastal paths, beaches at low tide, the sunken lanes of the traditional ‘bocage’ countryside... You can even at night with a head torch.
Find out more: www.trail-glazik.com
2. Rennes Urban Trail - The highway is the best way
April - Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine) - Rennes and the Gateway to Brittany
The newest addition to the urban race circuits (2017) crosses Brittany's capital from one major monument to the next. With surprising detours to unusual places: a metro station, a shopping centre, a bank, a stadium etc. Three routes take you all round the city - the longest being 24 km with 1,500 steps to climb!
Find out more: www.rennesurbantrail.bzh
3. Trail des Ebihens - Almost an island
May - Saint-Jacut-de-la-Mer - Saint-Malo and Mont-Saint-Michel bay
Off the peninsula of Saint-Jacut-de-la-Mer is the wild Ebihens archipelago, accessible on foot at low tide. If you’re very fit and keen, you can run across this channel as part of a 20 km coastal race following the shoreline and paths. Perfect for filling your lungs with the tang of salt air and seaweed.
Find out more: http://traildesebihens.pagesperso-orange.fr
4. Trail de Guerlédan - Around the lake
May or June - Guerlédan (Côtes-d'Armor) - Central Brittany
A demanding nature race, starting from Bon-Repos abbey and snaking round Brittany's largest man-made lake. The three routes - ranging from 13 km to 58 km - follow hiking trails with challenging sections and steep gradients. A high-level race event where top runners compete.
Find out more: www.traildeguerledan.com
5. Raid Golfe du Morbihan - 177 km: what more could you want?
Late June - early July - Vannes (Morbihan) - Southern Brittany - Gulf of Morbihan
The longest of Brittany's super adventure races takes you in a loop around the Gulf of Morbihan, breaking off mid-way to cross the water in an inflatable dinghy. The race along roads and paths is run as a single stage. Round the clock. You have a time limit of 42 hours to get back where you started... This one is strictly for extreme sports fans!
Find out more: www.raid-golfe-morbihan.org
6. Trail du Bout du Monde – At land’s end, with the most western lighthouse
July - Plouzané (Finistère) - Brest Terres Océanes
At the gateway to Brest, four nature races ranging from 20 km to 57 km take you towards the sea, following the ‘Sentier des Douaniers’ coastal path (Customs Officers' Path). Coves and creeks offer breathtaking panoramic views of the Iroise sea. Past the Vauban fort at Bertheaume and the square lighthouse of Kermorvan, the finishing line is in a beautiful headland setting on the cliffs of the Pointe Saint-Mathieu.
Find out more: www.trailduboutdumonde.com
7. The Legends of Brocéliande trail - The fairy effect
September - Iffendic (Ille-et-Vilaine) - Brocéliande
This freestyle foot race in the lands of King Arthur takes you through beautiful forest, moorland and rocky scenery that forms the legendary setting of the Knights of the Round Table. The activities centre in the Domaine de Trémelin, the archaeological site of Boutavent castle and the little canyon called "La Chambre au Loup" (Wolf's Chamber), are features of three undulating routes ranging from 11 km to 41 km. Who knows, you might meet Merlin along the way...
Find out more: www.trailbroceliande.com
8. Belle-Île en trail - a quick trip out to sea
September - Southern Brittany - Gulf of Morbihan
Every other year, the coastline and country lanes of Brittany's biggest island become the preserve of adventure racers. The longest route (83 km) takes you on a full circuit of this rocky little island, following the beaches, paths and coastal valleys, with some pretty detours via fields and harbours. Just for the fun of making sure that Belle- Île really is an island, as its name suggests.
Find out more: belle-ile-en-trail.com
9. 'A Travers l’Estran' (across the foreshore) - Between the tides
September - Trévou-Tréguignec (Côtes-d'Armor) - Pink Granite Coast - Morlaix bay
A strip of land covered at high tide and exposed at low tide: this is the foreshore or ‘estran’ in French. You run on sand, pebbles, shingle and in mud for 14 km, 32 km or 50 km. This is the terrain for a lively race with a community spirit and exotic flavour, to raise funds for a charity for disabled children. With lots of charming spots along the way: La Casse Pattes (The leg-breaker), Enfer (Hell), Le Gouffre (The Abyss)…
Find out more: www.estran.org
10. Trail de la vallée du Scorff - 15 years' experience
October – Cléguer (Morbihan) - Gulf of Morbihan
Straddling the border between two departments, this race, run in autumn, spans rivers and valleys in countryside consisting of woods, gardens and meadows. The first race of its kind in Brittany, it offers a choice of five distances, ranging from 4.5 km to 45 km. There’s also the option of braving the challenge at night on hillsides of the ‘Pentes de Sainte-Anne’, the ‘Côte à Mémé’ or the ‘Bosse de Saint-Yves’.
Find out more: www.foulees-de-cleguer.fr