This year the legendary Allalin Race in Saas-Fee will take place from 16 to 18 April. The course starts at a heady 3,600 metres above sea level, and the finish line is 1,800 metres below, at the Kalbermatten sports ground. This high-speed, 9 km course is certainly no easy challenge.
Participants pass through an aweinspiring glacial landscape, over impressive scarpments and through hair-raisingly narrow passages, such as the infamous Kanonenrohr (barrel of a gun), before heading for the safety of the finish line at the Kalbermatten sports ground. The Allalin Race is literally a breathtaking challenge for amateur and professional racers alike. Each year it attracts several hundred competitors from all over Switzerland and abroad.
Participants have the option of entering four different racing categories: the Team Race, the Fun Team Race, the His and Hers Race, and the individual men’s or women’s races. The Fun Team Race is the perfect option for those who want to take it a little easier, as this event is all about the fun of taking part. Stopping at the various mountain restaurants along the way is almost mandatory and dressing up is actively encouraged. Believe it or not, some teams in this category have apparently taken over five hours to "race" down to the finish line. By contrast, the ambitious, highly trained athletes who take part in the individual men’s or women’s races can complete the course in less than five minutes! An incredible achievement, given the difficulty and length of the descent.
After the races on Friday and Saturday, participants and spectators will gather at the finish area to celebrate the day’s events and dance the night away. Food and drink, musical entertainment and a party atmosphere will keep them going through to the early hours.