Sarina Berchtold Trailrunning | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Photographer: Dominik Berchtold

20 Jun. 2022 · Summer Activities
Sarina Berchtold

ENJOY. THE RUN. How running becomes fun

Lace up your running shoes even on vacation in the mountains and actively recover with physical activity. Sarina berchtold tells us how to combine trail running with enjoyment and get to know the trails of Kleinwalsertal in a relaxed way. 

"Most people chase after pleasure so much that they run past it."
-Søren Kierkegaard

Sarina and Lena at the Walser Trail Challenge

Trail running. Roughly speaking, it describes running off the beaten path on trails and paths with different levels of difficulty. Be it a cross-country run in the forest, high alpine mountain passages, the after-work round with a view or an ultra run. Meanwhile it is almost a trend sport and in summer numerous big events take place. One of them is the Walser TrailChallenge in Kleinwalsertal. A delight in the great outdoors, isn't it?

What is pleasure actually? And how can you associate enjoyment with (trail) running?


Pleasure [noun]
a state of feeling or being happy or satisfied.


No wonder we chase after this feeling. What's bad is when, as Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard wrote, we run past it. Let's take vacation planning as an example. Vacation - the most pleasant time of the year. But many are already stressed before the trip even starts. Our everyday lives are often dominated by a lack of breaks, an excessively fast schedule and constant stress. We want to get the most out of our vacation, the supposedly most wonderful time of the year. We need a perfect accommodation, hike A, B and C must be done in EVERY case or we have to eat at a certain restaurant.

Plan a fixed vacation program or just do nothing and live in the moment?


Not everyone finds relaxation for themselves in the sweet idleness. Those who already have a lot of action in their daily lives and are often on the road may be looking for exactly the relaxation in wellness. But those who have the same routines day by day and sit in their offices are looking for adventure in the mountains.

However, a survey* conducted by the Cologne Sports University showed: "After a relaxing, active vacation, you have proven to have fewer stress hormones in your body for up to ten weeks"(Prof. Dr. Froböse). This effect is particularly noticeable in the mountains. "In the mountains, far from fine dust and ozone, every movement revs up the circulation and makes the heart beat stronger than down in the valley," says Froböse. 


*Source: INNOFACT AG - 1,013 Germans aged 25-69 were surveyed about their vacation behavior, April 2013

Sundowner tour | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen

Alpine glow instead of streetlights - running with pleasure without pressure to perform

Reason enough to lace up your running shoes even on vacation. To run meters in altitude. To climb mountains. All this gives us the feeling of having achieved something. The feeling of satisfaction when you get over, or at least close to, the limit. But be careful: don't fall back into the pressure to perform when you're on vacation. Don't run after any false ideas à la "trail running is only something for professionals". We live in a performance society. Faster, higher, further...

Trailrunning in Kleinwalsertal


Daniel was born and raised in Kleinwalsertal and is one of the most successful active trailrunners in the valley. He is currently writing his doctoral thesis in the field of sports science. His tipp for you:

"Trail running" doesn't just take place in the mountains. If it were only about the mountains, it would be called "mountain running".... "Trail", that's just "trail" - so trail running is simply about getting off the road and running in nature instead. And that is what this sport is all about: being in touch with nature. Just lace up your running shoes and get out there - off into the woods, across the fields, along a stream or up a bit to gaze at the beauties of this world. Trail running is as diverse as the nature gives us undergrounds. Even if the pulse is really racing, the soul starts to dangle..."

The attraction of trail running? It's not the speed that counts. It's the experience that counts. A constant change between up and down. Running laps that lead through different landscapes. Forest and meadow paths, root paths, rocky alpine paths. Fantastic views. Walking, running, puffing, seeing. All in one run.

Evening tour with a view into Wildental | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Photographer: Sarina Berchtold

Relaxed on the Walser Trails - Our tip for a fun trail also for beginners.

A vacation in the mountains is the perfect opportunity to enjoy running. Try something new. Get out of the daily routine, into the run. Instead of the usual home run, you swap neon signs for Alpine glow and turn your next run into an exciting adventure. Kleinwalsertal offers trails for all skill levels. The trails run between 1,100 and almost 2,500 meters at various altitudes. Trail running beginners will find numerous rounds, especially in the side valleys. For more advanced runners, there are numerous routes that take you high up into the mountains. How you can easily combine pleasure and trail running or a brisk hike with a beautiful route for beginners, you can find out on this route. At the finish, a bench with a fantastic view and, in the best case, an evening in a mountain hut await you. We therefore recommend running the route in the evening.

Hiking Kanzelwand Gehrenspitze | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Photographer: Bastian Morell

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A short break from everyday life, but there is no time for extensive and long holidays? No problem, Kleinwalsertal offers enough choice even for 48 hours off. If you manage to score all 8 points in 2 days, you can pat yourself on the back!