Swissalpine Marathon Weekend in Davos

Serpies after racing at Davos 2004

Since 1985 the Swissalpine Marathon weekend has taken place annually in Davos. Many races finish at the sports centre in Davos where there is always a party atmosphere and big crowd to cheer you around the track for the last 400m.

The venue

Davos is a small town in the Swiss Alps, famous for skiing and its annual economic conference. Each July it is the venue for a weekend of trail running including the T88, successor to the legendary K78 race, and various shorter runs.

Each year a group of Serpies will sign up for this race to spend a weekend in a beautiful mountain location racing with some of Europe's best mountain runners. Though don't be intimidated; with some hill training any London road runner can be ready for the mountains! Note: it pays to start planning early in the year to guarantee accommodation for this weekend and get training.

The races

The race website has all the profiles and courses, which can vary a little from year to year. The 2018 races are (K = running, T = trail running; in addition to these races, there are a number of 'H' graded races aimed at fun runners and hikers):

Swissalpine Irontrail (Saturday, 21 July 2018; "ultrarunning with an adventurous character, moderate time limit")

T43 (+2559m/-2578m) 42.9km Samedan – Alp Muntatsch – St. Moritz – Lej dals Chöds – Pontresina – Muottas Muragl – Samedan 

T29 (+1771m/-1913m) 28.7km St. Moritz – Lej dals Chöds – Pontresina – Muottas Muragl – Samedan 

Swissalpine Marathon (Saturday, 28 July 2018; "faster mountain running with competition character, somewhat tight time limit")

T127 (+6546m/-6731m) 127km Samedan – Piz Nair – St. Moritz – Fuorcla Surlej – Pontresina – Muottas Muragl – Samedan – Fuorcla Crap Alv – Bergün – Keschhütte – Sertigpass – Davos 

T88 (+3981m/-4272 m) 88.1km St. Moritz – Pontresina – Muottas Muragl – Samedan – Fuorcla Crap Alv – Bergün – Keschhütte – Sertigpass – Davos

T39 (+1989m/-1828m) 39.1km Bergün – Keschhütte – Sertigpass – Davos 

K43 (+/-1425m) 42.9km Davos –Scaletta Pass –Sertig Pass – Davos 

K23 (+629m/-279m) 23.8km Klosters – Wolfgangpass Wolfgang Pass – Davos 

K10 (+/-162m) 9.5km Davos – Clavadel – Davos 

Early, reduced rate, entries are available via the registration site until the end of February 2018.


In previous years many club members have stayed at the homely Hotel Ochsen, which is ideally located next to the train station in Davos. More recently, some have used the Central Swiss Sporthotel which is right next to the stadium, also the Sunstar Park and Grischa - which is the race hotel.

None of the options above are particularly inexpensive so many club members have stayed in the Davos Youth Palace YHA. The cost for a dorm room bed (4 or 6 beds per room with ensuite) is very reasonable and they also have a small number of double rooms, however these are substantially more expensive. Both options include half-board which ends up making the trip very cost effective when compaired to staying at a hotel and eating in town. The food on offer at the YHA is surprisingly good and they also serve alcohol from a small bar. Bookings can be made online and via phone; it is worth ringing to check on availability even if there are no bookings available via their website. Remember to book early as accommodation fills up completely two or three months ahead of the race itself.

Booking late and missed out on a space? Put the word out on the Serpies Facebook group and keep your ear to the ground, there may be people who are trying to get rid of beds they can no longer use closer to race day.

Getting there

Flying to Zurich is the best option, most people usually fly out Thursday to Sunday - the races are on the Saturday. If you book early enough, then you can fly cheaply with Easyjet from London Luton or Gatwick. BA and Swiss operate cheap flights from London airports as well, so there's plenty of choice to make it into a long weekend if you like.

From Zurich you take the train and change at Landquart. Here you transfer onto the mountain train for the remaining part of your journey, the total journey is two hours and twenty minutes. Those entered in the races will receive a "Swiss Runners Ticket" (return ticket from all Swiss railway stations) and "Regio Ticket" (unlimited travel in most parts of Graubünden from 21st to 30th July 2018).