Photo credit: Sciacchetrail
Mark your calendar… Sciacchetrail, the Cinque Terre’s very own ultra trail race, is back for the 4th edition on Saturday, March 24th. The ultra trail begins and ends in Monterosso (the fifth village of the Cinque Terre) and this year it’s a grueling 49.9 kilometers with an elevation change of 2,229 meters (*gulp*). Needless to say, Sciacchetrail isn’t for the faint of heart.
Photo credit: Sciacchetrail
I proudly support this local, grassroots event and I’m pleased to see that it keeps getting bigger and better each year. Joining Sciacchetrail this year are big international names like Sally McRae from the US (a Nike Trail Elite, this will be her fourth Sciacchetrail race), Gitti Schiebel from Germany (a Patagonia Trail Running Ambassador), Clare Gallagher from the US (a Patagonia Trail Running Ambassador), and Amanda Basham from the US (an Altra Running & Gore Running Wear athlete). Anton Krupicka from the US (a La Sportiva athlete) will be cheering on runners from the sidelines.
Sciacchetrail has received the seal of approval not only from local town halls and the Cinque Terre National Park but also from UNESCO. Just a few weeks ago Sciacchetrail won the category for Sustainability in the Winning Ideas for Outdoor Awards at the Outdoor Expo in Bologna.
Just another reason I love Sciacchetrail… check out these race medals made from repurposed chestnut (*swoon*). Who needs a shiny, new medal when you can have a piece of local history hanging around your neck? In their previous life, these medals were wood stakes holding up the grape vines in a Cinque Terre vineyard (the stakes had been replaced with new ones by a local vintner). Photo credit: Sciacchetrail
Want to get involved? There are lots of ways to show your support for Sciacchetrail:
–Simply cheer on runners at the start/finish line or along the course! As Schiacchetrail is actually one big loop through the Cinque Terre, the start and finish lines are one and the same in Piazza Belvedere in Monterosso. Runners will depart at 7:30am and are expected to start crossing the finish line at around 11:30am. The awards ceremony will take place in Piazza Garibaldi (in Monterosso) at 4pm. Check out the Sciacchetrail course below or click here for more details.
–Participate in the Sciacchetrail Walk & Wine (+ Pasta Party!) on Saturday, March 24th. While Sciacchetrail is taking place you can enjoy a 3 hour guided trek from Vernazza to Monterosso, stopping along the way to visit the villages’ sanctuaries. The cost to join is €15 per person and includes a break for wine & focaccia at Monterosso’s Soviore Sanctuary as well as lunch upon arrival to Monterosso (at the Sciacchetrail Pasta Party, where you’ll be elbow-to-elbow with Sciacchetrail runners). Participants for the Walk & Wine trek will have two meeting points and times, either a La Spezia Centrale at 8am or at the train station in Vernazza at 8:30am. To reserve your space, you can either phone (+39) 0187 22 873 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
–Check out the Sciacchetrail Outdoor & Family Village in Monterosso. The village will open starting at 10am on Saturday, March 24th, and at 9:30am on Sunday, March 25th, and offers fun for the whole family!
–Buy a raffle ticket! Tickets are €5 each, which might seem a bit expensive until you see the extensive prize list (plus, don’t forget that it’s a worthy cause):
- A total of 8 bottles of Sciacchetrà (the Cinque Terre’s prized and prestigious dessert wine, which also happens to be the namesake of the race)
- Trekking gear and clothing from great brands like La Sportiva, Compressport, Osprey and Wild
- 5 two-night stays in the Cinque Terre
- 5 meals for two (either lunch or dinner) in Cinque Terre restaurants
- 2 baskets filled with local products
- 2 wine tasting experiences in the Cinque Terre
You can find a list of who’s selling the raffle tickets here. Guess what? I’m on the list, too. If you won’t be in the Cinque Terre this month but you’d like to buy a ticket anyway you can email me at email@example.com and we’ll figure something out.
You can find more details on Sciacchetrail by checking out their blog here. They also have a YouTube channel that I *love.* Most of the clips were made by fellow American expat and Sciacchetrail organizer Christine Godfrey; her videos are truly inspiring and worth a watch! For the social media savvy, check out Sciacchetrail on Facebook or on Instagram or Twitter as @sciacchetrail.
Interested in learning more about the event and what it represents? Check out my previous posts about Sciacchetrail here,here and here.