I’m Howard Dracup, and I’m part of Team Montane’s Ultra Running Team. I’m a running coach and have been running Ultra Marathons for around six years. I live in Cumbria and moved up here from Lancashire 3 years ago to be able to train better, and I now spend most of my days running and training in the fells.
Last year, my fellow Montane teammate Galen Reynolds took part in a cool-looking race called “The Swiss Peaks 360.” It really caught my eye, and I thought I must do this one day! Fast forward six months, and I tried to get a place in another big mountain race called the Tor Des Geants (TOR). You need to enter a ballot to get a place in the TOR, so I applied and didn’t get in, which led me to enter the Swiss Peaks 360!
The Swiss Peaks 360 is a single-stage footrace that runs across the Swiss Alps. By single stage, I mean the clock is always ticking. You can run, walk, eat, sleep and rest whenever you like; there’s no end to the day where you all sit down and eat, sleep, recharge and then go again the day after.
It’s a continuous race! There are also different distances you can go; there’s the 360km race, the 170km race, a 100km race, a 70km race, the marathon and a half marathon, so there’s something for everyone!
The 360km race starts in a little town called Oberwald and finishes at Lake Geneva; the website labels it “from Glaciers to Lake Geneva,” which sums it up really well and is pretty cool! By the time you get to Lake Geneva, not only will you have clocked up more than 360 horizontal kilometres, but you will have also clocked up more than 26,000m of vertical height gain and descent too, so that like climbing Mount Everest from sea level and going back down again x3 and then also covering the 360km of distance with it!
It’s a mammoth undertaking, especially when you consider the environmental factors like the high altitude, the heat and the technicality of the trail underfoot!
You have to carry your own food, water and mandatory kit, and there are regular aid stations where you can resupply. Approximately every 50km, there is also a Life Base where you can access a pre-packed bag of yours containing personal belongings like fresh clothes. There are also hot meals, showers and beds. You can also have your crew help you at specific locations to help speed up your race, so I asked my girlfriend Maggie to crew me.
I wanted to do the Swiss Peaks 360km because it looked like a fantastic adventure, not just a race! I also heard it was technical, long and tough, which are three of my strengths in racing, so when I heard that, I thought it was a good sign to enter!
Support the whole team who put all this together
This is premium stuff! Subscribe from ONLY £3.99 for ALL online content!.
SubscribeGet right to the heart of ultra-running featuring interviews and podcasts with world class athletes, extraordinary race directors, ultra-running coaches, nutritional experts and in depth race reviews from around the globe!
Get your access now