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Mass competitions

The Escalade run in Collex-Bossy (in new window)

Age is no barrier to participation in the Escalade run, but it takes training; here in Collex-Bossy.©

Not only top sportsmen and women but also ordinary people take part in mass races on a slightly less gruelling scale, often with different categories according to age and skill.

Many towns organise marathons and half-marathons. Nordic-walking competitions are also popular.

A well-known marathon with a difference is the Jungfrau marathon, which starts in Interlaken and ends on the Kleine Scheidegg, more than 1500 meters (more than 4,900 ft) higher.

Some special events are held to commemorate historical events. Thus the Murten race on the first Sunday in October follows the route of the messenger who brought Fribourg news of victory at the Battle of Murten in 1476. It attracts about 8,000 participants. Even more runners take part in Geneva's Course de l'Escalade (Escalade Run) at the beginning of December each year, ahead of the commemoration of the city's final defeat of Savoy in 1602.

The Inferno ski race held in Mürren in the Bernese Oberland in January is the largest amateur ski race in the world. The number of competitors is limited to 1800. It was first organised in 1928 by a group of English enthusiasts.

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