Every new venture has its origins story– whether it’s Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak hanging out in Jobs’ garage in Los Altos, California, or, well, something less ingrained in our cultural DNA.
The idea for The Hub Chamonix came, appropriately enough, on a trail run. Early one morning during the fall of 2019, Run the Alps founder Doug Mayer and Ambassador Mike Ambrose went for a trail run from the middle of Chamonix, up to La Jonction. (And if you’ve never been to La Jonction, here’s a great fly-over video of this meeting point of two glaciers. Do the run on a hot August day. The natural refrigeration is well worth it!)
As we ran, we talked about how special Chamonix is to trail running. It’s becoming a cliche of sorts, but Chamonix really is the world’s home to trail running. There are the iconic races, one of the world’s largest trail running clubs and, of course, the endless kilometers of dramatic trails. For trail runners, it’s a special place.
And yet… there was no place in town that trail runners could call home– literally and figuratively. There is no shortage of activities, of course– brands have their weekly runs, there are social trail running organizations, formal and informal, and a constant stream of great talks, visits from elite athletes, and more. Those of us who live here are lucky.
As our run went on, we daydreamed about this “hub” idea. In between the long 1,500 meter uphill climb, we imagined what might take place there. There would be notable guests, chances to hang out and meet other trail runners, and opportunities to learn and grow as trail runners. We would have a Community Manager who would be a mentor, sharing tips for visitors about where to run, latest trail conditions and more. There would be a lively sharing of ideas, tips, guidance and more. In short, everything we love about the trail running community and culture.
By the time our run was over, we had our idea and could not wait to share it. Everyone with whom we explored the idea seemed to like it. Maybe this was the time and place to start The Hub Chamonix?
Well, not quite. Because the world intervened, and a week before we planned to launch the site– staff ready to roll, chalet ready to go, social media accounts and booking software lined up… a virus came along. During the ensuing 15 months, like so much of the world, we entered a holding pattern. It was disappointing, but we weren’t alone. All of our lives were, in many ways, on hold.
Now, vaccines are here, and Covid is– we hope– staying in the rear view mirror.
And The Hub Chamonix? It’s here. We open for business on August 15, closing September 15. It’s a shortened season, due to that little pandemic issue noted above.
But we’re here to stay now. Developed by trail runners with roots in the Chamonix Valley, we’re partners with our favorite pre- and post-trail running stops, like Moody Coffee Roasters, Big Mountain Brewery, and more. We want to be a good neighbor, a great asset, and part of the DNA of Chamonix trail running in the years to come.
Welcome. Take a look around. Share your ideas. Let us know what you think. And if you’re visiting Chamonix, drop us a note and spend a night or two.
And when you drop by? Save time for a run. Because you never know what will come of it.