So here we are in 2012, and you did it: You’ve made a New Year's resolution to be more active and start running.
Surely, running is cheap and easy and you can do it pretty much everywhere. Well, for those of you who are super eager and live in Switzerland (or want to visit), here's some good news!
Like so many things in Switzerland, it was not the Swiss who invented running, but they do it very well. Sure, the Swiss are no Masai or Tarahumara runners, but they do love to run. With a population of 7.7 million people (about 300'000 people less than the population of New York City), there are no less than 55 major running events in Switzerland each year, and 26 of which are longer than a marathon (42.195 kilometers)!
Needless to say, running is big in Switzerland. People of all ages love to get out and run from village to village, around lakes, and up mountains.
For the past eight years, the first marathon of the year worldwide has been held in Zürich. The Neujahrsmarathon (New Year's Marathon) starts each year at exactly midnight in Schlieren, just outside of Zürich. With fireworks screaming into the night’s sky all around and headlamps bobbing on the heads of the participants, close to 600 people take off for a run of either a quarter, half or a full marathon. The official allotted time for the full marathon is five hours.
If you’re not into long-distance yet, many of the below events feature half marathons. Coming to Zurich? Check out the ZüriLaufCup a series of runs around 12 km in distance. Two great runs are also the Aletsch Halbmarathon and the Murtenlauf. For a full list of all of the running events in Switzerland, check out the Swiss Athletics site.