Breathtaking Saint Moritz

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Higher Goals for Worlds

Amid the breathtaking Swiss Alps, St Moritz stands as a haven for professional runners preparing for the biggest moments of their careers. In early August, only weeks out from the start of the 2023 World Championships, St Moritz is abuzz with the best of the best. It’s almost impossible to head out the door for some time on your feet without being passed by a who’s who of elite runners.

St Moritz sits high at 1,822 metres (5978 feet) – and that is, of course, a key reason for the flood of athletes who return every summer. The skinny air brings the altitude training benefits many elite runners rely on to compete on the top tier. Only a few hours by train or car from Zurich, it’s one of the most accessible locations in Europe to get in the hard work at altitude.

Tempo shooter Michael Dawson followed along with a selection of athletes over three days to capture the action.

01 Beamish StMoritz23-29

Michael's notes

Who: George Beamish
What: Easy afternoon recovery run
Where: St Moritz Lake, Switzerland

An OAC member and recent NZ and Oceania record holder in the steeple, George will be running the steeple in Budapest. I caught up with him for an easy PM run around Lake St Moritz, the go-to location for short easy runs.

02 Beamish StMoritz23-25
03 Beamish StMoritz23-36

Who: Cory McGee
What: Morning long run
Where: Samedan/Engadin Airport, Switzerland

I joined US 1500m Olympian Cory McGee for a mid-week long run, getting in some volume on the flat paths around the Engadin Airport, a 15-minute drive out of St Moritz-Bad, where most athletes are based. Cory is a regular in the Swiss Alps, using it as a European base before her regular stints representing the red, white and blue.

04 Cory StMoritz23-42
05 Cory StMoritz23-12
06 Cory StMoritz23-39
07 Cory StMoritz23-1

Who: On Athletics Club
What: Track workout
Where: Chiavenna, Italy

Chiavenna, aka the world's most scenic track. The runners make a 60-minute drive or a take a picturesque 90-minute bus trip down to the small Italian town. The track sits at around 300 metres (1000 feet) in elevation, which – compared to St Moritz – is almost sea level.

Runners usually come down here in the mornings for their hardest workouts of the weeks and head back up to St Moritz after lunch. The large OAC group headed to the Chiavenna waterfalls to cool off after their workout.

08 OAC Chiavenna-15
09 OAC Chiavenna-42
10 OAC Chiavenna-115
11 OAC Chiavenna-123
12 OAC Chiavenna-106
13 OAC Chiavenna-258
14 OAC Chiavenna-11
15 OAC Chiavenna-284
16 OAC Chiavenna-290
17 OAC Chiavenna-309
18 OAC Chiavenna-316

Who: Canadian marathon runners Justin Kent and Ben Preisner
What: Marathon track workout
Where: St Moritz Track, Switzerland

19 Canada StMoritz23-31
20 Canada StMoritz23-33
21 Canada StMoritz23-21
22 Canada StMoritz23-24
23 L Canada StMoritz23-35
23 R Canada StMoritz23-8

Who: Bowerman Track Club
What: Track workout
Where: Chiavenna, Italy

24 BTC Chiavenna23-22
25 BTC Chiavenna23-17
26 BTC Chiavenna23-84
27 BTC Chiavenna23-47
28 BTC Chiavenna23-7
29 BTC Chiavenna23-9
30 BTC Chiavenna23-34
31 BTC Chiavenna23-137
32 BTC Chiavenna23-150
33 BTC Chiavenna23-180
34 BTC Chiavenna23-201
35 BTC Chiavenna23-229
36 BTC Chiavenna23-188
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