One of our longest collaborations (since 2017) continued this past weekend with yet another fruitful activation. Sierre Zinal 2023 has reached its 50th edition and no less than 6000 participants from 69 countries ran with excitement and perseverance on the famous 31 km mountain trails.
Nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the Sierre-Zinal trail run stands as a beacon for trail runners worldwide. Celebrated as one of the most iconic mountain races, this event marries the thrill of athletic pursuit with the awe-inspiring grandeur of nature. Spanning through rugged terrain, the Sierre-Zinal race weaves a story of endurance, determination, and boundless alpine beauty.
The Sierre-Zinal trail run is not merely a race; it’s a living testament to the sport’s history. Originating in 1974, it has grown to become a revered event, attracting both elite athletes and passionate enthusiasts. The race’s legacy is etched into its very course, which follows the paths that local shepherds once tread. This rich history infuses the event with a deep sense of tradition and a connection to the land.
Sierre Zinal is part of Golden Trail Series, one of the most prestigious series of trail runs in the world. The competition begins in the picturesque village of Sierre and culminates in the equally charming locale of Zinal. What unfolds in between is a journey that traverses varying landscapes—lush meadows, rocky paths, and formidable ascents. As participants ascend to altitudes over 2,000 metres, the course showcases the Swiss Alps’ breathtaking diversity, immersing runners in an evolving tableau of natural splendour.
What makes the Sierre-Zinal trail run both alluring and formidable is its elevation gain. With a cumulative ascent of over 2,000 metres, runners are confronted with a course that demands physical strength, mental fortitude, and a strategic approach. The trail’s elevation profile encompasses both heart-pounding climbs and exhilarating descents, creating a rhythm that mirrors the undulating contours of the Alps themselves. One of the most celebrated segments of the Sierre-Zinal trail run is the “Five 4000ers Passage.” This stretch offers runners a visual feast as they catch glimpses of towering peaks such as the Matterhorn, Weisshorn, Zinalrothorn, Obergabelhorn, and Dent Blanche. These monumental sentinels of the Alps become both markers of progress and symbols of the human spirit’s yearning to conquer the heights.
While the Sierre-Zinal trail run tests individual limits, it is also a celebration of community. The event attracts a diverse spectrum of participants, from elite runners aiming for podium glory to trail enthusiasts seeking to embrace the challenge.
This tapestry of runners, scenery and experiences that mirror life’s challenges and triumphs, it was all captured by iRewind. 11 cameras were installed on the course in 5 of the most spectacular and vibrant locations (start in Sierre, Ponchette, Chandolin, Hotel Weisshorn, finish line in Zinal), ranging from 500m altitude (Sierre) to the highest point of 2337 m (H Weishorn). We recorded the race non-stop from the first start, at 4:45 AM to the expected end time of 5 PM, covering more than 12h of non-stop filming. Personalized videos were delivered for all the adult and junior categories running the race (“touristes”, “elite”, “veterans” and “juniors”).
An additional layer of the event implementation was a co-created, first-of-its-kind activation developed with the race organisers and partners. Each participant received a special bottle, which has embedded a NFC chip, uniquely linked to the participant’s personalized video. Thus the participant could access his or her personalized video just with a simple scan of the NFC chip.