Our history

The Gondo Marathon Association

The Gondo Event Association was founded in Ried-Brig on 20 January 2003. The Gondo Marathon Association is an association in the sense of Art. 60 ff. ZGB and aims to

  • to create positive images for Gondo
  • to organise the annual running event Gondo Event
  • to promote running within the framework of popular sport
  • to promote the region in terms of tourism and the economy

Gondo should live again

Gondo, the border village on the south side of the Simplon, was buried and cut in two by a huge landslide on 14 October 2000. Thirteen people lost their lives.

"Gondo should live again" was therefore the motto of the 1st Gondo Event. In fact, the two-day run at the beginning of August 2002 brought the first village festival since the catastrophe! 50 runners brought life back to the village with their sporting commitment, their enthusiasm and their will to persevere.

"No limits" was written on the T-shirts of runners and helpers. These two words have remained in the memory of the inhabitants of Gondo and they became the motto for the reconstruction of their village. "No limits" also applied to the 4th International Gondo Event! The two-day crosstrail with its unique atmosphere in the wonderful mountain world of the Simplon region offered everything a sportsman's heart could wish for. On the stages Gondo - Bistinenpass - Ried-Brig and Ried-Brig - Simplonpass - Furggu - Gondo, almost marathon distances and a total of 4000 metres in altitude were conquered. The (Nordic) walkers also got their money's worth on the one-day tour from Ried-Brig to Gondo.

In addition to the two-day Gondo Event (new Gondo Marathon since 2014) and the one-day Gondo Walking, the programme has also included the one-day Gondo Running since 2004, which leads through the Godo Gorge. But the main event is and remains the Gondo Event under the motto "no limits": 2 days, 2 marathons, 2 passes, 2 gorges, 3 valleys and a gold mine.

On the trail of Kaspar Jodok von Stockalper

History says that the Romans had already used the Simplon as an Alpine crossing. More than a thousand years later, in the late Middle Ages, the historic path between Brig and Gondo was developed into a mule track by Kaspar Jodok von Stockalper. The successful merchant was one of the great personalities of the Valais in the 17th century. In addition to muleteers and carters, merchants, scholars, jugglers and warriors, numerous pilgrims, monks and ecclesiastics also travelled over the Simplon Pass in the late Middle Ages. After Stockalper's heyday came to an end, the Simplon also lost its importance. Almost 100 years later, Napoleon Bonaparte had a large army road built over the Simplon in order to cross the pass with warriors, cannons and other war material.

The Stockalperweg in its present form was made accessible again by the "Ecomuseum Simplon" foundation between 1991 and 1994. In summer 2002, the section from Gondo to Gabi, i.e. the path through the Gondo Gorge, was rebuilt. This had become urgently necessary after the devastating storm of October 2000.

Initiator Sepp Schnyder presents "his" run
How did Sepp Schnyder come up with the idea of launching the Gondo event, this "unique" running experience?

"As an extreme sportsman who travels a lot in the mountains and to whom nature means a lot, I have always been preoccupied with the thought of one day being able to offer something "unique". The Gondo event can really be called "unique". The magnificent scenery on this side and on the other side of the Simplon alone compensates for the great exertions."