The North Face Lavaredo Ultra Trail (74 miles/119 kilometers with 19,200 feet/5,850 meters of climb) took place this weekend at Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomite mountains of northern Italy.
France’s Caroline Chaverot reset the women’s course record made by American Rory Bosio last year by an amazing 49 minutes to take the win in 13:40. She had a tussle with her fellow French compatriot Nathalie Mauclair who led from the start but was reeled in by a super-strong Chaverot just after 48k. But Mauclair is made of tough stuff and held on for a superb second place, also beating Bosio’s course record by four minutes to finish in 14:25. Brazil’s Fernanda Maciel worked hard throughout, holding on to third place from around the 48k mark at Auronzo and finishing in 15:18.
An exciting men’s race unfolded that eventually gave Norwegian Didrik Hermansen his first major win as he celebrated with the finish-line crowds of Cortina in a fast time of 12:34. Frenchman Erik Clavery, who had taken the early lead all the way through 33k, slipped back to as low as fifth, and then revived and fought his way back to an incredible second place in 13:01. The third and final place on the podium went to Spain’s Yeray Durán who was truly emotional on the finish line just three minutes behind Clavery in 13:04.
As usual, we’ll be updating this article with additional results as well as links to Lavaredo-related articles, photo galleries, and race reports. Check back!
2015 Lavaredo Ultra Trail Men’s and Women’s Races
On a mild night in the Italian Dolomites, 1,200 runners amassed in the streets of Cortina for the ninth edition of the Lavaredo Ultra Trail, awaiting the gun at 11 p.m. that signaled the beginning of an adventure amongst these beautiful mountains.
In what seems to be standard practice in Europe, the pace off the start was fast. By the first checkpoint at Ospitale (18k), Erik Clavery had gained himself a one-minute lead. British runner Lee Kemp, who eventually finished sixth, was next followed by a pack of runners around one to two minutes behind, including Canadian David Jeker, Italian Fulvio Dapit, Frenchman Freddy Thevenin, another Brit (living in the U.S.) Nick Clark, and Didrik Hermansen.
Mauclair had gone out strong and at this stage had a four minutes lead over Chaverot with Maciel a further five minutes behind.
As they proceeded to Federvecchia at 33k, the runners were faced with a steep, 500-meter climb, but this did not seem to deter Clavery who emerged first but now with Spaniard Yeray Durán hot on his heels. Kemp was now four minutes down but looking totally in control. Incredibly, Hermansen had moved up three places to fifth and only six minutes off the lead. New Zealander Scott Hawker had taken that first section steady and was now moving up the field, lying in sixth place.
Mauclair still led at this 33k mark and had stretched out an additional two minutes on Chaverot. But Maciel had obviously found this section tough and dropped a further eight minutes on second place but was now in fourth with French lady Claire Nedelec moving up the into the third spot.
A steep climb to Refugio Auronzo was next and as the various crews waited for thier runners, espressos in hand, Durán was the first to stride through. A quick refuel by his efficient crew and he was out in less than 90 seconds just as Dapit came into the checkpoint. Three minutes later and we had a new third place with Hawker and Hermansen literally right behind him. In what was a trademark effort, Hermansen grabbed what he needed from his crew and was cheered out of the refugio within seconds, leaving Hawker refueling. What had happened to Clavery, had he dropped? No, but he had obviously found the climb up to the Refugio tough. He had dropped a total of nine minutes from the leader and there was still 71k to go. Was this the slippery slope for this Frenchmen?
Around 23 minutes off the lead man, Mauclair arrived still in the lead, but only just as Chaverot was now only two minutes behind. What lay next was a 19k, down-and-flat section to Cimabanche at 67k and it was where Chaverot made her decisive move to win the race. By the time she arrived, she had not only passed Mauclair but she now had a three-minute lead and it was a lead she was never going to relinquish despite some bad patches later on.
The section down from Refugio Auronzo was also instrumental in the men’s race. Hermansen, who was fourth now, laid down the gauntlet to the rest of the field by charging down the mountain, displaying his superb race speed on the flat section. He took the lead by a clear minute. Similarly to Chaverot, it was a lead he was never to lose. Durán, Dapit, and Hawker remained in the same order although Durán looked particularly fatigued at this halfway point.
Another 500-meter climb faced them as they headed toward 75k and the checkpoint at Malga Ra Stua. Hermansen was comfortably in the lead from Dapit but Durán’s fatigue showed and he had dropped to third with Hawker still in fourth with a 15-minute gap separating these top four. The race was on but little did anyone know that Clavery had revived and was about to fight back. Meanwhile, Chaverot had built up a four-minute lead over Mauclair as they came into the lush pastureland of Malga Ra Stua.
It was now a question of who had looked after themselves and who would be strong enough to hang onto the finish as there was still a tough, 800-meter climb to get to the 95k point of Col Gallina. Hermansen remained strong and had increased his lead to 10 minutes from a now-fighting Durán in second place. Hermansen’s approach to checkpoints remained the same as his crew ran beside him, swapping over bottles. It was at this point that Dapit threw in the towel with a DNF. Hawker, who knew he was being chased down, took a phone call from his wife in New Zealand and moved out quickly. He didn’t have time to see then but he would see it later: a revived Clavery was on the charge and he was only five minutes behind.
At Passo Giau and 102k, it’s a spectacular scene with the mountains behind the runners. Hermansen’s determination had enabled him to stretch out his lead over Durán to 20 minutes. With only 17k to go, victory was his unless something went seriously wrong. But for Durán, second place was not a certainty. Clavery had passed Hawker, who had taken a wrong turn, and was now nine minutes behind Durán.
Chaverot was increasing her lead over Mauclair with every kilometer she passed and was well within the course record. The crowds at the Cortina finish became excited.
Didrik Hermansen was expected in Cortina any minute. As he came into view, he moved from side to side to high-five the fans and take in this wonderful moment before crossing the finish line. It had taken him 12:34:29 to traverse the course. He was ecstatic but calm.
Erik Clavery had charged out early in the race, dropped back, and then revived when dawn had broken to work his way back up and past the field to take second place in 13:01:07. There were tears in his eyes as he crossed the line. It had been one hell of a journey for him.
And as for Yeray Durán, he hung on, fighting to claim the final podium spot in 13:04:16. His celebrations were as if he had won the race, so celebratory was his journey through these mountains.
We didn’t wait that long for the first lady to cross the line. Caroline Chaverot crossed the finish line arms raised and crowds applauding her achievement. Not only had she crossed the line in 10th overall, she reset the course record by 49 minutes in 13:40:34.
Nathalie Mauclair must have found the final stretch into Cortina hard but second place was hers. She was greeted excitedly by the awaiting fans in Cortina. Mauclair crossed the line in 14:25:02 and four minutes within the old course record. Fernanda Maciel had struggled and then revived her race, picking up places and eventually finishing in a satisfying third place and 15:18:35.
2015 Lavaredo Ultra Trail Men’s Results
- Didrik Hermansen — 12:34:29
- Erik Clavery — 13:01:07
- Yeray Durán — 13:04:16
- Scott Hawker — 13:16:56
- René Rovera — 13:25:00
- Lee Kemp — 13:26:23
- Stephan Quentin — 13:28:51
- Marco Zanchi — 13:29:56
- Nick Clark — 13:39:04
- Moises Jimenez — 13:47:56
2014 Lavaredo Ultra Trail Women’s Results
- Caroline Chaverot — 13:40:34
- Nathalie Mauclair — 14:25:02
- Fernanda Maciel — 15:18:35
- Gill Fowler — 15:39:43
- Manu Vilaseca — 15:55:59
- Denise Zimmermann — 16:09:51
- Andrea Huser — 16:09:51
- Marie McNaughton — 16:28:42
- Claire Nedelec — 16:41:39
- Lisa Borzani — 16:58:07
2015 Lavaredo Ultra Trail Articles, Race Reports, and More
Articles and Photo Galleries
- Official short recap video
- Running Post’s article and Pierluigi Benini’s photos
- Outdoor Sport Festival’s video
We would like to thank the following people who helped with iRunFar’s live coverage: Emily Chang, Pauliina Baretta, Gary Dalton, Scott Hawker’s crew member Ben, and the rest of The North Face crew.