It’s the end of June and for many ultrarunners around the world the focus of attention will naturally gravitate towards the iconic Western States 100 celebrating its 41st year and starting in Squaw Valley, California. In Europe that same weekend, some of the world’s top skyrunners will congregate in Chamonix to compete in the Skyrunning World Championships. And, just over 600 kilometres away from Chamonix, the The North Face Lavaredo Ultra Trail, the seventh event on the 2014 Ultra-Trail World Tour calendar, is about to take place in heart of the Dolomite region of northern Italy at Cortina d’Ampezzo.
The Lavaredo Ultra Trail starts at 11 p.m. CEST on Friday, June 27 in Italy (which is 3 p.m. MDT on Friday in the U.S.) and is a 119k race that has been won by the likes of Sebastien Spehler, Iker Karrera, Sebastien Chaigneau, and Csaba Nemeth for the men and Cheryl Beatty, Francesca Canepa, and Fernanda Maciel for the women. In its 119k, runners take in 5,850 metres of vert over three main climbs. The 800 participants will reach a max height of just under 2,500 metres in the 31 hours that they have to compete this grueling course.
Coming just two months before the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc and on the same type of Alpine trails, it offers the elite runners a solid ‘training run’ to test out their ascending and descending abilities on a distance that is roughly three quarters that of UTMB.
Its sister race, the Cortina Trail, with a shorter distance of 47k and 2,650 meters of vert, has a 12-hour cut off, so it’s not for the fainthearted either.
This year’s field is just as competitive as previous editions of the race. There is a strong international contingent of men’s and women’s elite runners as well as a wealth of home-grown Italian talent, and we are sure that the international entrants are not here just to sample the fine Italian wine and food that will no doubt be on offer. Here we outline the top picks in both the men and women’s fields.
iRunFar will provide live coverage of the Lavaredo Ultra Trail. Stay tuned!
There is stack load of talent in this field. Many of them will be dicing it out on the UTMB course at the end of August. Lavaredo is just like the prosciutto in an Italian-inspired dinner menu, a tasty appetizer to UTMB but equally as great on its own.
In the men’s race, Mike Foote has got to be a podium contender as he will undoubtedly grind out yet another solid performance. Anton Krupicka has not raced much recently due to injury but he will be looking to get some Alps training ahead of UTMB and to return strong from his DNF there last year. If he is fighting fit, then a podium spot is on the cards. We would also pick Yeray Duran and Antoine Guillon who are both chasing UTWT points and had near-podium spots at Transgrancanaria this year with fourth and fifth respectively.
The women’s race we reckon will be a battle of the Italians with some top foreign talent thrown in the mix. Namely, Italians Francesca Canepa and Katia Fori fighting it out with international talent Rory Bosio, Nerea Martinez Urruzola, and Lizzie Wraith. It’s going to be exciting at the front of the field; will Rory destroy not only the women’s field but also place highly overall just as she did at UTMB last year? Watch out men, Rory’s coming through!
- Anton Krupicka (USA) – (running the 2014 UTMB) – after plenty of time out with injury, he has returned to form with two wins in May, 2014 at the Jemez Mountains 50 Mile and Dirty Thirty 50k.
- Mike Foote (USA) – (running the 2014 UTMB) – third place 2014 Moab Red Hot 50k, fifth place at the 2013 Lavaredo, fifth place 2013 UTMB.
- Dave Mackey (USA) – eighth place Hong Kong 100k.
- Sebastien Camus (France) – (2014 UTMB) – second place 2013 CCC, a sister race to UTMB.
- Antoine Guillon (France) – (UTMB 2014 and Tor des Géants 2014) – fifth place 2014 Transgrancanaria, 14th place 2014 Hong Kong 100k, looking to better his eighth-place finish at UTMB in 2011.
Vincent Delebarre (France) – (UTMB 2014) – 25th place 2014 Hong Kong 100k.
- Christophe Le Saux (France) – (UTMB 2014) – 14th place 2014 Transrancanaria, 15th place 2014 Hong Kong 100k, fifth place 2014 Marathon des Sables.
- Cyril Cointre (France) – (2014 OCC, a sister race to UTMB) – eighth place Transgrancanaria, 11th place Hong Kong 100k, 13th place MdS, all in 2014.
- Yeray Duran (Spain) – (UTMB 2014) – third and fourth place Transgrancanaria 2013 and 2014.
- Scott Hawker (New Zealand) – fifth place 2014 Hong Kong 100k.
- John Tidd (Spain) – 10th place 2013 UTMB.
- Sondre Amdahl (Norway) – sixth place Transgrancanaria 2014, winner Highland Fling 53 Mile 2014.
Piotr Hercog (Poland) – 13th place 2014 Transgrancanaria.
- Emmanuel Gault (France) – (UTMB 2014) – winner 2011 CCC, winner 2014 EcoTrail de Paris.
- Sylvain Camus (France) – (UTMB 2014) – Brother to Sebastien and with an adventure-racing background. This distance would appear to be a first.
- Ivan Geronazzo – 2013 Lavaredo third-place finisher.
- Stefano Trisconi – (UTMB 2014) – fourth place 2013 Lavaredo.
- Filippo Canetta – (UTMB 2014) – 18th place 2014 Transgrancanria, 23rd 2013 Lavaredo, winner 2013 Bryce 100 Mile.
- Ivano Molin – 14th place 2013 Lavaredo.
- Stefano Gregoretti – Winner 2012 Grand to Grand Ultra.
- Rory Bosio (USA) – (running the 2014 UTMB ) – winner 2014 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile – New York, and winner 2013 UTMB.
- Nerea Martinez Urruzola (Spain) – (running the 2014 TDS and 2014 Tor des Géants) – winner 2013 Transgrancanaria, fifth place 2014 Hong Kong 100k, fifth place 2014 Transgrancanaria.
Lizzie Wraith (Great Britain) – (UTMB 2014) – winner 2013 Lakeland 100 Mile and third place 2013 Lavaredo.[Update 6/27: Lizzie Wraith is not racing.]
- Manu Vilaseca (Brasil) – fifth 2014 Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji
- Ildiko Wermescher (Hungary) – fourth place 2014 Trangrancanaria.
[Editor’s Note: The USA’s Ashley Arnold is still on the entrants list but she isn’t running.]
- Francesca Canepa – (Tor des Géants 2014) – winner 2012 Lavaredo, winner 2014 Hong Kong 100k, second place 2014 Transgrancanaria.
- Simona Morbelli – (UTMB 2014) – respective fourth and ninth places at the 2013 and 2012 CCC.
- Lisa Borzani – (TDS 2014) – second place TDS 2013.
- Katia Fori – third place 2012 Lavaredo, fifth place 2012 UTMB, fourth place 2013 UTMB.
Call for Comments (from Meghan)
- Who do you see winning the men’s and women’s races? How about the rest of the podium?
- Whose fitness and preparations do you know about? If you think someone is extra prepared, let us know!
- How do you see the race going down, strategy-wise? Who will take things out? Who will surge at the end? Who will surprise us?