This weekend, The North Face Lavaredo Ultra Trail will take place in the heart of the Dolomite region of northern Italy at Cortina d’Ampezzo. Last year’s winners Anton Krupicka and Rory Bosio are both not returning, opening the race to new champions. This is the sixth race in the 2015 Ultra-Trail World Tour.
At 119 kilometers in length, on typical European Alpine trails, and coming just two months before the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, it offers runners a solid UTMB ‘training run’ to test their ascending and descending abilities. In its 119k, runners take in 5,850 metres of vert over three main climbs, allowing them to also enjoy Italy’s Dolomites as well. The race’s 800 participants will reach a max altitude of just under 2,500 metres in the 31 hours that they have to compete the course.
This year’s field is just as competitive as previous editions of the race. There is a strong men’s and women’s international contingent as well some talented Italian runners who will be competing for the podium. Here we outline top entrants in both the women’s and men’s fields.
The Lavaredo Ultra Trail starts at 11 p.m. CEST on Friday, June 26 in Italy (which is 3 p.m. MDT on Friday in the U.S.). iRunFar will provide some live coverage of the Lavaredo Ultra Trail. Stay tuned!
2015 TNF Lavaredo Ultra Trail Women’s Preview
Nathalie Mauclair (France) – Nathalie is fresh off her win of the IAU Trail World Championships (interview), as well as a heckuva 2014 of racing including a third at Western States (interview), third at UTMB (interview), and a win of the Diagonale des Fous. She runs hot off the start line so she’ll probably be pushing the pace early.
- Caroline Chaverot (France) – Caroline has to be among the women’s favorites in the international contingent, as she’s coming off a commanding second place at the 2015 IAU Trail World Championships (interview) as well as a second at the 2015 Transgrancanaria (interview).
- Emilie LeComte (France) – Last year, Emilie’s two big performances were a second at the 170k Ronda dels Cims and a win of the 330k Tor des Géants. She will contend, but the main question here is if 119k is enough territory for her to get the job done.
- Fernanda Maciel (Brazil) – Last year, Fernanda raced prolifically, including third at Transgrancanaria (interview), second at Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji (interview), third at The North Face 100k – Australia, eighth at the Skyrunning World Championships in the Ultra category, and fourth at UTMB. Phew! This year she’s been mostly quiet, aside from a failed attempt at setting a speed record on South America’s Aconcagua. Will being rested help Fernanda improve on her already strong running?
- Andrea Huser (Switzerland) – Andrea is proving herself strong at longer European mountain races. She was seventh at UTMB last year, fourth at Transgrancanaria this year, and just recently fifth at the IAU Trail World Championships. Andrea starts conservatively, so look for her to move up as the night and day go on.
- Manu Vilaseca (Brazil) – Fifth Transgrancanaria 2015, fifth UTMF 2014
- Ester Alves (Portugal) – Sixth Transgrancanaria 2015, eighth UTMB 2014
- Denise Zimmermann (Switzerland) – Third Tor des Géants 2014, 12th Transgrancanaria 2015, 15th IAU Trail World Championships 2015
- Gill Fowler (Australia) – Fourth TNF 100k – Australia 2014; fifth Wasatch 100 Mile 2014
- Stephanie Case (Canada) – sixth Hong Kong 100k 2015, 11th UTMB 2014
- Ligia Madrigal (Costa Rica)
- Marie McNaughton (New Zealand)
- Sarah Willis (USA)
Francesca Canepa – Francesca was second here last year, and she was the 2013 Lavaredo winner. In addition to her Lavaredo performance last year, she had a huge first half of 2014, including winning the 2014 Hong Kong 100k, taking second at the 2014 Transgrancanaria (interview), and winning the 2014 Eiger Ultra Trail. After being disqualified during the 2014 Tor des Géants for missing a the timing check-in at a checkpoint, Francesca went basically quiet on the competitive international scene (with the exception of starting but dropping from the 2015 Hong Kong 100k in January), though she’s been racing in Italy and in less-competitive international races with frequency.
- Lisa Borzani – Third Hong Kong 100k 2015, 11th IAU Trail World Championships 2015
- Katia Fori – Third place Lavaredo 2014, third place Lavaredo 2012
- Annemarie Gross – Second Dolomiti Extreme Trail 2015
- Yulia Baykova (Italy) – A strong Italian mountain runner who experienced a life-threatening medical condition over the winter. We doubt she has her full fitness back yet.
2015 The North Face Lavaredo Ultra Trail Men’s Preview
Timothy Olson (USA) – The men’s international field has a couple potential favorites, and one of them is Timothy Olson. You know, he’s the guy with the course record at Western States (interview). While he had a rough go of Transvulcania earlier this year in finishing way back, among his 2014 performances were a third at Transgrancanaria (interview) and 10th at The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-Mile Championships.
- Nick Clark (USA) – He’s been quiet on the high-level scene of late, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been running. He’s a five-time WS 100 finisher, including a pair of third places. Last month as a Lavaredo tune-up, Nick won the Jemez Mountain 50 Mile and was more than 20 minutes up on the next guy. Word among his running peers is that he’s fit, so we expect him to contend.
- Scott Hawker (New Zealand) – He’s riding high from his very strong second at the TNF 100k – Australia last month among a big international field (interview). While he was seventh and an hour back from the win here at Lavaredo last year, something tells me he’s going to be in the thick of things this year.
- Didrik Hermansen (Norway) – He just ran to a super solid 10th at the 2015 IAU Trail World Championships, and he was second at the 2015 Transgrancanaria. He should be in contention.
- Fulvio Dapit (Italy) – Fourth Ice Trail Tarentaise 2014, ninth The Rut 50k 2014; he was in contention for the win last year but dropped at 75k
- Aurelien Collet (France) – Third Diagonale des Fous 2014
- Yeray Duran (Spain) – Fourth Transgrancanaria 2014, fourth Ultra Pirineu 2014; a less stellar 15th at the TNF 100k – Australia last month
- John Tidd (Spain) – 12th UTMF 2014, 16th UTMB 2014
- Sebastien Camus (France) – 14th Zane Grey 50 Mile 2015, 11th Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2014
- Remi Queral Ibanez (Spain) – Seventh Transgrancanaria 2015
Danny Kendall (Great Britain) – Eighth Marathon des Sables 2015[Update, June 23: Danny Kendall is not racing.]
- Freddy Thevenin (Réunion Island) – Eighth Transgrancanaria 2015
- Piotr Hercog (Poland) – 10th Transgrancanaria 2015, 15th Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2014
- Mark Lee (Australia)
- Daniel Rowland (South Africa)
- Moises Jimenez (Chile)
- Ivan Geronazzo – Ivan should be the top-performing Italian man. He was just 26th at the IAU Trail World Championships last month, and was fifth at Lavaredo last year and third in 2013.
- Ivano Molin – 20th Lavaredo 2014
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?
- How do you see the race going down, strategy-wise? Let us know your thoughts!