The Lavaredo Ultra Trail (119 kilometers and 5,850 meters of climb) took place this weekend at Cortina d’Ampezzo in northern Italy.
Caroline Chaverot of France claimed her second victory at Lavaredo in a winning time of 14:05 and 12th overall. Chaverot now has the two fastest times including the course record of 13:40 that she set in 2015.
Fabien Antolinos of France claimed his first major victory with a stunning win in a fast time of 12:32 and only 17 minutes off the course record. He raced within himself for the first half and used that as a foundation to move strongly through the field to finish for the win.
2017 Lavaredo Ultra Trail Men’s and Women’s Races
After a stormy preceding night, the conditions happened to be perfectly cool and dry enough for the 11 p.m. start in the centre of Cortina for the 11th edition of the Lavaredo Ultra Trail. As the runners amassed, the music blared out and the atmosphere became euphoric as the seconds ticked by, getting ever closer to the start time.
It’s always a fast start at Lavaredo and this year was no exception, Catalan Pau Capell and a strong race favorite with his impressive streak of performances was leading it out and working together with New Zealand’s Scott Hawker as they reached Ospitale at the 18-kilometer mark. They had already created a one-minute lead on the chasing pack that included Norway’s Didrik Hermansen and American Seth Swanson.
The women’s race had already set its stage, New Zealand’s Ruth Croft and Caroline Chaverot came in to the Ospitale aid station within seconds of each other. They had already stretched the gap on Poland’s Ewa Majer and Italian Lisa Borzani to seven minutes, such was this opening frenetic pace.
The race proceeds through the forested trails with a short climb to Son Forca and into Federavecchia followed by a much bigger climb to Refugio Auronzo at 48k. Still with the lead came a strong Capell but now on his own as Hawker was having stomach problems and would drop much later. Swanson topped out the climb to the refugio looking deadly and in the hunt and ready to close that 10-minute gap. Hermansen and Lithuanian Gediminas Grinius were showing their experience and had moved up to third and fourth. Race winner Antolinos was clearly in good shape as he arrived less than one minute later and only 17 minutes off the lead.
Chaverot arrived at the refugio in 5:22 elapsed with Croft three minutes later and very much looking to stay in touch and perhaps hustle Chaverot out of first place.
As it happened for both the women’s and men’s races, the strategic advantage was to significantly change at around 67k at Cimabanche. After the tough climb to Auronzo, there is a long downhill stretch and a relatively flat section in and out of Cimabanche followed by a much shorter climb and a lovely descent to 75k and Malga Ra Stua.
It was at Cimabanche that two significant things happened. Croft had been charging and was literally steps behind Chaverot at Cimabanche but that was to be the closest she would get to Chaverot who would step up the pace. Antolinos was in fifth and some 31 minutes behind leader Capell who was working hard to create a gap on Swanson. From Cimabanche to Malga Ra Stua and eventually to Col Gallina at 95k after a steep climb, Antolinos had made up those 31 minutes and was now in the lead. A superb section of running, but he did have a problem, a strong Swanson was hot on his heels and looking to close that gap.
It was at Col Gallina that Capell, who arrived in third, would drop with dehydration issues. This put Italian favorite Fulvio Dapit in third ahead of Hermansen. But it was not this Norwegian that he had to fear, it was another one, Erik-Sebastian Krogvig, who had been running in seventh or eighth most of the way. By Passo Giau at 104k, Krogvig was hot on the heels of Dapit.
By the time Chaverot had reached Col Gallina, she had put 25 minutes on Croft and it was only to stretch out more as the remaining kilometers passed by.
After losing the lead to Swanson briefly over the remaining climb, Fabien Antolinos had managed to fight back to regain his lead. He came into Cortina with around a two-minute lead, leaving him the opportunity to savour the crowds cheering as he came to the finish line for his first major victory. He ran a smart race. Krogvig had also raced hard and smart and unfortunately for Dapit took the third and last place on the podium.
The announcers called her the ‘Queen of Cortina’ and who could deny her that title, Caroline Chaverot powered her way to the finish line to claim yet another impressive victory and her second at Lavaredo. Croft had run a tough race, had tried to hustle Chaverot, but was out paced. That said, she never gave in and was rewarded with second place. Borzani ran strong all the way, holding third place from way back before Refugio Aurunzo but was unable to sustain the pace of either Chaverot or Croft.
2017 Lavaredo Ultra Trail Men’s Results
- Fabien Antolinos (Mizuno) – 12:32:34
- Seth Swanson (The North Face) – 12:34:41
- Erik-Sebastian Krogvig – 13:09:21
- Fulvio Dapit (Crazy) – 13:11:23
- Robert Hajnal – 13:24:30
- Didrik Hermansen (Asics) – 13:28:21
- Damian Hall (Inov-8) – 13:28:38
- Sébastien Chaigneau (The North Face) – 13:29:45
- Andris Ronimoiss – 13:42:48
- Julien Chorier (Hoka One One)- 13:45:32
2017 Lavaredo Ultra Trail Women’s Results
- Caroline Chaverot (Salomon) – 14:05:45
- Ruth Croft (Scott) – 14:51:36
- Lisa Borzani (Tecnica)- 15:53:49
- Maud Gobert – 16:09:30
- Ewa Majer – 16:23:33
- Luzio Bühler – 16:30:51
- Aliza Lapierre (Salomon) – 16:51:46
- Roxane Ardiet – 17:41:38
- Jo Meek (Scott) – 18:08:47
- Vroni Heidrich – 18:22:14