Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
sunny fun in the morning of the race at the"Cinque Torri", with the "Tofana di Rozes" in the background


Lavaredo Ultra Trail 26. - 28. June 2015

Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
Cortina - Skyline

„Lavaredo Ultra Trail“ –  three Magic words! Challenging words! Because they promise a maximum of alpine running pleasure!  „Misurina Lake“,  „Three Pinnacles“, „Val Travenanzes“, „Passo Falzarego“,  „Cinque Torri“,  „Passo Giau“, „Gusela“ or the tremendous cliff scenery of the „Croda da Lago“ are only some of the outstanding sections of this course, which is forging ahead the 2.000 m mark quite often. Speaking in figures, it is about 119 km and 5.850 m difference in altitude. Start is in the 1956 Winter Olympics  location „Cortina d’Ampezzo“, in the middle of the Dolomite Alps. In the evening hours of July 26, 2015 I was dying for the start of this incredible race…

Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
"Cinque Torri"
Lavaredo Ultra-Trail 2015
"Monte Rite", in Reinhold Messners Museum "Dolomites"

Kerstin and myself had providently planned our summer holiday so that “Lavaredo Ultra Trail” was the grand final after 2 weeks in the South Tyrolean mountains. A good decision, not only in view of acclimatization and a last training process in alpine terrain. More than 130 km in altitudes of above 1,000 m could be tackled previously.  A tremendous difference to our home terrain being at 65 m!! The ascent of the “Similaun” (3.606 m) was a good practice with thin air.  Well prepared, we travelled from “Alto Adige” into the province “Belluno”. „Cortina d’Ampezzo“ welcomed us with brilliant blue sky and a breathtaking Dolomite scenery. We explored city and surroundings, enjoyed the sun at the foot of “Cinque Torri”, the panorama of  “Monte Rite”, Reinhold Messners museum “Dolomites” and, not only once, delicious icecream in the centre of Cortina.

Lavaredo Ultra Trail
we were spectators at the "Cortina Skyrace"
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
everything is fine, it could be started

Getting the starter documents it got serious! A stressful check of mandatory equipment by the organizers was followed by as ample studies of the weather forecasts. They predicted best and sunny running weather with sporadic showers on Saturday evening. So, long rain pants repacked in the suitcase as well as a warm shirt. The last 2 hours we spent in a coffeehouse near the start with several Cappuccini to banish tiredness. Finally, I had to be wide awake for the next 24 hours. My declared goal was to finish below that mark, being 6 hours below time Limit.

Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
a little break, we enjoyed the calm
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
everywhere you can meet well-known runners

At 22h 30 we entered the starting block. 1.200 like-minded people from 56 countries in confined spaces, excited and strained all on edge, everybody with the same goal. A Babylonian symphony of languages. Then, Ennio Morricones “The Ecstasy of Gold” sounds above the heads – someone counts from 10 in Italian. Dieci – nove – otto – sette – sei – cinque – quattro – tre – due – uno – START, pure goosebumps feeling! A last “high five” with Kerstin and I start into the night.

Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
...quattro – tre – due –uno – S T A R T
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
View from "Rifugio Auronzo" on the path of ascension, deep down in the valley the "Lago di Misurina"
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
"Lago di Misurina" and "Tre Cime di Lavaredo"

Still it’s pitch dark! In the light of the headlamps we don’t really see the brute ascent to Lake Misurian –but we feel it! Then in the first morning light the sea and with it the marathon mark - 42 km. The skyline of the South walls of “Drei Zinnen”. Pathetically beautiful! The path is relentlessly wiggling uphill. If thighs could scream, I think mine would have. Next stop: “Auronzo hut”, at 2.333 m. It’s quite cold. I get some more provision from my dropbag . Inside the hut I take a warm soup, coke, bread and salt pills – all but a breakfast. Filling the hydration bag and here we go in direction of Paternsattel (2.457 m), but only after taking some pictures of the wonderful morning mood. Being 3 hours in advance of the cut off, I take my time.
From Paternsattel downhill again. At first on tricky trails, but then quite comfortably.  In a magic morning light, the North walls of “Drei Zinnen” remain in sight for a long time. “Lago di Landro” is the end of the downswing.  A less comfortable forest trail is leading to “Cimabanche”.  I’ve made 66 km now, no need to think about Cut off. The warm sunshine stimulates – not a suggestion of fatigue!

Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
"Rifugio Auronzo", km 48,5 at 6:45 in the morning
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
"Valon de Lavaredo"
Lavaredo Ultra Trail
on the "Paternsattel"
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
the most beautiful northfaces in the Alps
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
"Tre Cime di Lavaredo" - the northfaces and me*

After half a litre of Coke I start the next climb. A forest trail again, and it seems to be endless. At many backwaters on the wayside I dilute the Coke inside me and conserve the water stock in my backpack. At about 2.000 m I reach the highest point and the “Malga Ra Stua” is already at sight. 75 km, 2 plates of warm soup, again coke…. and the trail goes Downhill.

 


Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
Rienz-Tal" and "Tre Cime di Lavaredo"
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
"Cimabanche", km 66
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
"Croda Rossa", on the way to "Malga Ra Stua"
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
"Rio Fanes"

After 81 km the next climb begins at a height of 1.250 m and up to 2.300 m. Some children placed signs along the way, one is saying “Highway to Hell!” in red letters. The landscape is stunning beautiful! I should take a picture at the cascade “Rio Fanes”. The canyon is gorgeous! But I can’t pick me up to snap. Sweat  is pouring. I take off the sodden cap to master exudation. A little later I became giddy – sunstroke!? Short rest at a creek dunking my head in the stone-cold water. After a few minutes rest I hold my cap into the water and get it back on my head. Soon I’m feeling better and I can enjoy the gigantic “Val Travenanzes”, even if the trail is very hard to run, at least for me. At “Forcella Col dei Bos” (2.331 m) 4 carabinieri are guarding the event. One of them has got a coke! I will be grateful for ever… Up and down, 300 m lower and then at km 95 “Rifugio Col Gallina”. At the moment I reach this food point, a thunderstorm breaks out. Horizontal rain, drop of temperature from 18°C to 8°C ---- sh…, rain pants and the warm shirt is in the  suitcase! I don’t want to continue, due to the recent thunderbolts. So I can’t do nothing but pulling on all I have… and freeze. At 18h 30  the storm will be over, a German combatant announced after Internet research. Luckily it stopped earlier. 18h 08 I set off again. The mood of light is incredibly beautiful. Sunshine in the West and in the East some last thunders of the escaping storm.

Lavaredo Ultra Trail
"Val Travenanzes"
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
arduous way through the "Val Travenanzes"
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
"Tofana di Rozes", at the left of it the "Forcella Col dei Bos"
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
"Col Gallina" the day before --- dry and sunny
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
here i had to wait until the storm was over
Lavaredo Ultra Trail
on the trail to the"Refugio Averau"
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
under the scree slopes of the "Averau", the path to the Rifugio
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
downhill to the "Passo Giau"

Soon I reach „Rifugio Averau“ at 2.413 m. A big handicap is the muddy and slippery trail. “Mom will be very angry” I think, watching myself in the reflecting windows of the lodge. Along the West front of “Nuvolau” and “Gusela” it goes to “Passo Giau”. Food point – soup and coke, salt pills and a view over the valley till Cortina! But it’s still not downhill – not yet! “Forcella Col Piombin” (2.239 m) must be overcome before I can turn against the vale at the eastside of “Croda da Lago”. I put my headlamp on as night falls down again. As well some heavy rains go down! My shoes look like a mud pack as I reach “Rifugio Croda da Lago” (2.066 m). Still 9 km to go.  A warm potato and again Coke. 9 km – shoud be possible in an hour!? But the trail  disabused me. Soon it becomes a real mud groove. Painfully supported by my sticks or by means of branches and roots, I struggle downhill. By daylight, nobody would get the idea to walk along here. Endlessly later a forest trail – I reach it safely and without mud bath. A marshal tells me that it’s 4 km to go. I restart running. Not even 20 min later I reach the centre of Cortina! After 24:49:43 hours I succeeded. Lying in Kerstin’s arms I proudly pull on the finisher vest . Halleluja, what a ride!
I can’t even see Coke any more. Without detour towards the next bar and a huge beer is running nonstop and fizzy through my gorge.

Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
"Marmolada", "Queen of the Dolomites", from "Rifugio Averau"
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
alpine meadows
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
southwestface of the "Gusela"
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
"Cortina" from "Passo Giau"
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
the narrow path to "Forcella Col Piombin" and "Forcella Giau"
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
it's getting dark
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
at the finish line, happy but physically exhaustetd
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
awards

12 hours later. We sit at the cascades of “Rio Fanes”. A 5 km walk – I couldn’t detain this beautiful landscape from Kerstin. It’s awesome. Now I take my photos. We cool our feet in the creek and feel more than satisfied. I wanted to run below 24 hours. It didn’t work out, but deducting the storm break, my world is o.k. I’ve been more than 5 hours below Cut off, ranked as  499th from 750 finishers (1.200 starters) and got 4 more points for my application to “Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc” 2016. Not bad for a plainsman Tyrolean, I think…

Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
my shoes, hardly recognizable as such
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
relaxation

 

The winners in 2015:

Lavaredo Ultra Trail         Women      Caroline Chaverot (FRA)          13:40:34 hours
                                     Men           Dirdrik Hermansen (NoR)        12:34:29 hours
Cortina Trail        
            Women      Kim Spence (GBR)                  05:42:33 hours
                                     Men           Davide Cheraz (ITA)               04:43:08 hours
Cortina Skyrace               Women      Monica Gaspari (ITA)              01:52:05 hours
                                     Men           Manuel Speranza (ITA)           01:41:33 hours

Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015
Photos: Kerstin & Volker Roßberg, *fotoeventi.com

 the report was translated by Martina Kommel


to german version