Whether you run the full 120km of the The North Face® Lavaredo Ultra Trail or whether you go for the medium distance of the Cortina Trail, or whether you wish to run fast and hard in the Cortina Skyrace… or even if you are ‘just’ there to accompany trail running friends or family. Whatever the case… the spectacular North Face® Lavaredo Ultra Trail, that takes place in the Italian Dolomites in June each year is bound to leave you with a trunk stuffed full of multi-flavoured memories.
In Search The Trail Zen
This year Italy on Trail were at the race start. Trying to get our trail heads around the whole affair and wondering what it must feel like to pin that much desired race bib to your top. Probably with trembling hands.
But we weren’t here to run (this year at least) but to absorb the atmosphere and drink up some of that Ultra-Fizzy-Trail-Vibe. And with plenty of international trail runners participating, we thought we’d capture some of those pre-race smiles…. Smiles for Miles as one Trail runner put it.
Although slightly awed by the grandness of it all we remain shamelessly smitten and have come up with our 5 reasons why The North Face® Lavaredo Ultra Trail is worth…
- A) The significant amount of training that you’ll have to put in to attempt the 120km distance with 5.800 elevation gain without having to resort to anything resembling a death march after midway point.
- B) The economics of actually having to get there, – we’re talking ‘abroad’ unless you live in Italy of course.
- C) The disruption (positive and negatives) that it’s bound to bring to your lifestyle.
Of course if you’re an elite athlete reading this, you’ll already be comfortable with most of the above… but for most trail running folk, the thought of running the 120k The North Face® Lavaredo Ultra Trail, can be quite titanic to say the least…
Italy on Trail’s Reasons to Live The L.U.T. Experience
LUT Reason #1 The Picture Postcard Effect
You’ll be running in the world renowned Dolomites. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009 – they extend over three regions: Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige and Fruili Venezia Giulia. Not to be considered as a continuous mountain chain, but as nine separate mountain systems, each with their own characteristics.
Each year these craggy mountains attract thousands of adventure enthusiasts from all over the globe. For more details on the location: read our Introduction to The Dolomites.
LUT Reason #2 The Big Event Factor
This is your chance to participate in a truly international event, with a professional, slick organization, The North Face® Lavaredo Ultra Trail is world class.
With a Running Expo to divert all brain cells away from the upcoming feat, various ongoing trail themed events, walks, talks, presentations, and an International Bar Circuit, it’s akin to a Trail and Mountain Festival.
Top that with the with a buzzing atmosphere simmering with anticipation and excitement filling the streets of Cortina and you may risk going into party-mode.
LUT Reason #3 The Personal Satisfaction Booster
Nothing is simple. It’s hard enough to get in, the number of applicants far exceeds the number of slots available. And if you do get in, well then you’ll have to get down to some pretty serious training.
The Italian Trails are challenging, and according to British Coach Martin Trout – you’ll have to deal with altitude, tired legs, night time running, hard, dolomitic terrain, steep ascents and descents, equipment dilemma, race strategy, and plus the emotional challenge of being part of a big event which can be a roller coaster ride on its own.
But, train well, prepare thoroughly, and cultivate the right attitude, and you’ll conquer the The North Face® Lavaredo Ultra Trail, and no matter what your time, you’ll cross the finish line a winner!
LUT Reason #4 That Run With The Elite Moment
The North Face® Lavaredo Ultra Trail, is a fixture on many an elite athlete’s calendar. The Top teams will all be sending athletes to the start line.
So elbow your way up to to the front and you may find yourself exchanging pre-race pleasantries (or angst) with the likes of…. UK athlete, Outdoor Journalist Damian Hall (who came up with the apt hashtag #goingtotheLav), Andy Symonds, Scott Hawker, Gediminas Grinius, Didrik Hermansen, Jez Bragg, Seth Swanson, Fabien Antolinos, Caroline Chaverot, Andrea Huser, Nathalie Mauclair, Jo Meek, Rory Bosio, Lizzie Wraith, Ruth Croft…
Of course the list could go on for a LONG time…. If you can’t make it to the front grid at the start, you can always enjoy a virtual chase along the course.
LUT Reason #5 The Well Deserved Break Factor
So the idea is that you run the race, finish well and deserve a reward. The vicinity of the area to some brilliant places to visit for a micro-holiday is a major plus.
You can reach Venice in under two hours or visit lesser known Trieste in under three, or head westwards towards San Candido in the Val Pusteria and see take a more leisurely hike along the Dolomites, with Misurina and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo to be seen and savoured.
Travel south-west and you’ll reach Lake Garda, which we’ve covered in this guide, the perfect place for some post-race contemplation.
The North Face® Lavaredo Ultra Trail – official website
Maria Elisabetta Bellini is Italyontrail.com’s founder, born in the U.K, she came to running whilst living in Italy, where she still lives and trains. Never ceasing to marvel at what’s at the summit of a hill, or around the bend along the trail, she loves using trail running as a means to explore nature, contemplation and Italy.