The Lavaredo Ultra Trail takes place on June 23 in the Dolomites, Italy and has traditionally been one of the most competitive races in the Ultra Trail World Tour (UTWT). The route is a 120 kilometre point to point course with around 5800 metres of elevation gain starting and finishing in the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo. This year’s field is deep as usual and features a nice mix of European, American and Oceanic talent.
The women’s field is headed by Lisa Borzani, Caroline Chaverot, Ruth Croft and Fernanda Maciel. Lisa has been racing for many years and brings a huge history of consistent results and experience to the table, in 2015 she was 3rd at Vibram100 and 10th at Lavaredo Ultra Trail, in 2016 she was 2nd at Vibram100, 3rd at Maxi Race and 1st at Tor des Geants, and most recently in 2017 she has been 8th at Transgrancanaria 125k, 3rd Madeira Island Ultra Trail 115k and 2nd at Maxi Race. Lisa is consistent however she races often so although I think she will feature on the podium, she will have to work very hard for the win given her competition.
Caroline is arguably the strongest female trail runner on the circuit at the moment for races over the 100 kilometre distance. Given her strengths over mountainous terrain and list of first place finishes over of the past couple years it is highly likely she will take out the win. In 2015 she was 2nd at Transgrancanaria 125k, 1st at Lavaredo Ultra Trail and 1st at Eiger Ultra Trail 101k, in 2016 she was 1st at Transgrancanaria 125k, 1st at Madeira Island Ultra Trail 115k, 1st at Mont Blanc 80k and 1st at Ultra Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB), and so far in 2017 she was been 1st at Maxi Race.
Ruth is a New Zealander living in Taiwan and has made a huge splash on the trail running scene the last two years. In 2015 she was 2nd at Tarawera Ultra, 1st at Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix (CCC) and 4th at the North Face 50 Mile Championships, in 2016 she was 3rd at Transvulcania, 2nd at Trofeo Kima, 4th at Glen Coe Skyline and 3rd at the North Face 50 Mile Championships, and she has had cracking start to 2017 with wins in the Tarawera 60k and Translantau 50k.
The final woman who I think is capable of winning, if not finishing on the podium, is Fernanda Maciel. Fernanda has demonstrated remarkable consistency in her racing over the years, especially with regard to this race where she has finished 3rd the last two years. In 2015 she was also 3rd at Ultra Trail Mount Fuji (UTMF), in 2016 she was 3rd at Marathon des Sables and so far in 2017 she has been 7th at Tarawera Ultra and 3rd at the Marathon des Sables. The finale female podium positions will probably come from the above group of women, but there are several other female runners who will be keeping them honest.
Other female contenders all certainly within a podium shout include:
- Lizzy Hawker – 1st Kathmandu 80k Ultra Trail 2016, 9th Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2016
- Aliza Lapierre – 8th Transgrancanaria 125k 2015, 2nd UTMF 2015, 1st Georgia Death Race 2017
- Emma Roca – 5th Western States Endurance Run (WSER) 2015, 2nd Hardrock 100 2016, 3rd Grand Raid Reunion 2016
- Cristiana Follador – 10th Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2013, 13th Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015, 4th Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2016
- Yulia Baykova – 4th Maxi Race 2014, 10th Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2016, 6th CCC 2016
- Juliette Blanchet – 2nd Maxi Race 2015, 4th UTMB 2016, 7th Transgrancanaria 125k 2017
- Ildiko Wermescher – 7th UTMB 2016, 5th Transgrancanaria 125k 2017
The men’s field is headed by a powerhouse of European talent, namely Francois d’Haene, Pau Capell, Didrik Hermansen, Gediminius Grinius, Seth Swanson, Julien Chorier and Seb Chaigneau. Francois seems to be strong on any mountainous course over 100k and seems to have tailored back his racing the last couple years in order to focus on quality. He had a monstrous 2014 season where he dominated everything and was probably left feeling overcooked at the end, although running a vineyard also probably has something to do with it. In 2016 he was 1st at Vibram100 and Grand Raid Reunion, and so far in 2017 he has been 1st at Madiera Island Ultra Trail 115k and Maxi Race.
Pau is still young but has shown himself to be a force to be reckoned with and in 2016 alone, he was 4th at Vibram100, 3rd at Transgrancanaria 125k, 1st at Ultra Trail Australia 100 and 6th at Lavaredo Ultra Trail. So far in 2017 he has been 1st at Transgrancanaria and 2nd at Madeira Island Ultra Trail 115k. He appears to be going from strength to strength, and will certainly be in contention for the win.
Didrik has had a great last few years of racing with success in a variety of terrains and countries, and having won this race before in 2015 he will certainly be pushing for the win again. In 2015 he was also 2nd at Transgrancanaria 125k and 3rd at UltraVasan90, in 2016 he was 1st at Transgrancanaria 125 and 2nd at WSER, in 2017 so far he has been 4th at Vibram100 and 3rd at Transgrancanaria 125. Gediminius has been another hugely consistent runner over the last couple years and frequently features on the podium, if not winning the race outright. In 2015 he was 1st at Transgrancanaria 125, 4th at WSER and 1st at UTMF, in 2016 he was 3rd at Vibram100, 2nd at Transgrancanaria 125k, 2nd at Lavaredo Ultra Trail and 2nd at UTMB, and so far in 2017 he has been 5th at Tarawera Ultra and 4th at Madeira Island Ultra Trail 115k.
Seth Swanson is a real shout here following some hot results in the last few years that have included 2nd at WSER 2015, 4th at UTMB 2015 and 6th Vibram100 2017.
Julien and Seb have characterised the European trail running scene for many years now and have both had a huge amount of success there. They both bring a long history of success and experience to the race, and although winning the race outright is unlikely they will both certainly be right up there. In 2015 Julien was 8th at Ultra Trail Australia 100 and 6th at WSER, in 2016 he was 7th at Transgrancanaria 125k and 8th at UTMB, and in 2017 he has had a solid start with 10th at Vibram100.
In 2012 Seb was 2nd at Lavaredo Ultra Trail, in 2013 he was 3rd at UTMF and 1st at Hardrock 100, in 2015 he was 10th at Mont Blanc 80k, in 2016 he was 9th at Mont Blanc 80k and 3rd at Festival Des Templiers 100k, and so far in 2017 he has been 1st at Transgrancanaria 82k.
The finale male podium positions will probably come from the above group of men, but there are several other male runners who will be keeping them honest.
- Fulvio Dapit – 4th Ice Trail Tarentaise 2015, 6th Madeira Island Ultra Trail 115k 2016, 4th High Trail Vanoise 2016
- Rachid el Morabity – 1st Marathon des Sables 2016, 2nd CCC 2016
- Scotty Hawker – 2nd Ultra Trail Australia 100 2015, 4th Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015, 5th Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2016
- Vlad Ixel – 1st Translantau 100 2015, 1st North Face 100 Hong Kong 2015, 12th Transvulcania 2016,
- Daniel Jung – 1st Sudtirol Ultra Skyrace 2016, 2nd Vibram100 2017, 6th Madeira Island Ultra Trail 115k 2017
- Sange Sherpa – 18th Transgrancanaria 2016, 10th Maxi Race 2016, 12th Vibram100 2017
- Vaidas Zlabys – 8th Transgrancanaria 2016, 2nd Transgrancanaria 2017, 15th Madeira Island Ultra Trail 115k 2017
- Thomas Wagner – 2nd 100 Miles of Istria 2015, 1st 100 Miles of Istria 2016
- Ben Blackshaw – 15th Tarawera 100k 2015, 4th Tarawera 60k 2016, 2nd Northburn Station 100 Miler 2017
David’s picks for the podium:
Male – 1st Francois d’Haene, 2nd Didrik Hermansen, 3rd Gediminius Grinius
Female – 1st Caroline Chaverot, 2nd Ruth Croft, 3rd Lisa Borzani
One thought on “Race Preview: Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2017”
Seth Swanson “European talent” – Surely he is due to win one of these big ones. Hard to beat the Euros in their own back yard though.