Dolomyths Run in Italian Dolomites hosts top trail runners in 3rd stop of the Series
CANAZEI, ITALY – The Golden Trail World Series has provided plenty of highlights in the first two races of the 2019 season. This Sunday, with another strong field in both the men’s and women’s races convening in the beautiful Italian Dolomites for the Dolomyths Run Skyrace, trail running fans can expect more high drama.
At 22 kms, the race may not be as long as the first two marathon distance races of the season, but it still asks a lot of the runners, topping out at the Piz Boè (elevation: 3,152 meters). Plus, the relatively short distance should make the pace frantic despite the 1,700 vertical meter gain. After Spain’s Kilian Jornet and 21-year-old Italian Davide Magnini won the first two races of the Golden Trail World Series season at the Zegama-Aizkorri Mountain Marathon and Marathon du Mont Blanc, respectively, a number of runners will be looking to grab valuable points in Canazei.
Jornet returns to racing at next month’s Sierre-Zinal race in Switzerland, but Magnini (Team Salomon) will be in his homeland this week looking for another win. The distance should suit the young Italian well and he was 4th here last year. Still, he will have to contend with some of the sport’s best when it comes to the painful task of going uphill. His countryman, Nadir Maguet (Team La Sportiva), should be well-suited to the big climb as a ski-mo racer. He was 3rd a year ago here and is coming off a runner-up finish to Magnini at the Marathon du Mont Blanc.
Last year’s winner, Norway’s Stian Angermund-Vik (Team Salomon), is never one to shy away from a bit of climbing himself and is always in the hunt for a podium position. Until he is beaten, he has to be the favorite. The same is true of another young gun, Switzerland’s Rémi Bonnet (Team Salomon), who led at Chamonix for a brief period of time before finishing 5th. The Swiss thrives on climbing. Another Norwegian, Team Salomon’s Stian Aarvik, was 2nd here last year and is taking part in his first Golden Trail World Series race.
The field at the top is extremely deep. Team Salomon’s Bart Przedwojewski (Poland) and Salomon teammate Aritz Egea (Spain) are consistent and strong. Team Scott’s Alexis Sévennec (France) and Stephan Wenk (Switzerland), as well as Team Hoka’s Francesco Puppi (Italy) and Team Dynafit’s Oriol Cardona Coll (Spain) should be in the hunt as well. One dark horse to keep an eye on is Great Britain’s Jacob Adkin (Team Salomon), another young talent who can climb with the best of them.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE, Norway’s Eli Anne Dvergsdal (Team Salomon) won at Zegama in her first ever marathon, then finished 3rd at the Marathon du Mont Blanc behind last year’s Series overall winner Ruth Croft (Team Scott) of New Zealand and Italy’s Silvia Rampazzo. The Kiwi has been the class of the marathon distance recently, but she has never raced here on the Dolomites course.
“I’m really looking forward to racing the Dolomyths,” Croft said this week. “It’s always exciting when you are doing a race you haven’t done before, and especially in these landscapes. I am really pleased to have been able to recce the course and take in the views from Piz Boè, as I know with such a strong women’s field there won’t be much chance to look up on Sunday.”
Beyond those two, the field is as deep as it is on the men’s side. Rampazzo (Team Tornado) will be racing on her home soil and is coming off that strong 2nd place showing in Chamonix. France’s Amandine Ferrato (Team Hoka), Italy’s Elisa Desco (Team Scarpa/Berg Outdoor), Great Britain’s Holly Page (Team adidas Terrex) and a trio of runners from Team Salomon—Eli Gordon (Spain), Maude Mathys (Switzerland) and Oihana Kortazar (Spain)—should be in contention.
Sweden’s Fanny Borgstrom (Team Salomon) is coming off a 4th place effort in Chamonix and South Africa’s Meg Mackenzie (Team Salomon) was 6th. Both are candidates to crack the top-5. Spain’s Azara García (Team HG AML), who led in the early stages of the Marathon du Mont Blanc, could also be threat.
The elite runners will be trying to earn points in the season-long chase for a spot in the Golden Trail World Series Grand Final, which will take place in Nepal in October. The athletes must participate in three of the six races during the series in order to be eligible for the final. The top-10 men and women with the most points in their three best races will earn a trip for themselves and a person of their choice to the Grand Final. The overall final standings (and the men’s and women’s champions) of the Golden Trail World Series will be determined again by the runners’ three best finishes during the season, plus their result at the Grand Final.
Photos are of Stian Angermund-Vik and Meg Mackenzie in the 2018 race.
Credit: Philipp Reiter