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Trail running tips in Dolomites

The Dolomites are a paradise for tourists. climbers, via ferrata lovers, cyclists, skiers and also runners. A fantastic landscape with pale white rugger mountains adds something extra to every run. Countless options for running trails include tourist paths and long-distance hiking routes. Enjoy running alone, with a group of friends or even with all other competitors of one of the famous running races.

Cortina. The capital of sports

The Olympic Games were held in Cortina d'Ampezzo in 1956, and after seventy years they are going to repeat here. The city in the middle of the beautiful Dolomites nature still maintains its sports spirit. Everybody knows the downhill skiing races on the slopes of Tofana, where in the summer season you can climb one of the most challenging and also the most beautiful via Ferrata. In addition, Cortina is the venue for several trail running races.

Lavaredo Ultra trail

The most famous of them is undoubtedly the 120 kilometers long Lavaredo Ultra trail. During the main race, runners cover almost six vertical kilometers, mostly in the hard terrain of a beautiful course. Traditionally, around the middle of June, the center of Cortina is filled with runners and spectators. The atmosphere of the late evening start of the main race is amazing. Even getting here is a great experience. The number of participants is limited to 1,800, so somebody needs lots of luck in the lottery. As the name suggests, the route leads around the most photographed mountain of the Dolomites - the tripple rock towers Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Of course, there are also shorter routes and a lot of entertainment program.

Cortina Dobbiaco Run

At the end of May or beginning of June, the traditional Cortina Dobbiaco Run is taking place. The thirty-kilometer long run follows the route of the former railway between Cortina d'Ampezzo and Toblach (Dobiacco). It starts in Cortina on the main square called Corso Italia, which is transformed into a large sports playground. You can see the famous Tre Cime while passing by Lago di Landro. The highest point of the route is the Passo Cimabanche pass (1530 m), where the road also passes. The difficulty of the ascent and the terrain is much lower than the Lavaredo Ultra trail.

Running for fun and training

If you don't want a starting number on your chest, or if you just want to run for training and for fun, you have plenty of options. The route of each race is available for downloading on the Internet, including some practical information. The long-distance hiking routes called Alta Via Dolomiti are an excellent inspiration for mountain running. Each of them is divided into stages between the huts (refugios), which serve as a food stations and sheltres. An experienced runner, moving lightweight, can manage several walking stages in one day.

Skiers and road cyclists are certainly familiar with the Sella Ronda circuit, which takes you over four mountain passes around the Piz Boe massif. This sixty-kilometer circuit also has a running (also racing) version with approximately 3.5 kilometers of ascent.

The infrastructure of the cable cars makes it easy to plan skyrunning training with the ultimate reward of enjoying a lunch and amazing view on the terrace of the mountain hut.

Don't forget you are in the mountains

Make sure not to underestimate the right equipment. Good trail shoes and socks are a must, and on longer runs you definitely need a special backpack to carry enough drink and quality food to refill your energy.. A spare dry layer and a jacket are useful in case the weather changes. Do not forget that you are in a mountain environment and follow safety rules. A charged mobile phone is a must have. Informing someone you know where you are going and when you plan to return can also save you.


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