Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2022 - Tre Cime di Lavaredo
I went to Cortina once again after the troubled race that I did in 2017 where I suffered a lot due to a fall resulting in a painful struggle for 100km to the finish line. This time I felt strong and in much better shape. I managed to train properly but I did the same choice as for the Istria 100 Mile race and removed the specific hill training from my training. I chose to gain elevation during my long runs instead so instead of doing hill reps gaining 1000mt of elevation in approximately 12k I did the same elevation in maybe 30k.
This kind of training approach made me stronger, I managed to keep my old injuries in control and better my overall form, strength and overall running endurance.


I went to Italy on Monday. My flight was rebooked several times causing stress. I planned travelling on Sunday in order to work in the Milano office already on Monday morning. I was lucky to be able to be there the day after. It was crazy due to Lufthansa personnel issues in Germany!


After a week working in Italy I was finally in Cortina on Friday. I arrived around 2 p.m. and after a desperate search for a parking place (that I managed to find and pay using the EasyPark service - the same that I use in Sweden which is great) I went to the sport arena to collect my BIB. I was very surprised that there was NO control of our gear. Nothing! In the document there was stated that the organization would do random checks during the course. It never happened! This was a dangerous game if you ask me. Unexperienced runners could have serious issues without proper gear!
Anyway, the night was there, I ate a bit, relaxed in my rental car, listened to some music, tried to spare my energy and meditate a bit avoiding to think about the race.


It started raining. The clouds were darker and darker..... and eventually it started pouring down like hell! I was thinking about the trail conditions and those tough sections that would be even tougher now with the added mud into the equation.
I was relaxing in the car for hours before the race start checking the weather forecast and hoping for a nice experience. I knew that the storm changed the trail conditions but I hoped not that much. After all, it's almost all stones right?




At 8:30 p.m. I left the drop bag and I was very much ready to start. I went to the car. Took everything that I needed, checked my gear, chose the proper clothes and walked to the start line. This time I wouldn't make the same error like in 2017! I was there at the start line an hour before the start and I was among the first 100 runners there.... it welt great! I was ready!


Approx 30 minutes before the start almost all the runners were there. I couldn't see the last runners in the back of the line. Amazing that 1800 runners stood there just waiting to start the adventure.


Suddenly a man from the organization wanted us to move back and in the chaotic occasion I somehow managed to go back with other fellow runners, but that thing made other runners jump in front of us. Suddenly I was back in the line.... well, in the middle of the pack so I figured that it was still quite OK. It was important not to stress or rush and consume unnecessary energy during those first kilometers.



The race started and the start went much better than in 2017. No pushing this time. I was running after 5mt and everybody around me had the same pace. When we reached the first trail climb we were moving rapidly, no queue this time, everybody hiked with a rhythm that suited me just fine.


Those first kilometers of the race to the first CP Rifugio Ospitale at km 18° of the race I just focused on relaxing, saving the energy for the race and I tried to stay alert. In 2017 I managed to fall and hurt me badly after 20k. This time I felt really strong. At the CP I refilled with water and I used the UMARA sport powder in it. A bit higher dosage this time. The product worked well the whole race!
I emptied the shoes from debrief and went out fast from that first CP. Maybe too fast! After 400m I noticed that I forgot my poles back in the CP!!! I ran back fast and I found them. Continued chasing back my "pack". I tried to relax immediately, and to chase my fellow runners without pushing or stressing my body. The race was long.... really long! 100km to the finish line!


The climb to the next check point - Passo Tre Croci at km 28 was a steep one. One of many demanding climbs of this race. I did the climb pretty well. Maintained a good rhythm and the breathing was perfect. At this point the daylight was almost there, the footsteps were a bit "lighter" and we could even enjoy the views around us. It's a pity to start the race this late in the evening and run almost 6h before daylight. I went in and out quite speedy from the Misurina CP at the km 43. Just refilled with water and mixed my sport drink into the Salomon soft flasks. The mixture was a bit "tougher" this time. I needed to be awake during the night, The ghost of falling and injuring myself hunted me the whole race! One marathon done!


The trails around the Misurina lake are marvellous, gorgeous scenery, the fog, the mountains and the sunlight on the tops. Amazing indeed. It's not the same thing the footage that I managed to capture on my GoPro and the real thing there. It was awakening indeed! I ran a bit faster there, nothing too fancy, just moving a bit quicker on those few flat sections. The flats are a rarity in this race!


Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2022
The climb to the famous Tre Cime Di Lavaredo after approx. 50km is amazing. You have the privilege to be immersed in between gorgeous mountains in the Dolomites and there in the distance we could admire the Tre Cime peaks. Stunning views! The best part are the views when we arrived on the foot of the top there, it seems like another planet. Like a fairy tale. Many of the runners stayed there appreciating the views and taking a short break. I chosen to move forward and enjoy the views while moving forward. I ate a bit as well and drank a bit. Refilled with water ans the looooog descend to the next check point was in front of me!


That downhill was a painful one with my injured leg in 2017. This time I was in one piece, I felt strong and surprisingly relaxed as well. I started to pass a few runners that were struggling. From this point the race was getting harder. The descent could crush the quads pretty easily. I knew that, so I took easy steps, I tried to stay relaxed and not to stress my muscles and ligaments too much. It went quite well because when I reached the bottom of the downhill I was still able to push the pace a bit more. I felt in control! Well, the pace was nothing too fancy, but I knew that the toughest part of the race was still in front of us. I remember it well from 2017!


Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2022
Half of the race - the Cimabanche check point at km 66. The flat section before that CP is amazing. Surrounded with high mountains. I was enjoying every step of it. The trail was easy, fast and made of gravel so I could just relax and enjoy the views... take it all in!


Once arrived at Cimabanche I took my drop bag, refilled my vest with gels and my beverage with Umara sport drink. I changed my clothes as well. It's always nice to reset the run with clean and dry clothes. I ate a bit as well and after approx 25minutes I was out..... for something like 100mt!!! I vomited ALL! Well, amazingly it was just water. I guess that everything that I ate went right through my system. I didn's puke any of the pasta I ate just minutes ago. Well.. that was good! Anyhow, I started running. The legs felt heavy and I felt reeealy tired after the unnecessary emptying "process"! The good thing was that there was a LONG climb in front of us now! A steep one and a really tough one. It was getting really HOT as well and I figured.... just keep climbing and seek the shade parts, wet the head where possible, drink and focus.... move forward!


Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2022
And indeed, after a few km I ate my first gel after the last CP and I felt OK. My body was OK and I was happy that I didn't lost too much time during that climb. I managed to move forward quite well. The reason of that "issue" of me vomiting after a faster section was known to me. It happened in Istria as well! I guess that the desire of performing well, the need to refill and the faster section made my stomach a bit nervous and irritated and it didn't accept any more crap from me. Fortunately the issue is a short setback and I usually am able to continue the race normally. This race was no exception.


The Malga Ra Stua CP at km 75. I felt great once again. The downhill part to the CP I felt good. I was starting to feel my quads but no pain. I knew that the toughest climbs are in front of me. You don't understand that while watching on the race chart, but those "tiny" climbs are a killer!


Well, the thing that was a bit tough during this edition of Lavaredo was the fact that it rained quite a lot the night before and the lower parts of the race section was affected. The rail conditions on those low parts were not good at all. the wet and mud-covered stoned and roots represented an added challenge for every runner. I was lucky that I was in the top 350 group. Those last runners must have had a real mud party there!


Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2022
At the Rifugio Col Gallina at the km 95 I rested a few minutes. The climb before was a tough one and the downhill after the CP was another "legbreaker". I decided to recharge a bit, eat and drink a bit more. The heat was really challenging! I was passing the runners with almost no effort there. Many really tired fellow runners in that section of the race!


When we arrived at the Passo Giau after 103km I remembered again the 2017 when a fellow runner from Sweden made the decision to quit the race here after 100k! There was NO WAY that I could drop this race now! Not after 100k and not after such an experience. I still felt good, strong and in control. The weather was nice, hot but nice. I enjoyed every step of the effort. Well.. almost every step!


At this point I knew that my dream of running the race under 20h was not possible anymore. The muddy sections just drained my legs a bit too much I guess. I didn't have the necessary power in my legs and I was getting pretty worried for that last descend to Cortina.


Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2022
But before that one I needed to climb a few more STEEP climbs! The climb after Passo Giau is the toughest climb of the race! Really! It's rocky, technical and steep, really steep and some sections more that 45%! I just looked down and did my best to move forward. The whole body was fighting. I pushed hard with my Dynafit poles and my weak upper was in pain, my legs were screaming and the sun was boiling us alive. The stoned under us were pretty hot as well and heating us from below....
Once at the top I stopped. Took my GoPro out and filmed that section. I knew that the footage would never be able to show the steep trail to the top or "elaborate" the effort. But look at the faces, at those exausted faces of the runners climbing that section. That shows quite well the needed effort.


The group that I ran with there had a good pace that suited me well. We were moving well and I was really happy that I had no severe issues with my body. I was happy and I when I arrived at the Rifugio Croda da Lago at the km 110 I checked my Coros Vertix watch... it showed just minutes after 19h of running!!! I could make it! I had just 13k to the end of the race! I started running faster.... I felt happy and recharged with energy!


Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2022
After the last CP the looooong and really steep downhill to Cortina started. After a few km I felt pain in my quads. The pain that I did NOT want to feel. Not there and NOT during such a downhill. The wet roots, the muddy and wet trails, the highly technical sections were just killing my legs. I was simply forced to switch to a fast hike sometimes just to rest my quads a bit. I didn't want to loose control and fall there! That downhill is really dangerous and tough. Not the whole part of course. There are lovely parts as well, but there are a few crazy technical sections. Really beautiful indeed but tough! I opted there to take it easy, enjoy the trails and just roll down as good as it goes.


Once that I touched the runnable parts my quads felt better and I could run a bit faster once again. I didn't trash them completely.... but I got close, really close!


Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2022 - The finish of the race
The last part of the race, those last 500m I was running "on clouds". The people cheering, the happy crowd, the children running beside me..... the speakers with the loud organisers... everything was just perfect. Everything was as it should be! I had no pain no more, I had no issues, I just felt love, gratitude and happiness! I love the pain! I love Lavaredo after all!


120km in 21h wasn't really the race that I planned. But it's tough to plan such races like Lavaredo where tiny details may and usually do change the outcome of the effort. Tiny fails result in DNF (Did Not Finish) as well but that one was never an option for me! Not in 2022!


At the end of all, a few days after the race I started to run again slowly. My legs were hurting like two days but I could move normally which was great.


I think that I might run Lavaredo again. It's such an amazing experience. The nature is amazing and the organization of the race is on top as well. But for once I'd like to do the whole course in daytime. I'd love to enjoy the Dolomites in daylight and avid the dark. So I'm thinking about the 80k course. I had no big issues for 80, almost 90k of the Lavaredo Ultra Trail. The fact that we cannot experience those climbs in the Goghenburg (Sweden) area and train our legs accordingly is another problem. It's quite challenging to get fit for such a fight. But I have to be happy with my performance. After all, I did 120k with almost 6k of elevation gain with NO specific training! It went damn GOOD if you ask me!


The next question is... what would it happen if I would do some specific leg training for such races and add some core training as well into the equation?? I guess that we will get the appropriate answer in 2023! Maybe the UTMB once again? Who knows?! :)


One thing is sure. With my ongoing Endurance Nutrition certification, the changes in my daily training that I started implementing after the Lavaredo Ultra Trail everytihing is possible.


But let's relax a bit. It's summer now and we need a bit of resting, joy, family time..... The next month it's time for another challenge! The Bunketorp Backyard Ultra! Yeah! ;)


Thank you all for the amazing support and love during and after the race! Love you all! But MOST of all a HUGE thanks to my family that supports me in these crazy adventures and most of all endures my demanding training hours and all the involved stress and all..... it's not easy but hey.... it makes me a better person (I hope)! :D


Kram! ;)


Enjoy the video, I enjoyed the running and hiking.... like a LOT! 😉



Kind Regards,