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Sebastien Spehler wins 7th edition of The North Face® Lavaredo Ultra Trail after snow forces route change

16:40 1st July 2013 By Andrew Cremin
This weekend saw the seventh running of the Lavaredo Ultra trail in Cortina, Italy in which the weather proved to have a profound effect on proceedings. More profound for some runners then others.
Photo: The North Face® / Alo Belluscio

Photo: The North Face® / Alo Belluscio

Wintery conditions affecting the mountain course meant that the race start had to be postponed until 8am on Saturday 29th June and the course shortened from 118 to 85 km.

The 30cm of fresh snow on the Tre Cime Lavaredo, the Val Travenazes, the Cinque Torri and Passo Giau passes didn’t dampen the spirits of the 746 competitors who ened-up running in perfect conditions with mild weather and sunshine.

From the start, The North Face® athletes Mike Wolfe and Mike Foote dictated the pace and reached the half way Misurina check point (42K) looking strong and ready to push for victory.

Due to course changes, however, the two American athletes lost their way, and continued off course towards Tre Cime di Lavaredo instead of turning down to Val Rienza. They covered an additional 6 km and accumulated height gain of 500 meters- reaching the Auronzo refuge planned in the original race route.

As you might expect the two athletes then found themselves 30 minutes behind the race leader, in 9th and 10th positions respectively. With such a hefty diversion, they had to come up with a new race plan- namely to run hell for leather for the finish.

In the end, Mike Wolfe accomplished an impressive second half of the race, overtaking seven runners including Italian athlete Ivan Geronazzo in the final descent from Lago Ghedina and crossed the finish line in second place. Mike Wolfe explains:

Realizing that I followed the wrong race course for 45 minutes, I felt stunned but did not want to quit. I started racing again, giving everything that I had. I cannot believe that I reached the second spot on the podium and I am very proud of my team mate Mike Foote being 5th. We experienced such a special race in an amazing landscape.


Fellow countryman, Mike Foote states:

We both lost a huge amount of time and energy but we stayed strong and we played as a team encouraging each other. Recovering from this adversity was challenging. I felt mentally down for a while and it was hard to catch up but I am really impressed with today’s results. The surroundings and the scenery are striking, I have never run in  such a location in my life!


In the end there was a fantastic victory for 25-year-old Frenchman Sebastien Spehler who ran his first ultra trail ever and reached the 1st spot on the podium. Coming from a short distance race background his achievement is even more impressive.


The North Face® Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2013 – Men’s Winners

  1. Sebastien Spehler (FRA) 07:39:35
  2. Mike Wolfe (USA) 08:13:47
  3. Ivan Geronazzo (ITA) 08:14:15
  4. Stefan Trisconi (ITA) 08:19:31
  5. Mike Foote (USA) 08:19:43


The North Face® Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2013 – Women’s Winners

  1. Cheryl Beatty (CAN) 09.31.09
  2. Federica Boifava (ITA) 09.54.56
  3. Lizzy Wrailth (UK) 09.57.14


Here’s a preview video of the race from The North Face:


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