Canazei is a small town in Trentino/Italy, with almost well arranged expansion. It`s situated in the Val di Fassa and surrounded by big beautiful mountains. Once a year, the elite runners of sky running meets each other, for one of the most spectacular sky races of the Sky Runner World Series.
I took part in 2015 and I am happy to became one of the elite runners in 2016.
There are just 750 slots and just 200 are included for the elite athletes. This sounds big, but in view of the character of this race, the slots are sold out for this years competition. It is a very friendly and familiar atmosphere in the town and there are lots of smiling people. You`ll get in contact with all the pro athletes and everybody is open for a nice chat. But be prepared for the track profile.
22km - 1750m ascent - 10km up/12km down - highest point: Piz Boe (3152m)
These are just the cornerstones of the race. You`ll start in Canazei. You`ll follow just 400m of paved roads before you`ll start to climb the ascent on ski tracks and lawn. Most of the runners will switch from running to hiking and some use their poles, which could be very helpful. You`ll get a short break at Passo Pordoi (2239m), when the trails are flat for 400m, before climbing the hardest part up to Forcella Pordoi (2829m). It`s a zick zack trails, which is very steep and stony. But if you have time and power, take a look back into the Val di Fassa. It`s very beautiful. There are a lot of people at this part of the race and they will cheer you up until you`ll reach the summit, the Piz Boe (3152m). There are some very technical climbing part up, as well as down. Be careful and take a sip before crashing into the downhill.
Alpine, rocky mountain trails of awesomeness.
The downhill trails are very tough, or as the gripmaster may would say: they are totally awesome. When you arrive at Piz Boe, you`ll find yourself in a landscape which looks like the moon. It`s very alpine, sometimes stormy and cold, without any gras but partially snow. You really have to be focused and the race track because of big stones, alpine mountain climbs and path, which will led you through the rocks and of course the small flags, which will guide you down to Canazei again. There is a short part, where you might to have a break. It`s so beautiful. It`s green, grassy and thawed snow is running down into the valley. But it`s also the part, where you can speed up again, before jumping into the rocks again. It feels a little bit like surfing. With the right skills, you just have to dive into the stones and slide all the way down - like Kilian would do.
Red carpet finish area with cheering people.
If you have enough power for a sprint, feel free to run as fast as you can. But take into consideration, the goals ist another 1,5km away and it`s very hard to run fast, after 1750m of ascent and hard technical downhills. Your`re a real sportsmen when you arrive the finish line and all the way down, you can hear the voice of the speaker, music and cheering people. The finish area isn`t big, but very lovely. You turn into the last bent, see the red carpet and, after all, finishing on a stage with lots of camera mens and a really good atmosphere.
After all the emotions, photos and race lists, you can get your race present, which has been a pair of La Sportiva Helios trail shoes last year; and a La Sportiva T-Shirt and Short in 2016. Also there is a rich buffet waiting for you and a shower, or as I had chosen, an extremely cold river. But remember, your legs will thank you some cold regenerative water.