Drei Zinnen / Tres Cime Mountain race
Sesto, Italian Dolomites
13th September 2009
The final approach to the finish line above 8,000ft
This is an extremely well run race from start to finish.
climb up to 8km is runnable for mid-pack mortals but from there it becomes very
hard work. At about 15km (8,300ft)
there is a very steep 700ft descent on loose scree.
This is where the European uphill jessy’s mince down and the Brits fly
Some runners (including
fast ones) took lightweight walking poles to assist on the ascent. While not strictly against the rules, to my
mind this gave them an unfair advantage on a long, continuous ascent and the
poles should not have been allowed.
found the air really thin up there and struggled with breathing at times,
although overall I finished in a similar mid-pack position to UK fell races. The views are fantastic. Put this one on your do before you die list.
You can also hire bikes to do a popular 40km
(downhill) ride to Austria then catch the train back.
is no ski lift down, so you have to walk down the chicken run for most the
way the there is a free bus back to Sesto.
T-shirt is great!
registration the day before they provide a plastic bag for your warm
clothes etc. You hand this in on
race day and they deliver the bags to the top by helicopter. Whatever you send up you have to carry
back down so put in warm clothes but not to much, plus a back pack to
carry down your stuff isb useful.
are lots of prizes, e.g. 1000 EUROS for winner and 80 Euros for 5th
place. The medals are nice big laser etched glass medallions.
dry weather road shoes are fine. I
wouldn’t trust road shoes in wet weather.
a camera in your bag for the stunning views at the end.
is plenty of cake and drinks at the top (but worth putting in a sports
Waldheim is right next to the start line. Expect to be kicked out of the bar at 11pm even if you are
pizza place over the road is the best bet for post-race celebrations (i.e.
after the pizza party and prize giving).
recreation after the race, the ski lift opposite the Waldheim takes you up
high on Mnt Ellmo. If you continue walking up you get to the Sillian hut at
the top, overlooking Austria and Italy.
On this one you can see the steep descent on the left (mincing hill) and much of the final run in:
Here is the course:
Copyright John Mayall 2009.