Celebrating ten years, the Dolomites Vertical Kilometer® enjoyed an extra special day with a new women’s record by Frenchwoman Axelle Mollaret while the men’s win went to Italian Patrick Facchini. Half way through the new 18-race Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit, 170 runners from 15 countries raced up the short steep course in Canazei, Italy, today.
Mollaret smashed Spaniard Laura Orgué’s 2014 record by 35 seconds after the 1,000m lung-busting ascent to close in 37’39”. Right behind her, Susanna Saapunki from Finland and Switzerland’s Victoria Kreutzer placed second and third respectively, with Orgué taking an unusual fourth place after two straight wins on the circuit.
“At the start, I saw Laura going really fast, but I decided to focus on my race,” Mollaret commented. “On the steepest part I gave it everything and I was alone till the end. I’m so happy to have broken the record!”
Facchini dominated the men’s race, conducting a similar strategy. He summited in 32’43” to close just 5” short of the record set by Italian Philip Goetsch last year.
“I tried to stay with the top runners” Facchini declared. “About half way up I saw I was faster than Rémi, so I accelerated and pushed as hard as I could till the end. I was feeling so good today, it’s a pity I didn’t break the record!”
Some rain fell as the first runners were about to arrive, just to add drama to an already extremely exciting and severe challenge. “The weather was perfect for running. Even the rain was refreshing!” exclaimed Switzerland’s Rémi Bonnet, second today. “I lead for the first half, then Patrick passed me and I tried to keep his pace, but he was too fast. I’m happy anyway with my second place,” he added.
Slovenian Nejc Kuhar was third, just over a minute behind the winner.
The Dolomites Vertical Kilometer®, only 2.6 km long, has a demanding 38.5% average incline to the 2,465m summit of the Creipa Neigra.
With his win today, Facchini climbs to the second position on the ranking followed by Kuhar in third. Andorran Ferran Teixido still holds the lead.
The women’s ranking is still dominated by Italian Stephanie Jimenez with Spaniard Maria Zorroza in second. Orgué now ranks third overall.
The weekend’s events celebrate not just the 10th anniversary of the Vertical Kilometer® but also 20 years of the Dolomites SkyRace® on the Skyrunner® World Series, Saturday, July 22.
Just one week away, the next stop on the circuit stays in Italy with the Red Bull K3 on July 29, the only triple vertical in the world where VK specialist will push their limits to gain precious points in this bonus race. Six out of the eighteen races are counted for the final ranking, titles and end of season prizes.
Dolomites Vertical Kilometer® results
- Patrick Facchini (ITA) – 32’43”
- Rémi Bonnet (SUI) – 33’17”
- Nejc Kuhar (SLO) – 33’52”
- Hannes Perkmann (ITA) – 34’16”
- Manuel Da Col (ITA) – 35’02”
- Axelle Mollaret (FRA) – 37’39”
- Susanna Saapunki (FIN) – 39’03”
- Victoria Kreutzer (SUI) – 40’07”
- Laura Orgué (ESP) – 41’23”
- Antonella Confortola (ITA) – 42’05”