Off on the Dolomite Foot: Run the Alps Season Opener 2022
-Tour Story by Cam Bevan
Over six days, the group passed through the Puez Odle Massif, the Sassolungo massif, the Geislergruppe, and Alpe de Siusi, with a mix of overnight stops that took in the bustling towns of Selva and Ortisei as well as the tranquil vale of the Val di Funes. A night at the peaceful Plattkofelhütte provided a wonderful injection of wilderness and isolation. The weather was spectacular, with far-reaching views and warm sunshine every day – the team put waterproof shells on for approximately half an hour during the entire week. While running beneath (and between) the soaring Dolomitic spires was the obvious highlight, the quality of the food, cocktails, and conversation was impeccable, and the team got pretty close to figuring out world peace during sunny afternoons on the hotel terraces.
Favorite Overnight Stop
The night at the Plattkofelhütte, a remote mountain hut nestled in the meadows beneath the mighty Sasso Piatto, was memorable for everyone. A beautiful sunset this evening lit the Dolomiti limestone a fiery orange, and silhouetted the distant rocky towers of Schlern against the sky. Petra, the hut owner, treated everyone to a three-course dinner including a salad bar and dessert buffet. Not bad for a mountain hut! The conversation flowed into the night, as our team put the world to rights over a few local beverages.
Highlight of the trail
So many to choose from – the flowing descent from Plattkofelhütte, the multi-colored wildflowers that carpeted the summer meadows, or the sun-dappled descent into the peaceful Val di Funes after the challenging rocky traverse of the Geislergruppe.
Perhaps for me, the best moment was running through the Vallunga after the rain passed. The sun returned, and everyone ran as one as we descended through the grassy meadows beneath what seemed like Italy’s very own miniature Yosemite. It was a fantastic moment on the trail, and one we relived that evening over glasses of Hugo: the team’s favorite of the local cocktails.
As we toiled under the morning sun up the unforgiving Val Chedul on day four, with our intended high-point still out of sight, Christina interjected into our conversation about motivating feel-good films.
With three days of running in our legs already, the exertion was beginning to take its toll. It was a humorous comment on the difficulties of the morning, and it got a great laugh from Jay and me – but it was also an excellent example of “Type Two” Fun: a kind of fun well-known to ultrarunners that is only really fun afterwards!
Best Meal of the Tour
The dinners in all the hotels and mountain huts were exquisite, but perhaps the most memorable was at the Hotel Krone in Selva on Day Four. Everyone had avoided the dubiously translated “Pork Knuckle,” when the menu was going around that morning. A firm believer in the notion of “who dares wins,” and perhaps wanting to try the dish just for the comedy value, I decided to risk it all, hoping that by evening the gamble would pay off, and I would not be presented with a pig trotter, or some similar horror.
Evening came, and after filling up on the salad bar, which included margherita pizzas – a strategic move to ensure that I wouldn’t go hungry if the pig’s feet destroyed any appetite I had built up – the main course arrived. With everyone on tenterhooks, Savelio the waiter delivered a delectable pork joint, with not a trotter in sight!
Proof that the world belongs to the risk-takers!
Run the Alps Dolomites June 2022 group! Photo: Anna Sulkina
Marmoolada cow. Photo: Sam Bevan
Dolomites meadows. (Photo: Cam Bevan)
Gunther Messner Way. (Photo: Bruno Yates)
That descent from Forcella to Mesdi. Photo: Bruno Yates