For many it could be an almost impossible distance to run, even without considering the more than 3000mt of elevation gain. On this curse many sports and mountain enthusiasts can have a taste of trail running in its purest form and appreciate every feature of the Mount Baldo range. A journey for true trailers!
This circular course starts and ends on the lakefront of Malcesine. For the first 9km it follows the same path as the 24K race, and takes the athletes to an elevation gain of 1340mt. After the first 2km on tarmac, the course exits from the town to immediately climb on a panoramic path, first on cart tracks and dirt roads, then on singletrack through oak and chestnut forests.
At Km 9, near Bocca di Navene (1420mt ASL), where the view discloses the eastern slope of Mount Baldo, there are the first refreshment station and the split time checkpoint. From here the course climbs further north on singletrack towards Mount Altissimo; above 1700mt ASL the vegetation thins out giving way to meadows and open spaces.
At Km 13, near Rifugio Altissimo, the racers can take advantage of the second refreshment station, to reach then the highest point in the entire race, at 2060mt ASL. At that point, the track turns southwards to explore the eastern slope of Mount Baldo, where one can appreciate the morphologic and climate diversity compared to the western slope, which is mitigated by the influence of Lake Garda. There begins a more runnable stretch, with ups and downs, allowing to increase the stride length and enjoy the wide panoramas of Corna Piana.
At Km 21, near Rifugio Fos-Ce, there is the third refreshment station. From here onwards the course continues on cart tracks and trails for another 9km, with an elevation drop of about 300mt, and reaches the fourth refreshment point in the locality of Madonna della Neve.. In this stretch, the course is surrounded by malghe, typical shepherd huts, and pastures.
From km 31 the course begins to regain elevation progressively, up to km 37, the locality of Prà Alpesina (1450mt ASL). There the trailers will be challenged by a 2km singletrack stretch which gets back to the top of Monte Baldo, near the summit cable car station. Here there are the cut-off point, the fifth refreshment station, and the third split time checkpoint. . From this point onward, the course follows a progressive descent, connecting to the second part of the 24K race. Some of these steep slopes consist of technical sections, some others are more smoothly runnable, crossing forests of conifers first and beech then. The descent entails an elevation drop of 1000mt in about 7km, down to Malga Fiabio (Km 19), where there is the third refreshment station There the course enters the “fascia costiera dell’Ulivo” (“coastal strip of olive trees”) and descends on cart tracks and trails to reenter the town for the last 2km on cobbled road and tarmac.