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Alta Badia: A Maratona Dles Dolomites-Enel Filled with Flora and Flowers

3rd July 2022: the 35th edition of the Maratona dles Dolomites – Enel is upon us

A host of novel features are in store this year, starting with the theme of the event, namely Ciüf, the local name for flowers which are already blooming across the fields and lawns of the Dolomites.

Alta Badia (South Tyrolean Dolomites/Italy)

As usual, every edition of the Maratona dles Dolomites–Enel is identified by a specific theme which thus becomes the leitmotiv of the entire event. On the occasion of the 35th edition scheduled to set off on Sunday, 3rd July, ciüf, the Ladin term for flowers, will kick off a multicoloured convoy, just like the colourful fields that stretch out under the beloved spires.

Manuel Bottazzo, creative director of the Maratona, reveals how the new Ciüf logo is the result of a pure, primordial, instinctive and natural research, just like spontaneous flora. There is no technology in the design, but rather an inspiration that takes shape from botanical features, from old illustrations, from etchings and typographical characters found in ancient art books. 

Maratona Dles Dolomites-Enel in numbers

It is a short distance from flowers to numbers: as always, the participation applications were three times higher than the available vests, which this year were reduced by a thousand units. A total of 27,300 applications were received, whereas the total number of registrations has dropped from nine to eight thousand. This way, the organisers have ensured an even more efficient service can be offered and guaranteed with respect to the already high standards provided in past seasons. As usual, 50% of participants are Italian and 50% foreigners, with 1,500 volunteers and a generous 6 hours of live coverage on Rai2. 

The three routes are a classic by now not just of the Maratona, but of cycling in absolute terms: the Maratona which is 138 km long with a difference in altitude of 4230 m, the 106 km Medium route with a 3,130 m difference in altitude and the Sellaronda which is 55 km long with a difference in altitude of 1,780 m.

The Project “Nature Elements” and the Maratona’s Dish

Another interesting novelty concerns the Nature elements 2022 project created together with Valeria Margherita Mosca, forager, environmental hiking guide, chef and nature lover through and through. During the live streaming on the national television Rai2 on 3rd July, she will be explaining the importance and variety of flora in the vicinity of the Maratona routes and commenting on the Dolomites landscapes from a completely novel perspective.

This year too, the dish of the Maratona is another must-have, prepared by six hands by Valeria Margherita Mosca, Andrea Irsara, a famous local chef from the Stüa dla Lâ restaurant, and the nutritionist Elena Casiraghi. The dish, which is specifically devised for cyclists, was created using only local ingredients, in keeping with the theme of the Ciüf, sustainability and locally-sourced cuisine. In a nutshell: barley, Swiss pine, fermented fir buds and dandelion. A simple, delicate, energetic and at the same time fragrant dish.

The Maratona Dles Dolomites-Enel Even More Green

Since the topic of sustainability is a central feature of the Maratona, one of the various initiatives concerns the sustainable mechanic, referred to as the Green Angel, with his very own mechanical workshop conceived and managed by Enel. This year, the workshop has been supplemented with professionals in the trade with the support of Shimano, who are joining the Maratona family from this edition. Audi is helping us to have sustainable mobility, once again providing a significant number of full electric cars at the disposal of mechanical assistance and the race management.

Eolo, the telecommunications company, is another new entry, while the partnership with RCS as the event’s Media Partner is once again confirmed. The Maratona thus becomes an opportunity for companies to meet at the various events during this long weekend.

Always at the forefront of environmental protection, the Carvico brand has designed a completely new vest compared to previous editions, distinguished by simple yet bold lines and a non-random colour: simple dark green which recalls the hues of the soil and nature. 

The vest, which will be given away to every participant, is completely sustainable because it is made with Carvico’s eco-fabrics: Norway and Revolutional Eco. Both these fabrics are made from ECONYL®, an Aquafil brand, a 100% nylon thread regenerated from pre- and post-consumer waste materials such as fishing nets, carpet fluff and hard tulle. 

The 2022 edition of the Maratona dles Dolomites – Enel jersey meets the needs of professionals. Lightweight, aerodynamic and highly breathable, the jersey was conceived best to tackle the mountain stages of the Giro d’Italia and is fitted with a number pocket incorporated into the back (no need for safety pins).

In order to create the iconic jersey, Castelli interpreted the “Ciüf” theme (the local term for Flora) inserting floral patterns into the texture, using green as a tribute to nature all around us, which now more than ever needs to be protected and safeguarded.

All participants of the Maratona will receive a medal practically hand-made by local valley craftsmen using natural materials, including the must-have ciüf (the local term for flora), the symbol of this edition. To make it, 95,402 square metres of compressed hay bedding were used (approximately 500 grams of hay per square metre) with 8,000 daisies, in other words one on each medal and 2.30 cubic metres of Swiss pine wood in 10-centimetre planks.

The working process followed three steps: the planks of Swiss pine were cut and processed at the lathe. The round bar was used to create the individual medals and the edges were rounded by hand. Circles were cut out of the hay bedding with daisies one by one, and in turn they were glued to the Swiss pine rounds using natural adhesive.

Last but not least, the focus remains on sustainability thanks to Enervit who devised the bag for the race packs together with the Selyn cooperative from Sri Lanka, certified WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization). A 100% cotton bag which can be used and re-used time and time again, eco-friendly and sustainable, made respecting the rights of those who worked to make it and in the eco-friendly spirit of the event participants.

More collateral initiatives will be revealed in June, including the Maratona Village which is back with 3 days of shows, games, collateral events, with plenty of surprises from leading brands in the sector such as Selle Italia, Pinarello, Kask and many more.

Maratona and Ciüf, Maratona and flowers, Maratona and sustainability: not just all talk but also plenty of action. Because dreams come true with concrete action. 

A Maratona Full of Charity Initiatives

The Maratona dles Dolomites – Enel is distinguished as ever also by the numerous charity activities it supports. This year three solidarity projects have been launched: the aid to the Fondazione Renato Piatti foundation in Varese which will implement a project relating to water therapy for people with disabilities; the project entitled Per fare un Ciüf ci vuole l’acqua (literally, it takes water to make a flower) launched in Uganda by the „Insieme si può“ NGO/non-profit making Association and lastly the project dedicated to the humanitarian emergency in Ukraine.

4 Hands Dinner: Simone Cantafio and Michael Wignall for the Maratona Dles Dolomites-Enel

Continuing Alta Badia’s famed collaborations with Michelin starred chefs from around the world, also joining the UK entrants to the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel this year will be chef-patron of The Angel at Hetton, Michael Wignall.  Twice a two-starred Michelin chef, his own Michelin starred The Angel at Hetton has drawn many accolades, including being named the UK’s best foodie hotel by The Sunday Times in 2019 soon after opening, and named number two restaurant and top gastropub of the year in the National Restaurant Awards 2021.  Over the Maratona weekend, Michael will swap the hills of Yorkshire for the Dolomite mountains, cooking in Alta Badia alongside La Stüa de Michil’s new head chef, Simone Cantafio, together creating a four hands celebration dinner on Friday 1 July, before Michael and his team complete the Maratona on Sunday too.  

The eight course menu will include four dishes created by Simone and four by Michael, with the evening commencing with an aperitif in La Ciasa Vedla, the original house at Hotel La Perla and birthplace of Ernesto Costa, dating from 1400.  Tickets are €160pp, to include the aperitif and eight course menu.  Wine or drinks with dinner are not included, with guests able to opt for a matched wine flight or to choose their own wines from La Perla’s renowned cellar. Places are limited and booking is essential; to book email La Perla at info@hotel-laperla.it or call +39 0471 831000.   

Sellaronda Bike Day and Dolomites Bike Day: Two Cycling Events on the Paths of the Maratona Dles Dolomites-Enel

The two cycling events, hold on June 11 (Sellaronda Bike Day) and June 25 (Dolomites Bike Day) are non-competitive and accessible to all, and no registration is required. The respective trails weave across the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel track and on other legendary trails, which are all closed to motorised traffic. 

On 11th June, it’s time for the now-traditional Sellaronda Bike Day. On this occasion, transit on the passes of the Sella Group is closed to vehicles. The event is replicated on Saturday 17th September. 

Cycling enthusiasts can take part in the non-competitive event from 08:30 am to 3 pm. www.sellarondabikeday.com 

The stars of the Dolomites Bike Day are on the other hand the Dolomite passes of Campolongo, Falzarego and Valparola, the backdrop of epic feats which have made cycling history. The trail is a loop which begins in Alta Badia, reaches Arabba and the valley of Livinallongo, across the Campolongo Pass, then continues towards the Falzarego Pass, subsequently heading to the Valparola Pass, before reaching the towns of La Villa and Corvara to complete the itinerary. The trail, which is closed to traffic from 8:30 am to 2 pm, is 51 km long and has a total difference in altitude of 1,290 metres; we recommend doing it anti-clockwise. www.dolomitesbikeday.it 

More information: 

Alta Badia Press Office: 

Cover photo author: © Alta Badia

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