The Marcialonga starts in Moena and ends in Cavalese, a course of 70 km. The valley where the race is held is often short of snow but the organizers do a tremendous job of making and bringing in snow for the race. They claim a “snow guarantee”. This is of course not 100% since if the weather is too warm, then there is no way to make a long ski course. However, they have been successful during the last few years in making sure that a race can be held. The compromise is often to shorten it a bit by moving the start from Moena to Mazzin or Campitello. Sometimes they shorten the last part and go direct up after Tesero to Cavalese.
There is also a shorter race that day: “Marcialonga light” with 45 km, same start place with arrival in Predazzo. In some years there is a delicous night marathon, called moonlight classics on Friday before Marcialonga. It starts in the evening at Seiser Alm with duty of headlamp over 20 or 36 km in classic style. Its near Kastelruth, a bit more then 1 hour driving from Val di Fiemme or Val di Fassa.
On the Thursday before Marcialonga there is the Lavazèloppet that is held at the Lavaze pass at an altitude of about 1800 meters. If you can handle the altitude then this is a delightful 22 km classical race that counts as a Silver race. This is also a very good place to practice if there is not enough snow in the valley before the race. You can not pre register for this race; they have no internet site. Go there the day before the race or on race day and register in person.
Travel to the area
By car: Cavalese is 40 km from the Egna/Ora exit of the south-north Trento-Brennero motorway. Coming from Dolomitenlauf, you can also use the beautiful mountain road Dobbiaco (40 km west from Lienz) – Cortina – Passo di Falzarego (alt. 2105 m) – Passo di Pordoi (alt. 2239 m) – Canazei (but careful in winter time, can be slippy or closed).
By flight: suitable arrival airports are Munich, Innsbruck, Zurich, Verona and Milan.
By train coming from the north: to Bolzano, then the bus to Cavalese (90 min) and from there to all villages of the Fiemme and Fassa valleys. John Miller (AUS) gave the following description on how to reach Marcialonga from Verona. There is an excellent flight connection from London. From the airport there is a regular bus to the Verona station. Trains go north about every hour and it’s a pretty trip up the Adige valley. Get off at Trento where you arrive in less than 2 hours. The bus terminal is conveniently close to the station. Regular buses take you to all villages of the Fiemme and Fassa valleys: Trento-Cavalese 1h 20 min, Trento-Canazei 2h 30 min. “This is altogether one of the more delightful approaches to a Worldloppet village” states John. You can ask one of the APTs listed on the Marcialonga webpage to send you the bus timetables.
All villages in the Fiemme and Fassa valleys followed by Marcialonga, from Canazei via Moena and Predazzo to Cavalese, are convenient places for accommodation. The organizers offer a free bus transport from all villages to the start and from the arrival back. The Marcialonga leaflet gives the addresses of the hotel associations from which you can reserve a room. At www.valfiemme.com you find a map of the area and detailed info on hotels. The valley is more or less closed on race day for privat cars. Hotels are early fully booked, reason is that especially skandinavian travel groups stay the whole week. Its not easy to get rooms just for one or two nights, and if possible the price is kind of high. Accomodation in the valley is comfortable, there are some possibilities outside the valley, KarerPass, Welschnofen. Just 30-40 min by car to Cavalese or Moena (but careful, you have to drive over Passo Lavaze or Passo Karer, take time or check in advance weather situation).
First is to get a start place ! You must be early . Next step is to book accomodation, the earlier, the bigger is the choice. In the morning of the race you should be early again, free bus service is perfect and permanently, but the earlier you arrive at start place in Moena, the shorter the row in front of the dixie toiletts and the better is to find a plce in the warming tent beside the start area.
The forecast is available at Accuweather.
The race web site is at www.marcialonga.it.