Description

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The race starts at the archaeological site of Dion, 3 m. above sea level. At first, the athletes run on asphalt road crossing the settlement of Dion village. Right after the village, the route moves on a asphalt country-road towards the mountain in a slight ascending incline. At Km-5, the track reaches Olympus foothills, (alt.150m). After some road twists, the athletes leave the road at Km-6 to enter the trail that will be followed for the next 36 km. At the beginning, the trail moves in the ravine of ‘Orlias’ with dense bush vegetation, which soon becomes a forest with broad-leafed trees. The athletes run on a moderate trail with many twists but the field is clear without many rocks. For quite some time, the runners can hear the sound of the stream running in the ravine below forming several distinctive falls. Later, the trail moves away from the ravine and the athletes dive into a wonderful pine tree forest! After Km-9, the route crosses a dirt track twice, then once more and follows it for about 500m. to reach Station-3 (Koromilia). Further on, it enters the pine forest again and climbs up. At this point, the trail is wide and clear and after gaining some altitude, it reaches a forested slope at Km-13 at Station-4 (Bara). Then the trail emerges to a ridge and the view is wide open and one can distinguish the peaks of the southern part of the mountain. The trail here is not clearly defined but the marking is frequent so that there are no doubts about the right direction. At Km-15, the athletes reach the Station-5 (Petrostrouga) alt.1940m, where the first 3:45 hours cut-off point is also located. The vegetation at this point includes exclusively the ‘robolo’, a kind of high altitude pine tree. The runners now follow the main trail to the higher part of the mountain, which they have crossed earlier at Station-5. The field is fine without any loose rocks. At Km-17, the vegetation becomes bushier and then it is gradually eliminated near the alpine zone as the athletes climb above the tree level at 2200m. At Km-18, past Station-6 (Skourta), the runners view the main complex of the mountain higher peaks for the first time. ‘Zeus Throne’ is there with its prominent shape dominating beyond the ‘Mousses Plateau’. To reach that point, athletes follow the ridge that leads to the ‘Mousses Plateau’-a spot with a fascinating view at any direction. After an arduous short climbing on rough field full of sharp loose rocks, the trail finally leads to the ‘Mousses Plateau’. This is a high altitude meadow (alt.2500+), which lays at the highest part of the mountain with ‘Zeus Throne’ peak above it at its western end. Runners now head towards this direction with a stunning view to the towers of ‘Zeus Throne’ at 2911m. Soon, they reach Station-7 "Oropedio Mouson" (Muses Plataeu) next to ‘Kakalos’ refuge (alt.2650m). Here is the second cut-off point at 5:30 hours. The trail climbs further up to pass below ‘Zeus Throne’ and reaches the highest point of the route (alt.2780m). Then, it follows an endless downhill, which is the second distinctive part of the race. A mild downhill, at first, traverses eastward to a steep slope called ‘Zonaria’, where the main trail reaches a deviation point to the highest peak of the mountain called ‘Mytikas’ (alt.2918 m). Here, the trail is rough so the athletes must be very cautious of this most exposed part of the entire route. After about 1-2 km, the trail turns eastward and runners have a clear view of the sea in the distance as they climb down through a wide ridge on many trail twists. Running a little further down brings them into the forest again, below the tree line. Then they reach Station-8 (Refuge A) at alt. 2060m. Countless twists lead to a gradual downhill, through robolo and pine forest till the slope becomes much smoother. The trail enters a dense beech forest with thick tree shade that offers freshness and relief to the athletes’ knees. About 2 km later, the trail reaches a site called ‘Prionia’ and meets the road to Litochoro. Station-9 (Prionia) is situated here. There is the last cut-off point at 7:30 hours From here, the athletes enter the last part of the race, following the main trail, which goes along the Valley of Enipeas River. This river has its sources at Prionia. The trail now is well marked and very safe although there are some technical parts that require one’s attention. The vegetation here is dense and refreshing. At Km-34, the trail passes past the old Monastery of Aghios Dhionisiow as well as past Station-10 (Monastery). Then it crosses the river several times over small wooden bridges that lead across from one bank to the other. At Km-36, the trail keeps on the south side of the valley, which gradually becomes steeper, forming a wide gorge with numerous ups and downs but always on fine terrain. An extended ascent at Km-39 takes the runners to 200m higher altitude where the (last) Station-12 (Portes) of the race lies. At this point, the athletes will enjoy a view of Litochoro Town for the first time. A steep downhill track with loose, sharp rocks will bring runners lower and at Km-42 they reach the outskirts of the town. This is the end of the trail. The two last kilometers are on asphalt road. The finish line is at Litochoro Park that lies at the centre of the town.

 

# S T A T I O N Alt. trip tot. cut-off
1 Aghios Konstantinos 310 6,0 6,0 d
2 Orlias 740 2,5 8,5  
3 Koromilia 980 1,9 10,4 2:20
4 Bara 1640 2,1 12,5  
5 Petrostrouga 1940 2,8 15,3 3:40
6 Skourta 2425 2,4 17,7  
7 Oropedio Mouson 2690 3,1 20,8  
8 Refuge A' 2060 4,2 25,0  
9 Prionia 1130 6,1 31,1 7:30
10 Monastery 875 3,0 34,1  
11 Kastana 705 3,0 37,1 8:45
12 Portes 680 3,0 40,2  
Fin Litochoro 320 3,5 43,8 10:00