Detailed Description

The gathering of the athletes will take place on Saturday, October 30, 2021, at the port of Chora Sfakion. Athletes must be at the port at 6:00 in the morning, from where they will receive their numbers from the race secretariat until 7:00.

Upon receipt of their number, the participants will be able, if they wish, to deliver a bag with whatever clothes they think and which they will find at their finish in Anopoli.

With the closing of the secretariat, the technical information briefing of the athletes will follow, who at 7:15 will board the ship indicated by the organization and will go to Loutro Sfakion. There, after they make the necessary warm-up, the race will start at 8:00 exactly. The time limit for the race is set at 10 hours and 30 minutes while there will be three points of time elimination:

i. In the position “Mavros Harakas”, 1st passage, (17th Km, + 2.100m) from where the athletes will have to pass in 5 hours and 30 minutes.

ii. at the “Rousies” position, 2nd passage (22nd Km, + 2.585m) from where the athletes will have to pass in 7 hours.

iii. at the position “Mavros Harakas” on their return – 2nd passage (31st Km, + 2.980m) from where the athletes will have to pass at 8:30 hours. 

In the first part of the race the athletes will cross the coastal front of Loutro for 500m and will go up the rocky path that leads to Anopoli Sfakion. In this part of the race, they will incline to cover a distance of 3 kilometers, gaining 670 meters of positive altitude and after passing under the church of Agia Aikaterini to take the downhill path of 800 meters that will lead them to the square of Anopolis. After crossing the square they will have to turn left and at a distance of 100 meters they will meet the first refueling station, in Anopoli.

Entering the second part of the route, the athletes will run alternately on asphalt and dirt road without special slopes for about 2.2 km, they will turn right at the intersection following the signage, after 500 meters turning left they will enter the path. There they will meet the 2nd station of the race at the position “Porolangos Entrance” (7.2Km, + 805m).From there they will start to climb the steep and wooded gorge called Porolangos, sometimes moving on the tracks of an old stone path and sometimes moving on a dirt path. After 4.5 km they will find the exit of the gorge at an altitude of 1,610 meters, where they will meet the 3rd refueling station at the location “Agkathopi”. So far the athletes will have traveled 11.7 kilometers and have won 1,705 meters of positive altitude.Entering the third part of the route, the athletes will move alternately on a dirt road and a path for 5.3 kilometers, and will reach the point “Mavros Harakas”, where there will be the 4th and central refueling station. The station at “Mavros Harakas” is the first checkpoint from where athletes must pass no later than 5 hours and 30 minutes after the start. It is suggested to the athletes to be fully supplied with food and water from this station since from now on for the next 14 kilometers they will not meet another refueling station.

From this point (4th part of the route) onwards the athletes will move at an altitude of over 2,000 meters, exclusively on a path consisting of shale rock crossing and admiring the famous mountain desert, a geological phenomenon unique to Europe. It is essentially a stony area of many square kilometers with sparse herbaceous or shrubby vegetation. Here, in case it blows, the wind is very strong and icy and the athletes will need to use the windbreaker that is recommended to bring with them.

Crossing the mountainous desert for 900 meters and following the signage, they will turn left at the place “Rousies”. From here they will have for the first time visual contact with the highest peak of the White Mountains, Pachnes, at an altitude of 2,454 meters. Athletes will then have to turn left to climb the path which in just 2.1 km will lead them to the top (20Km, + 2580m).

The 1st challenge of the race is completed at the highest peak of the White Mountains. The first athlete and the 1st athlete who will reach the top of Pachnes and will manage to finish the race within the time limit will be declared the winner of the “SEA TO SUMMIT” challenge and will receive a special award.

From the summit, weather permitting, athletes will be able to admire the unrestricted view of the Libyan Sea to the south and the interior of the White Mountains to the north, what the locals call a “sea of peaks”. Essentially, these are more than 50 peaks over 2,000 meters that exist in the White Mountains that together with the hundreds of smaller ones give you the feeling that you are in the middle of a sea of mountains, peaks and gorges.

From the top the athletes will move backwards, taking for 2.1 km the path they used to climb, until they reach for the second time the position Rousies, where there will be the 2nd elimination point at 7 hours from start of the race.

At this point they will turn left taking the path that will lead them inside the White Mountains and specifically to the 5th refueling station at the location “Katsiveli-Chr. Chouliopoulos refugee”(26Km, + 2.695m).

Here begins the 2nd challenge of the race which is dedicated to all those anonymous shepherds who built and maintained the paths (“strhates” in greek) of the White Mountains and whose life and survival was “one” with the mountain.

Here, then, there will be a head of traditional gruyere cheese, weighing 4 kg, which will have been prepared and matured in the heart of the White Mountains, in the most traditional way. The first athlete who chooses to bring the cheese head to the finish, wins it, along with the sports bag (offered by a well-known sports company) and is declared the winner of the “Bring the Cheese” challenge.

Returning from the same path they will pass for the 3rd time from the point “Rousies” and continuing straight they will reach the main station of the race at the position “Mavros Harakas” (2nd passage-31o Km, + 2980m). The 2nd passage from the station “Mavros Harakas” is the third and last checkpoint from where the athletes should have passed at 8:30 hours from the start.

From here on the route, until the finish in the square of Anopolis, is downhill and the same as the one taken by the athletes during their ascent (2nd and 3rd part of the route).

Thus, for 5.3 km they will move downhill, alternately on a dirt road and a path, until they pass for the 2nd time from the refueling station to the position “Agkathopi” (36.1Km, + 3.000m), they will enter and cross for 4.5 km the gorge (Porolangos) and at its exit they will meet for the 2nd time the station at the place “Porolagos Entrance” (40,6Km, + 3,000m).In the last part of the race, the athletes will move first on a dirt road and then on asphalt for 2.7 km and will finish in Anopolis square.To be considered valid an athlete must finish within 10 hours and 30 minutes of the start of the race.

In Anopolis, the athletes will be offered a meal with traditional Cretan dishes and at 17:00 the awards of the race will be made for the first 3 men and the first 3 women of general category. At 18:00 and 19:00 there will be a bus that will return the athletes to the port of Chora Sfakia to pick up their vehicles.