The gathering of the athletes will take place on Saturday, October 28, 2023, at the port of Chora Sfakion. Athletes should be at the port at 6:00 in the morning, from where they will collect their numbers from the race secretariat until 7:00.
The participants, upon receiving their number, will be able, if they wish, to deliver a bag with whatever clothes they think and which they will find at their finish in Anopolis.
After the closing of the secretariat will follow the technical briefing of the athletes who at 7:15 will board the ship indicated by the organization and will go to Loutro Sfakion. There, after doing the necessary warm-up, the start of the race will be given at 8:00 exactly. The time limit for the race is set at 10 hours and 30 minutes, while there will be two time cut-off points:
1. Location “MavrosHarakas”, 1st pass, (17th Km, +2,100m) from where the athletes should pass in 5 hours and 30 minutes.
2. Location “Mavros Harakas” 2nd pass, on their return (30.5Km, +2.980m) from where the athletes should pass at 8:00 hours.
In the first part of the race, the athletes will cross the beach front of Loutro for 500m and climb the rocky path that leads to Anopolis Sfakion. In this part of the race, they will run uphill to cover a distance of 3.1 kilometers, gaining 670 meters of positive altitude and after passing under the chapel of Agia Aikaterini they take the downhill path of 800 meters that will lead them to the square of Anopolis. After crossing the square they should turn left and at a distance of 100 meters they will meet the first fuel station, in Anopoli.
Entering the second part of the route, the athletes will run alternately on an asphalt and dirt road without particular slopes for about 2.2 kilometers, they will turn right at the intersection following the signs, after 500 meters they will turn left and enter the path. There they will meet the 2nd station of the race at the “Entrance of Porolangos” (7.2Km, +805m).
From there they will begin to climb the steep and wooded gorge called Porolangos, sometimes moving along the traces of an old stone-built path and sometimes moving along a dirt path. After 4.8 kilometers they will find the exit of the canyon at an altitude of 1,610 meters, where they will meet the 3rd refueling station at the location “Agatahopi”. So far the athletes will have completed 12 kilometers and gained 1,715 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 kilometers, and will reach the point “Mavros Harakas” (17Km,+2115m) where there will be the 4th and central fueling station. The station at the “Mavros Harakas” location is also the 1st control point from which the athletes must pass no later than 5 hours and 30 minutes after the start. It is recommended that the athletes fully refuel with food and water from this station since from here on for the next 8.5 kilometers they will not meet another refueling station.
So from this point (4th part of the route) onwards, the athletes will move at an altitude of more than 2,000 meters, exclusively on a path made of loose rock, crossing and admiring the famous mountain desert, a unique geological phenomenon for European standards. Essentially, it is a stony area of several square kilometers with sparse herbaceous or bushy vegetation. Here, in case of wind, the wind is very strong and icy and athletes will need to use the windbreaker recommended to bring with them.
Crossing the mountainous desert for 1Km and following the signs, they will turn left at the “Rousies” position, heading for the highest peak of the Lefka Ori (White Mountains), Pachnes, at an altitude of 2,454 meters. Athletes should therefore, after turning left, go up the path which in just 2 kilometers will lead them to the top (20Km, +2573m).
At the highest peak of the Lefka Ori, the 1st challenge of the race is completed. The first male and female athlete to reach the top of Pachnes and 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 top, weather permitting, athletes will be able to admire the unlimited view towards the Libyan Sea to the South and the interior of the Lefka Ori (White Mountains) to the North, what the locals call the “sea of peaks”. Essentially, it is about the more than 50 peaks over 2,000 meters that exist in the Lefka Ori mountain range, which together with the hundreds of smaller ones give you the feeling that you are in the middle of a sea of mountains, peaks and canyons.
From the top the athletes follow the new green/white markings, they will move on a ridge, sometimes on a well-formed path and sometimes on a real mountain field without a track for about 1.5km to the 2nd highest peak of the White Mountains, Mavros Gourgouthas at an altitude of 2,435m, after they have traveled 21.5Km, +2668m.
At the point they will descend from the top, having an amazing view in all directions for about 1.5km and 515m of negative altitude, to the base of the pyramid-shaped ‘Modaki’ peak and from there with small changes in the slope after traveling another 2.5Km on a path, they will reach the interior of the Lefka Ori (White Mountains), specifically the 5th fueling station at the location “Katsiveli-refugee Chr. Chouliopoulos” (25.5Km, +2,695m).
Here begins the 2nd challenge of the race which is dedicated to all those anonymous shepherds who built and maintained the paths (the strata) of the White Mountains and whose life and survival were identified with the mountain.
Here, then, there will be a head of traditional Gruyère, weighing 3 kilos, 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 head of cheese to the finish, wins it, together with its sports bag (provided by a well-known sports company) and is declared the winner of the “BringtheCheese” challenge.
Returning from a well-formed trail of 4 kilometers, taking 275m positive and 110m negative altitude, they will pass for the 2nd time the point “Rousies” and continuing straight they will reach the main station of the race at the location “Mavros Harakas” (2nd pass – 30.5oKm, +2970m) . The 2nd crossing from the “Mavros Harakas” station is the third and last control point where the athletes must have passed at 8:00 hours from the start.
From here on down, the route, until the finish in Anopoli square, is downhill and the same as the one the athletes took during their ascent (2nd and 3rd part of the route).
So for 5 kilometers they will move downhill, alternately on a dirt road and a path, until they pass for the 2nd time the station at the location “Agathopi” (35Km, +3,000m), they will enter and cross for 4.5 kilometers the gorge (Porolangos) and at its exit they will meet for the 2nd time the refueling station at the “Entrance- Porolangos” location (40.3Km, +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 kilometers and will finish in the square of Anopoli.
To be considered valid, the finish of an athlete must occur within 10 hours and 30 minutes from the start of the race.
In Anopolis, the athletes will be offered a meal and at 17:00 the awards of the race will be made for the first 3 men and the first 3 women in the general category. At 18:00 and 19:00 a coach will depart to return the athletes to the port of Sfakia to collect their vehicles.