1 July 2023 – Mt Olympus – Lithocoro
Greece – Europe
“Salewa Olympus Mythical Trail” (briefly “Mythical”) is considered to be the hardest ultra-trail race in Greece. It takes place every July on the emblematic mountain of Olympus, a monument of world natural and cultural heritage. Mythical made its debut in 2012 as a 100km race and since then has seen several minor changes to its course aiming to make it even more exciting. The latest edition introduced in 2023 comprises 110km with 7200m of ascent.
The race consisted of a loop form with start and finish in the town of Litochoro, in the north Aegean Sea Riviera and unfolds on the mostly uninhabited massif of Mt Olympus the highest mountain in Greece. It crosses temperate woods and alpine meadows to approach the peaks of the mountain reaching up to 2905 meters of elevation at its highest point.
Almost 90% of the route is on technical paths and the remaining 10% on paved and dirt tracks. The time limit is 34:00 hours and there are 13 refreshment points. The start of the race is given at midnight and thus the 200 athletes are moving in the alpine zone before dawn, having an amazing view of bright lights illuminating down below from towns and cities across the horizon.
Ancient Greeks considered Mt Olympus to be the residence of god Zeus, hence the “mountain of gods” appellation used even nowadays. In ancient times, every year in early summer there was a pilgrimage at these very same paths to the peaks of the mountain, to offer libations to the gods and celebrate the season.
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