12.48 mi

Elevation gain

4,997 ft

Technical difficulty

Very difficult

Elevation loss

4,993 ft

Max elevation

7,627 ft



Min elevation

4,002 ft

Trail type



2 hours 58 minutes




September 29, 2014


September 2014
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7,627 ft
4,002 ft
12.48 mi

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near Áno Zakhloroú, West Greece (Greece)

2nd Aristarchos Skyrace, Sept 28th, 2014.
Great race starting in Souvardo, small village about 20min drive up from Kalavryta. It was second edition of the race, recognized as the most difficult in Greece among 20k races in 2013! This year's route didnot change much, but probably it did get a bit easier with different first descending section from the top of Chelmos.

0,0k at 1225m - Souvardo / Start. The village is maybe something like 30 houses, so the race had to start from main square :-P Route followed asphalt road leaving the village for about 400m, to enter forest to the left.
From here started a forest path: very nice, steep and full of mud. I already was thenkful for taking pones with me :-D

2,6k at 1640m - End of first climb. Small hill just above tree line is the top/end of first climb. With help of pones, I was fairly fresh despite really hard efford all the way up here. Short descent (~180m altitude) with forest path to kind of plateau. Next 1k pretty flat but not easy at al, through the grass field full of loose rocks and holes! Section ends with demanding steep climb up to Lycoporta - again working hard with pones - to gain back 180m altitude.

4,9k at 1640m - Lycoporta / 1st Station. Very happy to get here still with full batteries. I did enjoy water on the station (as I decided not to carry anything with me). Next, flatish section to the base of Chelmos. Again, flatish didnt mean easy and same as previously, lots of loose rocks, holes and high grass. Just before 2nd station, tiny hill.

7,4k at 1680m - 2nd Station. I took longer break here, ate my power bar, some bananas and drunk 2-3 cups of water. Really took my time before vertical ascent to Chelmos - by far the most difficult section of the race! Acctually it's the definition of this race :-D It did go quite well for me! 650m of altitude in less than 2k done in just over 40min! And still keeping some juice for the descent...

9,3k at 2330m - Chelmos peak. Still some 3-4min to the station, but just getting here gave me huge energy boost, knowing 99% of ascent of the race is behind me :-P I did jogg last 400-500m to the station with much pleasure.

9,8k at 2320m - Top ski lift / 3rd Station. I was feeling very well considering my efford so far. I ate one gel, some banana, drunk 2 cups of water and after not more than 1min of stop I was ready to go. Currently in 4th (which stayed like this all the way to the end), about 15min after the leader and 1-2min to 2nd and 3rd runner.
First part of descent followed downhill bike path - very cool section! Fast, but not easy, lots of pounding on my quads!

12,1k at 1860m - Middle ski station. Fast descent ended here and small section with flat dirt road started - nice change for a bit fatigued quads. ~500-600m later, again to the smaller path, full of loose rocks, high grass and mud! Quads working hard again.

13,6k at 1650m - 4th Station. Despite difficult technical descent, I was still feeling pretty strong! Stopped for not more than 30sec, ate my gel (when still running before the station), drunk 2 cups of water and grabbed some banana for later :-P Next section was flatish, but the terrain was still very difficult - again rocks, mud, grass, not clear path etc... I lots sight to 2nd and 3rd runners (who were running together by now) and to runner behind me (it was actually first woman). So left alone, I paid more attention to correct tempo and to not to loose signs and path... it turned out to be pretty difficult taks combined with also looking down to avoid twisting my ankle on some rock! Generally very hard part for me + the fatigue. This is when I started to feel less comforty...

15,9k at 1670m - Lycoporta. After almost loosing the path, I finally reached Lycoporta. On last smaller climb I power hiked with my pones and restored a bit my batteries. From here, fast and a bit dangerous descent to find back the path from earlier ascent (at about 1480m altitude). It was a nice surprice to meet aid station here (it was actually 2nd station for small race, but it did serve for the big race as well :-D). Very quick stop, just for a cup of water and I continued with what was the last climb of the day - not difficult at all, but considering fatigue and rising temps, I did it fairly slow, walking with pones and trying to save some for the last dowhill.

17,5k at 1630m - End of last climb. Same spot that was end of first climb of the day :-P. Anyway, I was ready for full speed on the downhill, ready to pound my quads full time! Cool run here for me, still had enough power to push hard and the forest path was awesome!

20,1k at 1225m - Souvardo / Finish. I finished 4th, something like 30min behind winner (bravo Fani!) and 4min after 2nd and 3rd (bravo Niko and Dimitri!).

Really nice and difficult race, true skyrace! I mark it very difficult mainly for the vertical to Chelmos.

left / to the forest


End of first and last climb


Souvardo, start / finish


1st Station - Lycoporta


5th Station


2nd Station - bottom of Skicenter


Chelmos peak at 2340m


3rd Station - Top of skilift


Middle station of skicenter


Down the path


4th station - road to skicenter


back at Lycoporta


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