And the name of it: South Olympus Forest Trail! 58km +2700m ascent. Yes, another new race someone will say and I’m not doing it wrong, the races now outnumber the athletes, and that’s a good thing in my opinion. It would be another race if it was 30,35, 42km and we had no intention of doing that, precisely because there are quite a few. But what if someone wants to take it a little further? If he wants to make the transition to longer distances, longer hours on the mountain in the controlled environment of a race; He has to run a distance of 80km or more, with a lot of altitude with many hours and usually in some distant area with a lot of expenses. It’s definitely a bit scary for most people. There is a gap in the short ultra distances of 50-60km or otherwise around 10-12 hours for the average mountain runner. After the absurd regulations and decrees for Olympus, the beloved Lost trail left a big void not only because it was a beautiful race but because it was also the step for someone to enter the “ultradistances” as an experience, but also as a participation criterion for bigger races 100km or 100 miles! So this was a motivation to create the South Olympus Forest Trail or simply “South” as it has prevailed among us in these few months that we have been dealing with its idea and preparations. The second and most important motivation was that in the “lower” Olympus, on the mountain where the Pourlia Trail runs, there are some beautiful paths and places that could not fit in 25 km, such as the Summit transformation at 1600m altitude with a view of the whole Thessalian plain, Pelion, Pindos and the Aegean Sea. The forest site Patomeni outside the village of Kallipefki. The unknown and almost deserted village of Ano Skotina which will be a pleasant surprise for many. The route starts and ends in Old Panteleimon on Saturday, October 14, 2023 at sunrise at 7:32am with a valid finish limit of 14 hours. The route moves for the most part on a path, but there is also a large part of a forest road, in a dense forest of fir, pine, beech, chestnut and even Koumaria, hence the Forest in the title. The forest is present almost throughout the route, it overwhelms you, it almost suffocates you! I would call it easy, in terms of terrain, it is soft without a lot of rock, and has enough running. The gradients are relatively gentle 12-15% on average, except for three uphills which reach 40% for relatively short intervals. The season when the race takes place is the season when the beech turns red and lays a carpet of yellow leaves, making a continuous frame! If you noticed the “” in the word – below – it’s time for me to explain them. Completely personally I am arbitrary and without it being on any map, I think that this part of Olympus is wrongly called Lower Olympus. It’s kind of anachronistic and demeaning. It is clearly Olympus, and it is clearly south of the main body of Olympus with the high peaks. This is how I consider and propose the name Notios Olympos, at least for the race. So we “southerners” are declaring “war” on the “northerners” a “civil war” that is, Southerners – Northerners… Did you see the logo..? Reminds you of something..? Of course, not to be misunderstood, all this is ONLY humorous in nature and was somehow built on conversations with friends, joking, laughing, joking around on the trails. After all, this is also our philosophy for the games, to have fun, to laugh, to joke with teasing, to enjoy it! Soon, the site will be updated with all the details about the route, food, etc. But a word about the participation criteria. 


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