Arctos Trail Description

 

New Park – Polivolio [Κ0 up to Κ4]
Distance: 3550 m.  Path: 1580 m.  Road: 1970 m.
Min. Elevation: 660 m. Max. Elevation: 1012 m.

After the start from New Park we continue on Makedonomachon Av., crossing the small circle, setting course to Florina’s Hospital. We turn left, slightly uphill to Analipseos Str., and left again to Dimitras Str., passing outside the entrance of the hospital, where the road becomes flat again. At 200 m., we turn right to Makedonias Str., passing outside Euxinos Lesxi, turn left to Argirokastrou Str., (Florina’s School of Music) and again right to P. Kalliga Strt. The uphill, which starts here, is getting harder as we continue. We are now 800 m., from the start of the race.

We continue for another 150 m., as we enter the trail, surrounded with pine trees. The path lead us to Florina’s Reservoir. After 290 m., of cement road, we enter again the trail for a while, until we exit to the forest road for 370 m. We enter the trail, at 807 m., where the slope is rising and for the next half kilometer, we run with an average slope of 13% and a maximum of 20%. Pine trees are gone and their places are taken from oak trees, since we are well pass of 900 m., of altitude. When the trail becomes flat, we are near the top of Mound 1033, running to its northern side.

Completing the 3Κ, we cross twice the forest road and enter the trail to the other side. After a small mound, we will see the twin kiosks. We have arrived to Polivolio S. S. at K4, at 1012 m., of altitude.

Polivolio – Trifillitsi [Κ4 up to Κ9]
Distance: 5540 m.  Path: 5010 m.  Road: 530 m.
Min. Elevation: 1012 m. Max. Elevation: 1640 m.

We continue downhill to the small chapel of Saint Antonius, choosing the forest road to Palaiochori. After a few meters of trail, we enter the same road up until we spot the big rock. This is the entrance of the main trail. Here the slope is small, ideal for overtaking.

Reaching F.O.O.F. mountain lodge at an altitude of 1100 m., is the beginning of the climb for the second peak of the race. The next 800 m., are tough, with the average slope reaching 22%, while a deep oak forest is shading our route.  When we pass the ruined outpost, we are at the second peak, at an altitude of 1300 m. A small downhill give us a chance to catch our breath, and the climb starts again.

The scenery is changing and the soil is replaced with rock formation, which depending of your mood and the level of exhaustion, will remind you from mermaids to bears… Here the climb is relatively easy, the oak trees are replaced with beeches and at an altitude of 1406 m., we will see the kiosk of Vlachiki Plaka at K6. In front of us, the hard climb to Taima peak, the highest peak of the race, is unfolding.

We descent the forest road and enter the trail, which in its first meters is actually a tractor road. We push hard for the next 600 m., with an average slope of 28% and a maximum of 33%, in order to reach the last tree of the path and make a right turn towards the ruins. Big breaths and big satisfaction, as we now run at an altitude of 1640 m. To the left of the ridge, the rocks define the end of the path and the beginning of a gorge, which unfolds 800 m., down to the small village of Akritas. To the right, a small plateau with ruins from outposts and buildings, ghosts of the Civil War, whereas down below the valley, Florina is faintly visible.

Maximum concentration here, for this is a technical path. We go through ruins with a lot of moisture, we descent from rocks, at some points we ascent at the edge of the ridge… When we see the forest of oak trees, it is the beginning of the downhill. We run through carefully and when we reach a clearing with ferns (and maybe with some wild boars), we turn sharply to the right. Some additional changes of direction later and the trail leads us to a forest of tall beeches, it gets wider and steeper. We are only a few hundred meters away from Trifillitsi S.S. at K9, altitude 1403 m.

Trifillitsi – Oropedio [Κ9 up to Κ18]
Distance: 9590 m.  Path: 8190 m.  Road: 1400 m.
Min. Elevation: 676 m. Max. Elevation: 1145 m.

We descend to another clearing with ferns and this is a big one. After 200 m., we turn left and enter again the forest with beeches, following the signs. This will lead us to the main trail. This route from the S.S. is fairly downhill, but without any major difficulties.

After a double left turn, the slope gets even and the trail gets bigger again. When the trail takes a dive, we continue to an older trail, which we revived for the purpose of the race. We continue on the old trail for 2K, until we spot Kladorrachi’s old camping station. Here is Kataskinosis S.S. at K13, altitude 879 m.

We pass by the Koimisi tis Theotokou church and we continue downhill to the village. The trail runs through Kladorrachi and continues at the back side towards Proti village. This is the lowest point of the race, at an altitude of 676 m. Be careful at a small segment, where the trail gets very narrow and the terrain to our left has a sharp drop. The trail that connects the two villages, as well as the forest road after Proti, are flat segment, ideal for covering lost time.

After Proti, having covered 500 m., of forest road, we turn left and take the trail that leads us towards the creek. We cross over, balancing in a few stones, and we start climbing up the hill. After a few meters, we turn right and continue until we reach the top of this hill. There is the tarmac road that leads to Saint Marc’s monastery. We are already at an altitude of 806 m. After 100 m., of tarmac, we enter the trail which now gets very steep, very fast, through a grove of cedar trees.

We cross over the forest road, through oak trees, and the trail is still steep. We pass over fallen logs, beside Little Bear, up until we join the trail coming from Saint Antony.  We catch our breath, as the trail gets flat and run towards a small clearing, where the S.E.O.F. mountain lodge is located, at an altitude of 1145 m.  We are at Oropedio S.S. at K18, altitude 1145 m.

Oropedio – Polivolio [Κ18 up to K28]
Distance: 8890m.  Path: 7870m.  Road: 1020 m.
Min. Elevation: 1012 m. Max. Elevation: 1640 m.

We have to refuel properly, because we have to climb for a second time Taima peak. This time our segment is more mild and the only steep part of the trail, at 900 m., from Oropedio S.S. is named Louki, because is very narrow and quite deep. After this steep part, the slope is decreased enough and we are now running parallel to the trail we were climbing after Palaiochori, up until the two trails meet, at 1295 m.

For here on and for the next 3.6K, we are running the same part of the route Rock Formation – Vlachiki Plaka – Taima- Trifillitsi. When we get our supplies at Trifillitsi S.S., altitude 1403 m., we are running the K24 of the race.

We proceed to a different trail than our first pass, and after a few meters, we turn sharply left. Be careful here, because a steep descend follows which leads us to the forest road. From here on, everyone depending on their level of endurance can cover lost time. We are at 1360 m., and the next 2.3K is a light downhill wide trail between beeches, up until Karvouna at 1200 m., a clearing after the forest.

From Karvouna, we follow the K2 downhill trail. Needs caution here, because the trail is narrow and steep. When we spot a white metal sign, at our right, this is the end of the trail and the entrance to a wide forest road. We need just another 200 m., to get to the last S.S. of the race, and the first one we use, Polivolio S.S. at K28, altitude 1012 m.

Polivolio – New Park [Κ28 up to Κ31]
Distance: 2920m.  Path: 1650 m.  Road: 1270 m.
Min. Elevation: 660 m. Max. Elevation: 1012 m.

Last refueling and after 100 m., we approach a fork of trails. We follow the sign and choose the right trail, which descends the Mount 1033 from its southern side, the side where Florina is situated. The oak trees give their place to pine trees and after descending 1.6K, the trail finishes as we pass through the first house of the city. We now run on asphalt, and we still have to negotiate a 290 meters descend.

We soon reach the Three Fountains point, which officially signals the edge of the city. The volunteers help us to cross the main street, and we race at asphalt having another 900 m., to cover to the finish.

Passing through the first cyclical junction and race down to Vogatsikou Str., we see the New Park area at the back. Another cyclical junction and the descent finishes. We are now running on Makedonomachon Av., the final stretch of the race, giving every inch of power our body has. We have run 31Κ, and we have climb 2102 m.

Have a wonderful race

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