OLYMPUS MYTHICAL TRAIL > REGULATIONS 2021
Updated : February 2021
"Olympus Mythical Trail", abbreviated OMT, is an ultra endurance mountain race, which takes place the first weekend of July in Mt Olympus, Greece. The race is an out-and-back loop course of 102 km and 6520 meters of vertical climb, ITRA certified, with a 29-hour cut-off. It runs almost exclusively on single track, including 15km straight above 2500m on a very technical footing. The race starts at 24:00 Friday, July 2nd, 2021, from the "Lakkos" site nearby Litochoro town central square, where it also closes at 05:00, Sunday, July 3rd. The highest authority of the OMT is the Race Director. It will be his sole responsibility to make all race-related decisions and be the final arbiter on any controversial situation or difficulties of any kind that may arise during the event. The Race Director also has the authority to modify or terminate the OMT event at any time as this pertains to the track, location and schedule, for safety, environmental conditions or cases of force majeure.
The following terms are used interchangeably to denote:
- “Race” and “event” refer to the "Olympus Mythical Trail", abbreviated OMT
- “participants”, “runners” and “athletes” is anyone having successfully having started the race.
- “Organizer” and “Organization” refer to Olympus Trails, a nonprofit association.
- “Route” and “course” refer to the established ITRA-certified track of the OMT event.
The "Olympus Mythical Trail is about self-exploration, not about just about winning or competing against others. The objective of this extraordinary mountain journey around Mt. Olympus is to provide a challenge in which you can explore your physical and mental limits and discover new possibilities within yourself. As the race takes place in a protected and environmentally sensitive area, everyone involved has the moral and legal obligation to respect the flora and fauna minimizing the impact to our surroundings. Our principles are: "Tread Lightly and Leave No Trace"
The Event is taking place in one of the UNESCO proposed world heritage regions, to quote: “Owing to its specific microclimate, which is partly due to the short distance from the sea and the steep increase in height above sea level, it stands out for its great diversity in terrain, climate and vegetation. The shape of the massif and the majestic peaks, covered in fog and low-hanging clouds, which often bring storms, in conjunction with its diverse and changeable natural beauty, have always induced awe and admiration. In this eerie landscape, the ancient Greeks placed the residence of the Twelve Gods of Olympus (with Zeus at their head), the Muses and the Graces. There, according to Hesiod, Zeus fought Cronus and the Titans and, after winning, settled there and became lord all the gods, demigods and humans. The myths and traditions collected by Homer and Hesiod were passed on throughout the ancient Greek and Roman world, making Olympus the epicentre of ancient Greek mythology and a symbol of Greek civilization.”
Please respect the flora and fauna, do not destroy plants, foliage or kill any wildlife. Stay on the trails and avoid taking shortcuts as this causes soil erosion. Take great care to avoid littering, even accidental.
Sharing the Trails : The course links established trails around Mt. Olympus, from North-West to South-East, with rediscovered ancient pathways to form a seamless out-and-back loop. These trails stand as testament to the way people used to make a hard living through the natural mountain resources, logging, herding and foraging. Many people use the trails for hiking and recreation and OMT aims to foster a mutual respect and understanding between these different users and help communicate and promote the sharing of these trails.
Eligible for participation are men and women aged from 20 to 69 years, who must meet specific qualification criteria. The number of athletes admitted in OMT is set at 250 (two hundred fifty). The rationale behind this number is the maximum number of participants that can be reliably and safely supported by the organization and to be self-consistent in our commitment to minimize the environmental impact on the sensitive and protected natural area of Mount Olympus. The qualification for non-Greek residence athletes is their ITRA scoring which must be 400 or more points in L and/or XL and/or XXL category, or at least one 80K (50M) race in the last 3 years, which proves that they are active in ultras! Registration begins on February 14th (20:00 CET) and ends by completing the number of 250 participants. The registration fee is 120 (one hundred twenty) euros and it is payable via the online payment system. No medical (health) certificate is needed for registration, every athlete is responsible for their good health.
Included with the registration fee:
- Timing chips and medical assistance during the race
- Commemorative gift
- Alimentation throughout the race
- Shuttle service for those dropping out or stopped at cut-offs as specified in Article 12
- Pre-race and post-race meal in the start/finish site (Lakkos/Litochoro)
- Finisher medal will be given to the finishing line to those runners who complete the race within the official cut-off time.
Registration Desk (Race Secretariat) which will operate the day prior to the race (Thursday) is located at the race site (Lakkos). There will be a detailed race briefing on Thursday afternoon (8:00pm).
4. Awards and Ranking Categories
Categories of participants:
- MEN : M1 (20-23), M2 (24-39), M3 (40-49), M4 (50-59), M5 (60-69)
- WOMEN : W1 (20-23), W2 (24-39), W3 (40-49), W4 (50-59), W5 (60-69)
- TWINS : Duos who compete the total race together (proved by the split times table) Participants are encouraged but not compelled to state their intention to form a team in advance, at the Registration Desk during the race-bag pickup on race eve.
No money prizes offered to the race winners, only commemorative, as below:
- 1st, 2nd & 3rd male overall winners
- 1st, 2nd & 3rd female winners overall
- Fastest Duo (Twins), consisting strictly of two athletes, registered prior to the race, moving together the whole race!
- All finishers completing successfully the race within the limit time (29:00h) will be awarded a medal
During the race there will be screening for symptoms that might imply impaired health, given the objective difficulties of the race (exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia, hypoglycemia, dehydration, etc.). Medical Doctors and rescue staff will be placed in appropriate locations along the route to aid participants and have the authority to stop an athlete from continuing if deemed unfit. If you are told to stop, you will be required to remove and return your race bib meaning that you have dropped out of the race or disqualified. Each athlete however, has personal responsibility to arrange for immediate first aid kit as emergency help can take long time to arrive depending on location and number of requests for assistance occurring at the same time.
Each athlete has a moral obligation to assist other athletes who are in need or danger. The EURO-emergency phone number 112 can be used where mobile phone coverage exists. It is recommended to all athletes to bring along with them mobile phone during the race, so to be able to call for help if the athlete himself or another athlete is in danger.
6. Race Number (BIB)
Attach a race bib to the front side of your upper body (hips, belly or chest) with safety pins or a bib belt. Make sure the race bibs are fully visible at all times during the race and not hidden behind your clothing.
7. Mark Card
The "Mark Card" is a special hard perforation plastic card for marking the pass of each participant from specific points across the race course, not coinciding with the official Stations/Checkpoints, but placing elsewhere, in key-points! There, members of the organization will puncture the cards and leaving a specific mark, different each time as an evidence of point-passing
8. Obligatory (mandatory) Equipment
The obligatory (mandatory) equipment is consisting of the following 12 items:
1. Backpack > Acceptable any pack that can be fit to the back through two shoulder straps! Τhere is no carrying volume capacity minimum but must be enough to contain the items of mandatory equipment, other than #11 (bib, strap on chest or backpack) and #12 (control card, on the backpack). The starting backpack cannot be replaced during the race by another! One athlete in order to receive the bib (race) number from the secretariat, must present his/her pack in order to get the control card on it!
2. Jacket > waterproof-windproof, as deemed appropriate by the athlete. Preferable with a hood and breathable. Mere plastic jackets, ponchos or bags are not acceptable
3. Shirt > T-shirt, long-sleeved or short-sleeved for use as a spare in the race, if necessary
4. Gloves > light summer gloves, enough for some cold spells while at high altitudes, especially in case of fog
5. Fluid reservoir > soft or hard (bladder, flask, bottle, etc.) athlete's choice, with a minimum capacity of 0.7 liters
6. Telephone > mobile phone that can make calls in Greece!
7. Head torch > During the equipment check on K-69 aid station it is OK if the head-torch batteries will be left with little or no charge
8. Cup > any plastic cup that the athlete deems appropriate can be used to receive fluids at aid stations. Disposable cups as well as hard bottles or bottle lids are acceptable given that their capacity is at least 100ml
9. Bandage > elastic trauma band, to be used in emergencies
10. Survival blanket > the well-known aluminum foil that traps body temperature
11. Race number (bib) > Provided from the organizers and must be worn on a prominent position (chest/backpack)
12. Control card > Will be hooked by the organizers on athlete's backpack. It is used for punching out at the checkpoints to ensure compliance to the race route. Each missing punch hole carries a penalty of one hour.
ATTENTION: The organization will check the mandatory equipment at “Pigadi” Aid Station at the K-61 of the route. For each item missing from the backpack, an (1) hour penalty will be imposed. If the Control Card is missing, a three (3) hour penalty will be imposed.
NOTE: When leaving Koromilia station (K-14), all athletes will be checked for carrying a waterproof jacket. If they do not carry this item they will be stopped and not allowed to continue the race!
8. Recommended Equipment
It is strongly encouraged to carry the following Recommended Equipment, in addition to the mandatory equipment. Recommended Equipment ensures a safe and controlled experience for an event that spans over many hours, in the dark, over high Alpine terrain:
- Spare clothing (base layer top and socks)
- First aid kit: blister plasters, sterile pad dressing, and an adhesive elastic band to secure dressing
- Sun protection: Sunglasses, Sunscreen (SPF 15+) and a hat with a brim
- GPS unit (device or wristwatch) with the race track preloaded
- Food of any kind
- Gaiters (lightweight type for trail runners)
- Trekking Poles (Walking sticks). Use of trekking poles is permitted after Checkpoint 1 (Stavros) KM-5 only. The use of poles is allowed when athletes have passed the "Poles-Point", at the "Deli" site (K-2 of the race). Please keep your poles folded until that point!
10. Gross Negligence
The race organization will check the number of required items of obligatory equipment (gear). Moreover, if it is found that a participant has endangered himself by his own gross negligence in his selection of equipment, the participant will be disqualified and excluded from all future events.
Gross negligence is:
- injury from a fall in the darkness because of absence of proper lighting gear
- hypothermia from inadequate clothing
- not carrying sufficient water to prevent dehydration-induced heat exhaustion
11. Liability Waiver
The Organization bear no liability for any damage to the health or physical integrity (injury or death) of those participating in the event. By registering for the event each participant takes full notice and agrees to the rules and regulation, assuming full responsibility for his participation and waves the organizers from any liability in case of accident or serious risk to which the organizers may have exposed himself/herself by organizing the event. Participants are aware of the potential hazards associated with racing in a mountain ultra endurance event, usually in extreme conditions and has a personal responsibility to proceed to all the necessary medical screening to ascertain the ability to compete in such event. Participants assume all risks associated with taking part in this event including, but not limited to, falls, contact with flora and fauna, the effects of the weather, including snow, ice, rain, heat and/or humidity, traffic, altitude, road and surface conditions.
If a participant receives medical help resulting from placing himself in danger because of his gross negligence, he/she will bear any costs for emergency evacuation, be disqualified from the raced and barred from entering future events.
A. Disqualification : For all serious offenses, the penalty imposed is exclusion from the race (disqualification). The penalties are imposed either immediately or after the race has finished.Notice: For offenses of improper/violent behavior or downright fraudulent behavior as in use of transport means (car) the disqualification can be permanent and the athlete will not allowed to participate in any future events. Disqualification is the penalty imposed on any of the following offenses:
- Gross negligence (see Article 10)
- Refusal to follow orders from Aid Station Marshals or medical, rescue and safety team staff
- Deliberate littering
- Inappropriate behavior towards Aid Station Marshals or medical, rescue and safety team staff or fellow athletes
- Not following the designated race route, taking shortcuts, including short-cutting switchbacks
B. Penalty of 60 minutes time is imposed for lesser importance offences, such as:
- Missing of every item of the obligatory equipment (except for Mark-Card).
- Missing a checkpoint
Receive support anywhere outside the designated areas in Aid Stations
- Not having a race bib at all times
- Being escorted or having a pacer anywhere outside the designated areas in Aid Stations
C. Penalty of 180 minutes (3 hours) is imposed for the following
- Missing of "Mark-Card"
13. Cut-off Time Limits
Cuts-off time barriers are enforced at the time of arrival at the checkpoint. The maximum allowed time for successfully completing the course is 29 hours. The race starts exactly at on Friday midnight (24:00h) and closes on Sunday early morning (05:00h). Those arriving after the final race cut-off are not considered finishers and are not awarded a medal. There are two intermediate cut-off points:
- Oropedio K-25 on Saturday 07:30am, or 7:30 hours of racing
- Aiyannis K-70 on Saturday 18:30pm, or 18:30 hours of racing
Participants missing those intermediate cut-offs must hand-in their bib to the person in charge of the Aid Station (if requested, the number can be returned after the race by the Race Secretariat).
Athletes who want to continue their efforts despite being stopped from competing after missing the cut-offs, are doing so on their own responsibility and are not considered anymore as part of the event. These athletes can not have any more support neither from the organization, nor from the Safety Team or arise any claim to the organization.
14. Race Stop / Change of Cut-off times
The Race Director is solely responsible for the final decision regarding stopping and or cancelling the event, as deemed appropriate after accessing the situation. Weather conditions are generally mild but in case of extreme events we might postpone the start of the race for a few hours in case of dangerous conditions in the high Alpine sections of the course. In this case there will be no other change, only a temporary stop until conditions improve, extending accordingly the cut-off times as well as the final one of 29:00 hours. The race may be suspended for a short period while in already progress, due to dangerous weather conditions (electric storm). In this case athletes are obliged to halt their effort until further notice is given by the Race Director to Aid Stations personnel for restarting the race. All athletes who are forced to stop and affected by the break are recorded for how long they stopped and after their finish it is calculated the interruption period and deducted from their total time. The Organization reserves the right to impose extraordinarily obligatory equipment to protect athletes from heavy rain or intense cold according to the prevailing weather conditions. In such event, the athletes will be notified promptly, during the Safety briefing before the start of the race (Friday afternoon).
15. Dropping out
- Organization will make every reasonable effort to get you to the finish, Litochoro, or to the nearest major checkpoint that is still in operation, particularly if you are in need of medical attention. In non-emergency situations, you may have to wait several hours before being evacuated, so please be patient. Aid stations will close when the safety sweep team arrives. The organizers will have a vehicle for pick up for those dropping out only at the major checkpoints: a) Prionia (K-88), b) Bichtesi (K-51), c) Aiyannis (K-70) and at no other location. In the case of a medical emergency or severe injury, the State Emergency Rescue Service will be notified as required, along with every mean available from the organizer to coordinate the rescue efforts.
- Any costs associated with an evacuation or recovery from the course other that specifies by the organizer's rules shall be borne by the participant in question.
16. Course marking
The course will be marked by permanent and temporary means, using different kinds of markings, such as small plastic signs, reflecting night signs and colored paint. Course markings will generally be visible under normal lighting conditions. Abnormal conditions may include sand, dust, mist, fog, rain, snow or any other condition that reduces visibility (other than darkness). If abnormal conditions occur, a stage may be modified, delayed or cancelled until normal visibility conditions return. Keep in mind that the race takes place in high alpine areas and that course marking can be misplaced from wild animals, extreme weather events like wind gusts or just by accident. It is strongly encouraged to have downloaded the gps track of the event to an appropriate device to facilitate the navigation. Bear in mind that to participate in the OMT requires mountain experience in similar terrain. The course will be marked at regular intervals depending on terrain and visibility. If you do not see a marker for more than 500 meters or about 10 minutes and you are not on an obvious or logical course, you must immediately return to the last known marker to find the correct course. It is your responsibility to pay attention to the markings and to make sensible decisions when following the course. Where the course makes any abrupt change of direction, this will be well signposted. The main means of marking is the permanent hiking trail marks of Mount Olympus, others good but some rather poor. For this reason, the organization will supplement with temporary removable markings, consisting mainly of pieces of plastic colored ribbon and removable marks. There will be special low visibility and night-time reflective signs on trees, in the sections where athletes will move in the darkness.
17. Drop bag
Each athlete is entitled to hand in one (1) "supply bag" (drop bag), which will be available at the "Aiyannis" Aid Station, at the 70km mark of the course and transported back to the start after the closing of the Station. Drop-Bags must not exceed the volume of 50 liters, preferably of waterproof and durable material. It is recommended to avoid putting glass or sharp metal objects inside the bag to avoid damage other materials stored in bags themselves or in the bags of other athletes. The organization is not responsible any damages of anything stored in the bags. Special tag will be given to attach it on the drop-bag. Drop-bags can be handed in at the Registration Desk on Friday, 12:00-23:00 hours.
18. Aid Stations
According to the Olympus Mythical Trail philosophy, the event is based on principles of semi-autonomy, independence, self-awareness and individual racing. Semi-autonomy is defined as having the capacity to be self-sufficient between two refreshment points, not only for food or drink but also being able to be safe and secure for problems which could be encountered or envisaged (bad weather, physical problems, injuries, etc). On leaving the aid station, one must have enough food and water to reach the next aid station. Each competitor must go through the aid station controls even if he/she does not wish to stop at it.
OMT as ultra trail race belongs to the race of those who qualify as "experiential", i.e. for mostly dedicated athletes to the kind of races demanding self-supported philosophy. Any kind of external support in unforeseen places, it is clear contravention of the principles of OMT, and therefore is forbidden!
Crew support is permitted only in the designated area of the following Aid Stations:
- Prionia (K-88), accessible to any type of car through asphalt road, 17K from Litochoro,
- Aiyannis (K-70), accessible to any type of car through asphalt road, 4km from Litochoro
- Stavros (K-5), accessible by any kind of car through asphalt road, 9km from Litochoro
- Koromilia (K-14), accessible only to 4X4 car, 30km from Litochoro
Escorting or hiking along participants outside the designated Aid Station is strictly prohibited and any incident reported and verified by the Marshals will lead 60mins penalty.
The Aid Station is the primary operational unit of the organization during the race. There, the athletes can receive medical services and food resupply as well as external support (but only at the four mentioned Stations). Responsible at each station is the Station Marshal who is authorized to manage the affairs in their entirety: penalties, stop-go decisions for participants, and all decisions regarding the operation of station. Support is provided in 9 fully stocked aid stations.
Four of the aid stations are considered as major: Oropedio, Pigadi, Aiyannis, Prionia and offer a variety of solid and liquid food. The remaining 5 stations are considered minor and offer a more limited variety of food. All the 9 aid stations offer water to athletes. In stations where there is no fresh water flowing from springs/fountains there will be available bottled water. The “Alimentation Table” of the race is shown below
Checkpoints are intended only to record participant passing. The role of checkpoints is to record intermediate timings, make sure everyone adheres to rules and ‘fair play’. Checkpoints are 19 in total, 12 of them are the Aid Stations sites. IMPORTANT: No checkpoint is offering any kind of food or water! Only at the Aid Stations an athlete may receive food or water. Checkpoints may provide support for competitors in emergency only.
20. Search and Rescue Sweep Team
A team of experienced volunteers will form a Search and Rescue Sweep that will follow the last athlete. If any participant needs assistance should strive always to stay on the course track and wait for either a fellow athlete or the Sweep Team. The team will have radio contact with Aid Stations and assist athletes in case of hardship.
21. Timing & Results
Timing chips system is used for all participants. The timing is done automated only for the total (final) time and is recorded manually for intermediate times. The final times are transferred immediately online to the OMT website in the Results Table section. The results are then reviewed and the final timings are published within a few days after the end of the race.
22. Regulations Amending
The organization reserves the right to amend these regulations without prior notice.
23. Doping Policy
Olympus Trails has a zero-tolerance policy regarding doping and the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Doping alters the authenticity of athletic effort and achievement, compromising the athlete’s health and is contrary to the fundamental principles of the spirit of sport, Olympism, of fair play and medical ethics. Any athlete who has been determined to have violated anti-doping rules or policies, whether enforced by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the Greek National Anti-doping Agency (ESKAN) or any other national sports federation is ineligible for entry into the Olympus Mythical Trail race or any other race organized currently or in the future by Olympus Trails.
24. Image Rights
By participating in the OMT, the participant gives his express permission for the organizer, to use and reproduce, in any medium and by any means, now and in the future, with no compensation of any kind, his name, voice, image, and, more generally, his athletic performance in the OMT, in any form, in any existing or future medium, in any format, for public communication throughout the world, for any use including advertising or commercial purposes. The participant guarantees that he is not bound by an exclusive contract relating to the use of his image, his name or his voice. The organizer, its beneficiaries, and its successors are expressly forbidden from using a participant’s name, voice or image for any use that is detrimental to the participant’s dignity.
Olympus Trails gathers personal information relevant only for entry into our events. We store all personal information in a manner which conforms to data protection regulations. We may use your email address to provide you with information about the event you have entered and keep you up to date with other events we are organizing. When registering for the Olympus Mythical Trail, we will ask each participant for their name, address, gender, date of birth, email address and telephone numbers. When entering an event or joining a membership each person may also be asked for additional information relevant to that event or membership. The details you provide will be stored on a computer and will allow us to contact you if we have any problem processing your entry / application. The email address will be used to send out a confirmation of your online entry / application and may be used by the event organizers or membership secretaries to send you additional event and membership information. The telephone numbers allow us to contact you or your next of kin should you be unaccounted for after the event or if an incident occurs. Your personal data will not be passed to any third parties under any circumstances.
26. Rule Violations & Complaints
Written complaints are accepted within 60 minutes of the posting the provisional results after the official final race cut-off time. In case of rule violations a Jury is formed composed of
the race director and all competent persons designated by the race director. The jury is empowered to act in a timeframe compatible with the obligations of the event over all disputes or disqualifications occurring during the race. All decisions are final.
27. Modifications of the course and cut-off / Race Cancellation
Organization reserves the right to modify, without notice, the race course and the location of aid stations. In the case of unfavorable weather conditions (heavy rain or snow, high risk of thunderstorms, heavy fog), the race start may be delayed; beyond a certain time limit, established by the race director, the race will be cancelled without refunds.