Δευτέρα, 25 Μαΐου 2015

Metsovo Ursa Trail 2015 - 40km trail running

I am very happy that I participated in this event that is the epitome of trail running community gathering in Greece. The starting line was a kind of unofficial National Championship for Marathon Mountain running in Greece. Everybody was there with only 3 top runners missing (Nikos Kalofyris - who is the organizer of the event, Nikos Sideridis and Stavros Stefanis). I have never seen such a deep field in Greece.

Nikos Kalofyris is organising this iconic event at the area of Metsovo in northern Greece. Metsovo is deep in the middle of the big mountain range called Pindos, surrounded by amazing landscapes and big mountains. His team, under his guidance, has managed to deliver a memorable and unique event. All the details were taken care of. From pre-race pasta party, taking place at the amazing Averoff wineries, to course design and marking!

Top performance from Dimitris Theodorakakos who finished in course record time just 2 weeks after his Transvulcania achievement.

I managed a decent 18th place just secs behind 16th and 17th who were good local runners, very familiar with the course. When I started the race my target was to be between 4:35 and 4:45 and I did 4:42. I have never done this race before and I did a good estimation of the course and my ability at this point. I was very happy to get back to my supporting family at the finish line, with my 2 months old son smiling at his smelly sweaty dad.

There are two highlights for me about this race:

  1. Amazing organization and real love for their event
  2. Gathering of all top Greek
    runners in one event, to a historical scale for the Greek mountain running scene.
I hope I see more of this in the future! Mountain running scene is changing in Greece. It is becoming more competitive, more specific and more organized than in recent past. There is an increasing number of dedicated almost-professional runners.

My race in terms of nutrition/hydration:
  • I drunk a total of 1.2lt of isotonic in my Ultraspire Human bottle (one refill during the race - no other liquid)
  • I consumed 4 gels (3 High5 Isogels and 1 GU), all in the last two hours of the race.
  • One piece of orange at one of the check points (half way)
I used my waist belt for the bottle, since the terrain required use of my hands in some cases.
The terrain is soft and grassy throughout the race. So I chose my old pair of Inov8 Mudclaw which provided with excellent grip. 

Below you can see my race as recorded by my Garmin 310XT and some photos from this event.

Big appreciation to the most popular Greek mountain runner, Mr Nikos Kalofyris and his team for putting this event together. Thank you!