Αρχική>English>Olympus Marathon: From all over the world to the Mountain of Gods


Olympus Marathon: From all over the world to the Mountain of Gods

Olympus Marathon was the first mountain race in Greece to be declared a truly international event, since on its trails have run some of the biggest names on the international stage the sport at the peak of their careers. Legendary athletes, such as Cristophe Jaquerod, Sebastien Chaigneau, Jessed Hernandez, Toni Vencelj, Ricky Lightfoot, Ulrich Calmbach, Michel Rabat, Dawa Dachhiri Sherpa, and Corinne Favre, Zhanna Vokueva, Lisser Dissler, Helen Whitaker-Diamantides, Cecilia Mora and others have given a long-lasting glimpse at the most competitive mountain race in Greece. Last year, with the addition of Olympus Marathon in the international calendar of Skyrunner World Series championship, we admired even more, something that is expected to do this year in a mixture of old acquaintances and many new runners who will first run on the Mountain of the Gods. So, a few days before they came to Greece we managed to communicate with most of them to learn ... in what purposes they are coming!

Anna Frost

Neozeelander Anna Frost does not need any special recommendations nor has the need to mention her top performances from races all over the world. She is one of the top modern mountain runners and one of the biggest names that will run on the trails of Olympus this year. Having passed difficult times with serious injuries and burnout, she has revised her priorities for running and other activities in her life. She loves Greece and demonstrates it in practice as well. Something that most people do not know, “Trail Run Adventures”, the company of hers offers trail running excursion and travel packages around the world, organizing a similar excursion to Greece and more specifically to Taygetos!

 


I have only been to Greece once many years ago and felt I still had so much to adventure, and beautiful mountains to see. When I saw that the VK was added to the event I was really excited to have a big weekend of racing in Greece. I love how tough and technical the trails are in Greece and look forward to being challenged with every step of the way. I am happy to be healthy and fit, I am in my 14th year of racing and definitely look at it with less intensity and more fun and adventure, but i'm still a very competitive person! I am focusing on the VK series this year, for something different than the Ultras, but will aim high in the marathon too. Trail Run Adventures is our passion to share the amazing experiences we have had with everyone else. I loved everything about Greece, the trails, the food, the people, the history and architecture. So to share that with other adventure seeking people from all around the world is so much fun. We want to give people a variation of fun, from running high peaks, to visiting olive oil plantations, climbing to dining and wining. And Greece is just the perfect place for a trip.

As far as the race is concerned, I think the competition will just be really HARD!!!! What I want for the future is to stay healthy and happy and share my passion for life with others around the world


Stevie Kremer

We know Stevie Kremer pretty well. She ran two years ago in the race breaking down the track record and charmed everyone with her smile and simplicity. As a new mum since she brought a kid to the world just 2.5 months ago she obviously is not in her best situation as she has clearly bigger challenges to overcome! However, because Olympus Marathon is marking her return to racing, she wants to run it as well as possible!



I ran the Olympus Marathon two years ago and it was one of the nicest races I have competed in. I love the climb at the beginning and the terrain we run on. On top of an incredible race, the spectators and support is amazing too! I am excited to go back. Well my current physical condition is just ok. I had a baby 9 weeks ago and although I ran and skied while pregnant, I still lost a lot of my fitness. Additionally I recently had some issues with my SI joint, making it painful to run. I am slowly on the mend but know this won’t be my best race. Ι do not know the competition that will be there but being that it is on the SkyRunning Calendar, I know there will be many fast runners on the start line. I am hoping they will push me to run faster than I do when I’m on my own. I am hoping to continue building my fitness and doing better in every race I compete in throughout 2018. I am so happy to be running again and look forward to some great races, the Olympus Marathon to start with!!


Sanna El Kott Helander

Sanna El Kott Helander comes from Switzerland not with a few parchments since she has in her pockets top performances in races like Matterhorn Ultraks 32K (3rd), Yading Skyrunning Festival (6th) and Goretex Transalpine Run (3rd). She will run the race along with her sister Lina, something they do in most races away from home! They will run both races, Olympus Vertical and Olympus Marathon.

 


Me and my sister Lina are going on a race in Italy (Livigno Skyrace) the weekend before, and thought, "why not continue to Greece at the same time, instead of going home for training?" Races are the best training, and discovering new areas and compete in the same time is ideal. At the moment I feel strong, but I'll have one Adventure Race and a skyrace before Olympus, so will have to focus on recovering in between too! Target is always to aiming high. I want to be on the podium! About the competition I'm excited, and actually I don't what the concurrence will be, but I think I'll be strong in the upphill and have to keep the speed and really push the long downhill to keep the position. For the rest of the year I would like to do good in the Skyrunning Series, and also duo with Lina in TransRockies Run in the US, duo in TransAlpine Run, and a second Adventure Race in Patagonia with my team.

 

Jackie Dubnicka

The young gun Jackie Dubnicka comes from Unites States with many hopes and dreams to play a key role in international skyrunning scene and her ultimate target for this year is the Youth Skyrunning World Championships in August.



Ever since I was a little girl, I have had a fascination with Greek mythology. I added the Olympus Marathon to my racing calendar because I wanted to run a marathon in the country where this event all started! I am participating in a few races in the Migu Skyrunning World Series this summer before competing in the Youth Skyrunning World Championships later this August. Over the past few months, I have been training diligently for sky races. However, adjusting to the altitude may be a challenge, but something that I take on in stride! My target for the Olympus race is to be in the top 10 for women. I am very excited to meet some of the international competitors and hopefully share a drink and stories after the race.


Virginia Pérez Mesonero

In the last two years, the Spanish Virginia Pérez Mesonero has made some very good appearances in international races, culminating in 1st place in the Transvulcania semi-marathon in 2017 and 2nd in Carrera Alto Sil earlier this year.



First of all I like where the race takes place. I have never visited Greece and that motivates me. It is a legendary place and I love history. I'm feeling very well and it has a profile that I like. The objective is try to do as well as I could. I am sure that I will find a lot of level in the race, I will try to do my best. I'm going to compete in Skyclassic, and also in the Sky World Championship. I am sure I am going to learn a lot and keep improving. That is my great target.


Antoniya Grigorova

Antoniya Grigorova from Bulgaria specializes in bigger races as it has some good results at distances of over 80 kilometers. At Zegama Aizkorri which ran a few days ago, he finished in 20th place, so we can see how he will go to an equally difficult mountain marathon.

 


Besides the beauty of Olympus, all the stories I've heard that this is a very interesting, technical and heavy race, and also that it is part of the World Series of Skyrunning. I'm still entering the race season, because I've been skiing all winter. Sky Series is something new and challenging for me, so I think I will be stronger after every next race. I wanna be satisfied from my result. The race will be a surprise to me.


Cassie Scallon

The American Cassie Scalon is one of the most famous mountain runners on the other side of the Atlantic. In her resume there are several successes such as 1st place in the Gorge Watterfals (2017), 1st place in Bandera 100K (2016), 2nd place in popular Lake Sonoma 50M (2015), 3rd place in Chuckanut 50K (2015), 2nd place in competitive Ultra Race Of Champions (2014) etc. In Europe she has no similar performances, as in the Grand Trail Des Templiers was ranked 12th, in Transvulcania 2017 8th, and in CCC 2017 she DNFed. It remains to be seen how she can perform in a difficult skyrunning race like Olympus Marathon.

 

 

Oscar Casal Mir

Oscar Casal, who will run with brother Marc both on Olympus Vertical and Olympus Marathon, comes with many ambitions as he is in excellent shape. With his victory in Skryrunning's opening race, the tough Yading Skyrun in China, which reaches an altitude of 4,666 meters, proved that this year he is coming to Olympus Marathon for something real good. In addition to this year's Yading, his palmares comprises of many important appearances in races such as Skyrun Comapedrosa, Run The Rut, Skyline Scotland, Goretex Transalpine Run etc. Check this guy because he's a serious candidate for the podium!



I decided to come to Greece to race Olympus Marathon not only because it’s a part of the skyrunning world series calendar but also because I have some good friends that reced there in the past and they speak to me very well about this race. Last year I was decided to come, but finally for some reasons it was impossible, so, this year will be the year that I can finally race in the Mountain of Gods and I am very excited. I think I am in good shape, I can win the fist race of the world circuit one month ago in China that was a dream for me and I am trained a lot this last month because now I have 3 races in 3 weeks (Livigno, Greece and Barruera) and I will be very hard. My target is try to fight as I far as I can with all the runners and try to finish the best I can, but most important is to have fun while I am running. Olympus Marathon will be a tough race for me because of the hot (in andorra now we are at 8 degrees!!!9), but I will try to give my best. I don’t know who will run there, but I will try to beat them. After Olympus Marathon I will follow all the skyrunning world circuit and then in September I will race in Scotland in the World Championships.

 

Marc Casal Mir

The Andorian Marc Casal Mir who had placed 7th in 2017 Skyrunner World Series Sky Classic category, comes with ambitions and great experience on his back. Just to mention that he has been placed top 10 in races such as Yading Skyrun, Livigno Skymarathon, Skyrun Comapedrosa, Matterhorn Ultraks, Buff Epic Trail and others and has won the podium in Andorra Ultra Trail - Celestrail 83K and Transalpine Run in 2015!



First of all give the 'gracias' for being able to be present in this race since it is the first time that I will be running in Greece. It is a new challenge to run in a new place that I have spoken very well. Also, the landscapes seem spectacular to me. My physical condition is good but I'm a bit scared because a week before I have a race in Livigno and it will not be like I'll recover, but I hope to arrive in good condition. I want to enjoy the race and try to get a good result knowing where I can go. I Know that there will be very good runners from all over the world but in the end what I am looking for is to enjoy the race and to win the best. My goals for 2018 are to try to get good results in all the races that I will compete to achieve a good final classification in the championship and try to finish between the top 10. Again, thank you for your prayers and see you soon.

 

Hector Haines

British Hector Haines is one of the podium favorites this year, although as he says mountain running is not his absolute priority, at least until 2020, as he currently prefers racing in orienteering. Maybe he says so, but the results in his races speak differently: 2nd in Limone Extreme, 3rd in Transgrancanaria Advanced (81K), 6th in Transvulcania, 10th in Tromso Skyrace and Glen Coe Skyline but also good performance in matches such as Dolomites Skyrace and Sierre-Zinal testify that he is a runner who on his good day can be on the podium.

 


The main reason that I included the Olympus Marathon is simply that it fitted in really well with my other calendar commitments this year! But I have also never been to Greece, despite wanting to for many years - so when the right race at the right time came along this year, I just had to do it! My current condition is pretty good actually! It's been a great few months of training over the winter and I'm happy with the fitness that I have built up. I aim to make the very highest rankings of the race - my first skyrace this year - so I'm feeling fresh! I think the race will be very interesting - long, but not too long. Big climb, big descent. It looks like many experienced runners will once again be starting the race, so it will be interesting to see how it all pans out. Future targets this year include the Matterhorn Ultraks, the World Champs in Glencoe and Limone. In addition to this I am also fitting in my 'other' sport - orienteering. In fact, for me orienteering on the international stage is my main focus for 2018 and 2019 - but in 2020 the plan is to focus mostly on Skyrunning! So I'm keeping up the Skyracing in between!

 

Jessed Hernandez

Catalan Jessed Hernandez is one of the most famous and beloved foreign runners who have run in Greece. We will never forget his  airy style and the incredible record that lasted 9 years, from 2008 when he ran for the first time in the race at the age of 24, until last year will always be. He has run ten times in Greece, six of which in his favorite race, Olympus Marathon, in which he has three wins, three second places and the 2nd best time ever, 4.33.37 since 2008. Undoubtedly an Olympus Marathon and Skyrunning legend! This year he comes to Greece for the second time since he participated in the Ursa Trail 20K, he is loaded with his recent participation in the Spanish Championship and remains to see in what condition he will be on the starting line. But do not expect anything less than the Jessed we all know!

 

 Jessed in a historic photo, finishes winner in record time in Olympus Marathon 2008


In the Spanish Championship it was so hot, affected me a lot, and I could not keep up the pace I wanted so I had to abandon the race. I come to Litohoro and Olympus mountain because I feel it like home. The organizers after all these years are very good friends and every year I enjoy meeting them. I always come to perform the best I can. I never come for something less than that. I know the trails, I know my fellow runners and the only thing that's left to be seen is whether I will feel OK in the race. Many strong runners are going to run this year again from my country and this is something I like very much. We will all sweat our shirt until the finish. I hope we all enjoy it !!

 

 

Javier Rodríguez Bodas

Spaniard Javier Rodríguez is one of the most experienced runners that are coming to our Olympus Marathon as he competes for years in international races with top competition. Indicatively, we will mention the 4th and 5th place in the TDS in 2014 and 2017 respectively, 12th in the UTMB in 2016, 5th in the Eiger Ultra Trail, 9th in the 80th Marathon du Mont Blanc, but also in the smaller races like Tromso Skyrace, Trofeo Kima etc



It will be a pleasure to be racing in the Olympus Marathon. Some friends of mine did the race time ago and I always dreamt to be there. Finally, this year I will be able to do the race with the support of my team (Trail Xtrail-Prozis Berg). My goal for the Olympus Marathon is to run as fast as possible and to enjoy the experience due to the fact that I have been injured along the winter. So I am more focused in my feelings than in a specific performance. Let's see if I will be able to follow the pace of the head of the race. For this season I want to complete the World Series as last year (10th position in Extreme Series) and as in 2015 (when I was ranked in 5th position in the Ultra Series) I hope to be fighting for a good position in the Overall ranking.

 

Kiril Nikolov

Kiril Nikolov is someone we obviously know very well! He came quietly in 2015 at Olympus Marathon, took 2nd place with 4.43.54, performance which is the 6th best in the history of the race and stayed in History. A year of absence was enough to bring him back to Mt Olympus last year, where he ran just a few seconds slower, he climbed to the 3rd stage of the podium. This year, as the year was going well, an injury brought him a bit back as he told us.

 


Olympus Marathon has a great course and great atmosphere. When I took part 2015th for the first time It was really challenging. I said to myself that I will for sure come back and run this race many more times. The race is very special also for me cause is on the Balkans and it’s only few hour drive from Sofia where I live. When 2017 Olympus Marathon became a part of Sky Running I was so happy to have a race almost at home. And actually in Litohoro I feel I lot like at home. The people the food, it’s great. 2017 was not as successful to me as I wanted and I did not run the race the way I want it and that’s one of the reasons I’m coming back again. I had a great winter, with a very good trainings but nearly the whole May I was suffering from adductors inflammation and really don’t know how my condition is. Ιf everything is going fine, I think I’ll beat my 4:43 time on Olympus. The fight is always with myself. On my both runs 2015 and 2017 I have a problem when reaching the flat part on almost top of the mountain. For any reason I’m loosing most of the time over there. So this year I’ll try to be strong all the way, and the result it will be what it will be. This year I’m taking part in Sky Running World and also The Golden Trail Series. My ambitions are high. But the season is so long, so let’s wait and see. But for sure I’m waiting impatiently to visit Litohoro.

 


Sintu Vives

Sintu Vives from Andorra has some good appearances in international competitions such as Limone Extreme, Skyline Scotland, Zegama Aizkorri, Skyrun Comapedrosa, Livigno Skymarathon, Buff Epic Trail, and its main goal is to make good results on the Skyrunner World Series.



Α new race in the calendar is always fun. Greece is a nice country and climb Olympus mountain is a nice experience. We have been working all Winter for the season which is very long during the summer, Greece is in the middle of 3 consecutive races, long races. I think we are in good shape, Yading has been a difficult race because of the altitude but I am optimistic for the next races. If I could be scoring points for the championship it would be a good race for me. I don’t know the competition, I guess I will wait and see, I am excited to participate in the race. For this year, I think the main goal for the team is to have good results in the SWS2018 and also in the world champs in Scotland on September.

 

Τάκης Τσογκαράκης

Η αγάπη του για το βουνό ξεκινάει πολλά χρόνια πίσω με τις πρώτες αναβάσεις στην αγαπημένη του Πάρνηθα και μετέπειτα με την σχολή Ορειβασίας του ΕΟΣ Αχαρνών. Το 2007 έτρεξε τον πρώτο του αγώνα ορεινού τρεξίματος και από τότε ονειρεύεται "όλο και ψηλότερα, όλο και μακρύτερα". Ελπίζει να το κάνει για πολλά χρόνια ακόμα...

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