OMT: Olympus Mythical Trail 2020
Olympus Mythical Trail is an ultramarathon of 108 kilometers and 6800 difference + in Greece, in its 9th edition. The race record is set by Foltopoulos Moysis in 14h20min. The best Romanian ranking in men: Marius Vasilache, 2015, 1st place, 14h57min
I often feel the need to write. It’s almost like the need to run.
This lust is an outsourcing of feelings, an “emptying” of them to make room for other feelings to ensure a flow, not a blockage. More and more often lately, I just want to sit in front of the keyboard and let my fingers express my thoughts. I want that, but I fail to create a routine around this habit. I fail to create a routine around any habit besides running. But that’s another story.
The fact that I am gone to a new area, alone, under the pretext of a running competition, gives me the perfect opportunity to let myself be carried away by the wave of creation, “to sit in front of the screen and bleed”. Bleeding is stopped by good food and a carafe of water. I prefer it to be wine but …
It’s July 20, the year of the pandemic, and in exactly two weeks I will start the second ultramarathon of this year: Olympus Mythical Trail. An 108-kilometer ultramarathon at 9th edition that takes you on the paths of Zeus’ “garden”.
This contest was not on the list of competitions at the beginning of the year. Ergo, a very good friend of mine ran last year and was impressed by the competition and he told me only good things about it. After a few messages exchanged with Lazaros, the organizer, I told myself that if he is so determined to hold a contest in the middle of the pandemic then I can be just as determined to run it. The Organizers-Runners seem to be in a perfect symbiosis of satisfying the need for competitiveness.
It started with a 12-hour ultra-road Bucharest – Thessaloniki. I allow myself to call it “ultra-road” because everything seems to be “ultra” these days. “Ultra shampoo” with “ultra-care”, “Ultra toothpaste” that “UltraBleaches”. The road would have passed quickly if it were not for the frequent stops of drivers.
The 12 hour bus ride could have been done in 9. This is just a reminder to me and the benefit of having a car. I’m not complaining, I’m just trying to take stock.
Bus ride: 12 hours;
charged the phone and helped transported parcels – 1 hour;
expected at Tesaloniki bus station – 3 hours;
Drum – Thessaloniki – Litochoror – 2 hours;
espresso drinks: 2;
Total: 18 hours and 2 espressos;
By car 10 hours and 3 espressos, probably;
Arriving in Litochoro, Lazaros was kind enough to wait for me in the city center, to give me a mini tour of the place, to greet everyone who gets in our way, to show me the heights that have been watching for thousands of years, the places at his feet. “I seem to see the quiet face of Zeus laughing at us and our pandemic,” I said to myself.
We went to the place where I will be staying for the next few days, made a mini plan for the weekend that involves running and a lot of uphill running. Then I took the dose of sleep lost in the last hours. I wanted it to be an overdose, but the heat and the Moon (the puppy) woke me up.
I told myself that I had more time to discover the places, to discover the food, to sit in front of the laptop and open my thoughts.
Something tells me that it will be a unique experience because I left the country without expectations, without too much pressure on myself.But maybe more focused and trained than any other running competition.
Litochoro is the village-town of about 7,500 inhabitants, each with a unique story.
The place where I am staying was arranged by Lazaros before I arrived. It’s a two-bed room upstairs in Dimitris’ (Taki) house that has a daughter, Sellini, and a Labrador, Luna.
At first glance, the room where I stayed seems just a place where I can sleep and wait quietly for the day of the competition. It is equipped with a bathroom whose door does not close, a round table with 2 chairs, air fan in the ceiling and a large yard.
Seeing the things that were in the yard, I remembered the house I moved to in Brasov less than 2 months ago.
After returning from a short walk and a map orientation by Lazaros and a few friends, I sat down at the table with Taki in semi-darkness. That’s when I realized that the place is more than it seems at first glance.
Each house takes over the personality of the person living in it and you can get an impression of the personality of the hosts from the little things that keep them handy. Scattered blocks of pumice stone that looked like unfinished sculptures.
Even though the first thought was that Taki is a sculptor, from the first conversation in the garden, to the music of Miles Davis, he told me that he feels and sings blues. That’s when I realized that Taki and I had at least one thing in common.
He lives the blues like I live mountain running.
Our discussion started with the fact that music is his lifestyle and that the blues is lived before it is played. We talked about it, about the state of “flow” that music and running gives you, about how important it is to do what you like and to be a good person.
I realized that I am a good listener because I just enjoyed sitting and listening to him, telling me about his life and the values he guides his life.
I got up from the table impatiently for tomorrow when I will do my first run and take part to a mini-concert in Taki’s garden where a friend of his will come to visit and sing.
Do you need a running coach?
Train with robert hajnal 2nd place at 2018 utmb