The second event of the La Sportiva Mountain Madness trail race series will be held on Saturday February 22, with the 26km course starting at 9am in the beautiful mountain village of Agros, famous for its rosewater industry and surrounded by orchards of almond, hazelnut, walnut and other fruit trees. From Agros, at an altitude 1100m, runners will wind their way up out of the village through fields, vineyards and scenicl trails all the way up to Madari fire lookout station, at an altitude of over 1700m, from where the spectacular views will make the hard climb worth it. They will then follow a series of single track nature trails in a loop back to Madari, before descending all the way down again to the finish line in Agros. There will also be a 2km family fun run for all ages starting at 11am
PRIZES AND SURPRISES: The first man and first woman home will each win cool Buff headwear donated by the Get Out adventure sports store in Nicosia. The first man and woman to the top of Madari fire lookout station will be given King and Queen of the Mountain awards – funky running gaiters donated by Paul Parker’s security company Path Protection – but they do have to finish the race to be eligible for this award. And last but not least, the final person home will receive the Lanterne Rouge bubbly, in the tradition of the Tour de France. All race finishers will receive collectable event beer mugs to celebrate their success with, and all race entrants will receive goody bags packed with useful running stuff including 15% discount vouchers for purchases at Get Out. All runners will also be eligible to win some great lucky draw prizes including a Discovery one-day Scuba Diving course by PADI diving instructor Paul Parker, a platter of delicious local homemade products at Marios Hapsis’s To Mapakaliko Tou Hapsi wine bar, cafe and traditional mini market, Buff headwear products, a copy of the inspirational running book Mystical Miles, various traditional village products, and a useful specialist runner’s handheld water bottle donated by Path Protection. Runners need to be present at the 3.30pm prize giving to win lucky draw prizes.
START/REGISTRATION: The race will start PROMPTLY at 9am. Registration will take place from 7.30am in the village square opposite the Granchio Cafe, with a very important race briefing at 8.40am. The race entry fee of 10 euros can be paid at registration, but please send in entry forms online before Thursday February 20 to facilitate organisation and to make sure you get a goody bag (only 50 available).
CHECKPOINTS/AID STATIONS: There will be 3 aid stations/checkpoints - located at about 8km, 16km and 21km. Checkpoint 1 and 3 will be at the trailhead intersection just below the Madari fire lookout station. Checkpoint 2 will be at the Doxa so o Theos trailhead on the Kyperounta-Spilia road. It is compulsory for runners to pass through all three official checkpoints.Failure to do so will mean disqualification. Aid stations will stocked with water, coke, oranges, bananas and biscuits. For environmental reasons, NO carry away water bottles will be provided at refreshment stations. Runners will need to fill up their reusable water bottles/hydration packs at the refreshment station from the water containers there. A strict stand and drink rule will apply – no disposable cups may be carried away from the checkpoint.
CUT-OFFS: For safety and logistical reasons, runners need to arrive at checkpoint 2 by 1.30pm to be allowed to continue to checkpoint 3..COURSE MARKING: It is compulsory for all competitors to follow the official marked out race route. The course will be marked out with a mixture of red dots, red arrows and red and white tape. When on clear existing hiking trail paths, don’t expect any race markings, and follow the existing hiking trail directions. Be aware that a trail race is not like a road race with marshalls pointing you in the right direction every 100 metres, so you do need to concentrate and keep looking for the course markings.
COMPULSORY GEAR: Reusable water bottle with capacity of 500ml/hydration pack, charged cellphone. It is very important to be able to carry sufficient water with you – on the rocky, steep terrain of mountain trails, a seemingly short distance between refreshment stations could take longer than expected.
RECOMMENDED STUFF: Trail running shoes, whistle, warm clothes for change of weather, emergency food (eg nuts, raisins, dried fruit, chocolate, gels etc)
PRIZE GIVING/LUNCH: Prize giving will be held at 3:30pm at the tavern next to the finish line. The Café 'O Kaouras' restaurant is offering runners and their families and supporters a great post-run meal at a special offer price of 10 euros. Please let us know if you will be there for lunch to help the restaurant with numbers.
Environmental policy: As trail runners we want to help look after the beautiful natural world we run in, so we aim to leave only our footprints behind. In fact, if possible we like to leave the trails cleaner than we found them. Runners may not drop any object of any kind on the trail during any of the races. If you have room to carry your gel, you have room to carry the empty gel packet as well!. Anything that really does need to be discarded can be put in a rubbish bag at the next refreshment station. Any runners found to have littered on the trails during any of the races will be disqualified.