Day 203 – EU – Greece [Rapsani to Limani Litochorou]

12th September 2020
Run: 41.5km

Down the mountain towards the sea and a finish at the foot of Olympus, highest mountain of Greece and home of the Greek Gods

I adjusted my start time to coincide with the break of dawn, as the first kilometers of today’s downhill would be on trails. With just about enough daylight, I ran down the dirt roads, with stunning vistas on the valley, the sea in the background and the sun rising above it. What a way to start a day! As always in such downhills, I run with a lot of restraint. My main fear on trails is to trip, fall and let go of BoB the stroller. I paid attention.

Once the downhill was over, I was on a flat road, crossing the valley and then running parallel to the sea. Not much traffic, the region is quiet and not a centre of activity outside the summer months. I passed by the Castle of Platamon, an imposing middle-age castle built on top of a hill overlooking the whole valley. Very impressive and surprisingly well preserved.

As I ran further up North, the landscape changed. Mount Olympus appeared on my left, standing tall at 2,914m. Whilst on my right side the dense green valley gave way to views of the Aegean sea. Splendid. The best of both worlds. I have run twice the mountain marathon of Mount Olympus, a technical and demanding race up the summit and down. Passing by the throne of Zeus and other mythological landmarks on a mountain dubbed “the home of the Greek Gods” (the 12 olympian Gods).

A few kilometers before reaching Litochorou, I was met by members of the local “Zeus Running Club”. Giannis ran the final 3.5km with me, whilst Alexandros and Christos waited for us at the finish for a well deserved fresh drink – and a photo session. I was gifted the shirt of the club as well as the medal of the half-marathon organised by the club. Their generosity went even further as they arranged to cover my accommodation. I am more than grateful for their generosity and very warm welcome.

I went for a dip in the sea, being very aware I have only a few days left by the Aegean sea. Soon I will be running inland, in continental Europe, away from the coastline. Best to enjoy it whilst it’s here!

Check my daily run GPS data on Garmin or Strava (icons top right of your screen) – here is the map of today’s run: