ESSENTIAL EVENT INFORMATION 2023
This document was last updated on: 17/07/23
Welcome to Greece Sea to Summit!
We hope you are getting excited to what is going to be an event to remember in Greece this September.
Please find our Essential Event Information Document, containing what we hope is a comprehensive outlook towards your journey in just 6 weeks’ time. If you have not done already, do ensure you are fully conversant with the website and then pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee (or something a little stronger!) and read on….
FILES AND DOWNLOADS:
Make sure you’ve read this thoroughly well ahead of your departure date to ensure there are no last minute panics or surprises, if you have any questions after reading this please reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org
SKIP TO SECTION
18 - 28C
Online Form to be submitted by 1st August 2023
Medical Forms must be filled out by 1st August 2023
Snacks: you will need to bring 2 days’ worth of scooby snacks PLUS a day’s contingency. See section below for what we provide at pit stops. Your own snacks are to augment what we provide and to have snacks on the mountain phase, we want make sure you always have something that you fancy.
Trackers: Please remember that GPS tracker is not always a-given; you should particularly note this if sharing live links with supporters.
Kit: You will need to bring ALL kit that is on the kit list for you to take part in the trip. If your kit is not right the Event team will reserve the right to prevent you starting the event. Don’t worry – there are several more touchpoints before departure to ensure this does not occur. Firstly, the comprehensive kit list is provided with this document. If in any doubt on kit, please get in touch with us at email@example.com and we can help.
Insurance: You need insurance. Please ensure it is insured against loss, theft and/ or damage. You will need a medical repatriation and evacuation policy that has a minimum of $500 000 trip cover on it. You will submit this to us pre-event and we will ensure we have the correct number to call your insurer if we need to evacuate you or provide serious medical attention. We also highly recommend a policy that covers you for curtailment and non-attendance.
Live events decision making: When we are in Greece, in all cases whilst on the trip, the Event Directors decision is final. They are always acting in the combined interest of the safety of the individual and the group, as their paramount concern.
Please use the following as a checklist on what you will require for this trip.
(at least 6 months remaining and enough pages for all the required stamps - minimum 2).
RETURN AIR TICKET
You should ensure you have purchased a return air ticket.
TRIP MEETING POINT AND END POINT
The dates of the trip are fixed as 1st September – 4th September 2023. These are the dates on which the itinerary commences and finishes.
Pick up: You will be picked up at Thessaloniki International airport on the 1st September at 1330pm. We will have a list of people we are expecting to pick up, we will wait for everyone to arrive after landing that morning. You will be taken to your accommodation in the mountain town of Litochoro, this is a drive of approximately 2hours. If you are arriving before 1st please make your way back to the airport for the transfer or let us know if you plan to meet us in Litochoro.
Drop off: You will be dropped back to Thessaloniki International airport on the morning of the 4th September for approximately 9am. There will be two vehicles heading back to the airport. Consultation of everyone’s flight times will be taken into consideration for exact airport transfer times. This is where our itinerary ends. If you are staying on to explore the Peloponnese, then we will wave you goodbye after our final breakfast together.
See insurance section or event FAQ.
STYLE OF TRAVEL
We are a very small group on this Sea2Summit trip. This means that the style of travel and support will vary for the differing phases of the event. When on the mountain the weather can be temperamental and this will dictate how the group as a whole will be managed.
The start of the day where you run and hike at your pace to Prionia. There will pit stop support along the route and one of our crew members ‘sweeping’ the route at the back. From Prionia you will also have the opportunity to go at your own pace to the Refuge. At this point we will freshen up as a team, eat a substantial lunch before heading up to the summit of Mount Olympus. If the weather allows this will be at your own pace with crew along the route and sweeping. You will high five a crew member at the top and then make your way back to the Refuge. If the weather is not in our favour or the visibility is poor, we will hike to the summit as a guided team. Day 2: You will be able to run and hike at your own pace to finish at the taverna in Prionia.
Registration for the event is split into a ‘pre-event’ Registration phase, where we will ask for information to be submitted online (See the top and bottom of this document for what and when). This will be followed up by a physical registration process upon arrival at Litochoro on 1/9/23.
We will provide you with a safety procedure to follow in case of Emergency while on each phase of the event. This may differ per stage and the safety and Emergency protocols will be made clear to you prior to the commencement of each phase.
FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION
Day 1: Villa Pantheon. Twin/triple Rooms.
Food: Dinner will be provided at a local restaurant, great for local food.
Day 2: Spilios Agapitos Refuge or Villa Pantheon. Dormitory rooms (refuge).
Food: A grab n’ go’ breakfast, full pit stop support on route, lunch & dinner in the refuge.
Day 3: Kymata beach hotel. Twin/triple Rooms.
Food: Breakfast in Refuge, refreshments at the finish, celebration dinner and a round of drinks on us at the hotel.
Day 4: Accommodation not applicable.
Food: Breakfast before departure.
Please note: Refuge Spilios Agapitos is a rustic mountain hut with dormitory style rooms including bunk beds. The refuge for its very small size fits 110 people. Staying in a mountain refuge is a great experience. However, this refuge is cramped. Our sea2summit weekend seems to be popular with other tourists over the same date meaning we will be very squeezed. We are considering not using the refuge and descending the additional 5km to stay in a hotel. We will update you all closer to the time with the decision that has been made. This decision was made in 2021 and it worked well and everyone was happy with the choice.
GENERAL NOTE ON FOOD - TRAIL SNACKS
The meal plan above gives us breakfast and dinner each day, plus our renowned pit stop support food. Please pack your own supply of snacks that you enjoy, or you think you would prefer if you are fussy. Please also bring electrolytes and salt tablets, it is going to be hot, these will be 100% needed to replenish your salts. These can be stored with your ‘grab-bag’ in the support vehicle on Day 1 so you can stock up your own backpack and access regularly.
ALCOHOLIC DRINKS AND EXTRAS
Where we provide meals as part of the general event service, we will not include alcoholic or soft drinks as standard, and these must be provided by yourselves. See more on local payments, below. At the hotels there will be a bar where you can but alcoholic and soft drinks. If you put anything onto your ‘tab/room’ please pay for it before you leave the hotel.
We will provide you with some beers at certain locations, to celebrate a job well-done. That is a Rat Race tradition! These will be at the discretion of the organisers, however. In general, you should expect to pay for alcoholic and soft drinks.
ABLUTIONS AND HYGIENE
There is a mixture of accommodation within the itinerary. It is therefore not guaranteed each evening will have a shower facility. The Refuge has basic washing facilities where a token can be purchased for use. You should keep to a high level of personal hygiene by using wet wipes, washing with minimal water and always keeping hands clean. Check wounds, rashes, and blisters regularly for infection. The firm advice is always to ensure you are ‘self-contained’ with toilet roll and with anti-bacterial hand wash gel for the trail.
ALONG THE ROUTE
This is a small and very well supported event. We will be working closely together to support each other and complete our aim to get from Sea to Summit.
Day 2 is an extremely long running day in the heat with an early start. You will be supported by vehicles at the start of the day. You will need to carry a running pack with essential kit and the ability to carry 2 litres of water. You will then be supported on foot by the by the crew
The second half of the day is classified as the ‘mountain day’. The mountain comes with its own additional challenges. We want you to journey from Sea to Summit at your own pace. However, the safety team will be constantly monitoring all elements of the route and team dynamics. They may have to put additional precautions in place for the journey to remain at a safe level. This could be having smaller groups to hike together on the ascent for example.
The event is supported by a great crew of mountain guides, safety staff, and medically trained staff. It will be partially waymarked at points it is deemed to be needed. However, this means you still need to use a navigation aid to complete the route. Please make sure you have a suitable app downloaded on your phone that can upload a GPS file. Please also know how to use it and practice before you arrive. A GPS compatible sports watch will also be helpful for the first running section. The full GPX file will be sent to you one week before the event.
This event is arduous, please give yourself the best chance of success by staying will hydrated, fed and getting lots of sleep in the week leading up to the event. The early morning will take their toll if you do not get enough rest, save the holiday drinking mode until the last night when we will happily join you dancing on the tables.
We will NOT fully waymark the route. Except, for a small sections when our guide at the front thinks it is appropriate to do so or the route must be diverted due to a diversion or last-minute change.
In general, this event is operated with GPS as the main method of route guidance. YOU need to bring a GPS watch and a navigation device or application on your phone. It is imperative that you are well versed in the usage of your down device and that you are confident in their battery life and reliability.
If you wish to rent a Coros GPS watch from us, that is also possible. At a cost of £50. This will have the GPS already downloaded and you will get tuition of how to use the watch on registration day. You can let us know on the online form if you wish to rent a Coros Pro.
As stated above, you will get to know your devices intimately on this event. We will also make available route GPX files for you to upload onto your own devices as you see fit. These files will be provided much closer to the commencement of the event, once we are satisfied, we have the final version to share. Experience has shown that we will never share the file until it is the final, final, final version. Or else we end up with version control issues that are hard to resolve.
At registration in Litochoro you will be issued with your tracker, (in a ziplock bag (with your name on) inside a small dry bag ). It is your responsibility to look after the device. This device not only allows those at home to follow you on the route, but it also acts as a tracker for us too, meaning we can see where you are throughout the event,
Tracking will go live on the morning of the first event day (i.e. the start of the event) at 0200 local time.
The trackers rely on GSM & satellite signal to report, (which is generally very good across a lot of our route) but there is a delay on tracking. Sometimes, our team back at base will increase or decrease the reporting frequency, so those watching at home will sometimes not see your dot moving or see you moving very slowly. Or they may see you adrift from others in the group. It is REALLY important that you ensure anyone watching at home knows this, for their own peace of mind and for our own safety systems. Experience shows that if someone watching at home does not understand this, they can sometimes unwittingly commence full rescue missions by panicking, calling in the cavalry and sparking confusion for us as organisers. As such, it really is a very important point to note. If we have any issues or snagging with tracker units, our basecamp team can see this and we will pull them back in and reset them for you. As with the GPS units, you must return this device at the end of the event or whenever a member of staff asks for you to do so (for example to check a setting or to charge it). Do also hand to a member of staff should you drop out on any day. As with all electronic devices, there is a replacement cost. For the tracker, it is £150.
Looking after your GPS kit and your tracker:
Once we hand you your tracker or rented tech devices, it is your responsibility to look after the devices until you return them to us at the finish line in exchange for your medal.
All devices will be given to you at registration, and you will undergo a familiarisation session with them that day. You will also be issued with charging cable and other accessories, and it will be your responsibility to keep the devices charged and functional during the event. You must return all devices at the end of the event and until then, you keep them with you.
EVENT REGISTRATION PACK
IIn Litochoro, there will be one event pack issued per person. Your Event Pack will contain:
Personalised race bib with name and number – You should try and wear this over all clothing so that it is always visible.
Baggage labels – these will be for your overnight bag, your Pit stop bag and your race bag.
MANDATORY KIT LIST
Some of the kit listed is to help you have a safe experience and have the best chance of finishing. Some of this kit is to ensure that if you are unable to continue without our assistance then we can be confident of you having the level of equipment required to keep you as comfortable as possible whilst you wait for that assistance. The kit list is very detailed and comprehensive please have a re-read. It is serious stuff so please do take everything we ask with you and discuss anything you are missing with the Expedition Manager.
View Kit List HERE under Kit List tab.
We have a dedicated medic accompanying us throughout the Sea to Summit route. All Rat Race staff also have a very high caliber of Emergency First Response training and are there for you along with the medic in case of an incident and assistance is required.
It is imperative that we all keep our health standards at a high level and to be open and honest about possible issues before they become a problem. We will be taking an advanced medical kit with us, including emergency care kit plus various tapes, lotions and other items to assist in possible running and hiking specific injury and preventative care.
Please bring a personal first aid kit as suggested on the kit list as our supply will quickly become exhausted if we all need the same general medicines.
PERSONAL MED KIT
Our minimum spec for mandatory medical kit (to be carried at all times) is as follows:
1 x triangular (or comfortable roller) bandage
Gauze or similar absorbent dressing
Antiseptic (spray or cream)
Zinc oxide tape
Compeed – various sizes
We have invited you to have a medical screening process, which can be completed via the link below. Please complete this as soon as possible – and certainly please, no later than 1st August 2023. If you do have any condition that you feel we should know about, however small you feel it may be, please do share this with our Medics. Experience has shown that early pre-screening can assist both us and you greatly in enabling the care you need pre and during the trip. If you do not share information on conditions which are likely to affect your participation or decide to share them very late in the process, we are all under pressure and we will always reserve the right to cancel your participation if we feel there is a medical issue that may affect yours, or others’ safety. So please, do share anything and everything you feel our team should know about, at the earliest opportunity.
We are very fortunate to have an excellent Medical Director providing oversight, planning, and screening on all of our international trips, who in turn engages seriously professional and qualified staff to join you on the trip. Rat Race also conforms and has been audited to the rigorous BS8848 standard of expedition management. This means our approach to all things safety and medical is extremely thorough and it is designed throughout with your best interest at heart.
Your medical screening details will be sent direct to our medical team and under medical confidentiality rules, this will only be shared with our medics and no-one else. If they decide this is info that is in the best interests of everyone for us as organisers to be privy to, they will seek and gain your consent before doing so. It is therefore important you complete the link to the medical survey only which can be found HERE; do not send Rat Race medical information direct. If you have any queries at all on the medical side of things in relation to this event, you can email our Medical Director, Dr Patrick Musto directly and confidentially on firstname.lastname@example.org
01 Alan Anglin
02 Nigel Banyard
03 Rajveer Singh Basra
04 Alastair Hopkins
05 Alexander Irwin
06 Lisa La Rance
07 Fraser Rath
08 Kerry Simpson
09 Rebecca Smith
10 Anne Maree Solomon
11 Adam Templeman
12 Tom Templeman
13 Lynn Tuffen
INSURANCE FOR YOU AND YOUR EQUIPMENT
We have asked that you have in place Travel Insurance cover and specified Evacuation cover to last for a minimum period of the event duration from 1st – 4th September 2023. Evacuation and medical expenses cover should total no less than $500 000. Please bring a copy of this cover/ covers (if separate policies) is required.
We recommend that participants have insurance to cover damage, loss, theft, injury, and non-attendance. Rat Race cannot accept any responsibility for the loss of, theft, or damage to any Participant property or the circumstances of Participant non-attendance. Within the 12-week departure window, we cannot provide any transfers, and, in all cases, we cannot entertain requests for refunds. We respectfully remind all participants that unforeseen circumstances preventing attendance is what travel insurance is designed for and is the reason for this as a strong recommendation on such undertakings.
NOTE ON INSURANCE
Mann Broadbent are Rat Race’s UK-based insurance broker, specialising in the leisure insurance market. This is a specialist sports travel cover product; however, Rat Race is neither an insurance broker or underwriter. We can recommend Mann Broadbent wholeheartedly as good people to deal with, but please remember that this is not a ‘Rat Race product’ and we have no say whatsoever on claims decisions made by the insurers, if you raise such a claim via one of these policies.
We have no relationship with any of these providers, but previous customers have found them reasonable to deal with regarding some of our similar challenges.
For all insurance, please remember that cover is offered based on several factors, (the nature of the event disciplines being one of them), but your own insurance profile, age, health, and other details form a big part of this. As such, we are always happy to provide details to insurers in support of cover requests from customers, but we cannot influence their decisions as to whether to offer cover to individuals.
SAFETY AROUND VEHICLES
Throughout most of the event we will be in wild country, however, at points we maybe cycling with other traffic on the roads, and we must remain vigilant for other road users at all times.
We want to show that this event has exemplary control of littering. Please help us achieve that. Pack your litter into your pack, pockets or nearby bin bag. No exceptions. We have a clear leave no trace policy. This needs to be adhered to throughout the whole trip.
In the event of a true emergency or serious incident protocols will be followed to provide the quickest available evacuation to a healthcare centre. These protocols will be made clear to you upon arrival at a pre-activity briefing by the Trip Leader.
POOR WEATHER CONTINGENCIES
Greece is going to be hot but mountain environments are known for varied weather conditions. All four seasons can be felt in one day. Please be prepared for the multiple weather conditions and temperatures ranging from hot to cold. The terrain and altitudes along the route will also have an effect of the temperature.
The event will proceed in many conditions, but if it is deemed unsafe to continue due to weather conditions, the event will be halted at the current hotel or Refuge. If required, we will await more favourable conditions to re-commence. This may result in some stages being cut short in order to achieve daily mileages within the time available.
In all cases the decision of the Event team is final in these matters. We will monitor weather throughout.
COURSE CUT OFFS & WITHDRAWALS
This event is not about cut-offs. But, having a ‘cut-off’ and a ‘sweeping’ structure is an important part of our Event Management Plan and Risk Assessment processes. Cut off times are independent of any other factors that occur earlier in the course such as start time, injury, going the wrong way, time taken at Pit Stops, head winds; and whether it is your fault or not. We understand that missing cut offs can be tough to take but please remember this is not the crew member’s fault that breaks the news to you, should it happen to you. Please also remember that if this does happen to you, the Event team’s decision is final.
If you are cut off, there will be no option to re-start from where you were cut off the next day. (The event only ever moves forwards). You may however re-start the next day from the official re-start location; subject to the discretion of the event team. There are a number of reasons why you may be cut-off or withdrawn from the event. These could be medical, pace, kit, personal or other factors. It is OK to retire and to be taken forward to the overnight spot. We’d rather you re-started the next day vs suffer meaninglessly and spoil it for yourself. We call this being ‘boosted.’ As far as the time available goes to avoid a cut-off, there is no ‘set’ cut off time each day. (ie. Time limit or published time). Instead, we require all participants to be at the finish location before nightfall. If this is looking unlikely you will be ‘swept’ forward. That is the cut-off. Above all else, please remember, this event is not about cut-offs. It is about getting the most out of this magical environment. We will not cut you off and sweep you forward unless we really must. In this event we will ask you to stop at the Refuge rather than continuing up and onto the mountain. And if we do, it is for your own safety.
‘Bedding down into the course’
It is probable that when you set off on the Challenge on day 1, the first hours of the first day may be a bit hit n’ miss. Pace, temperature regulation, kit selection, footwear or bag niggles. All to be expected. Embrace that ‘bedding down into it’ phase and listen to your body and to your kit. Expect some unexpected phenomena (not UFOs, just unusual kit or boot issues that you may not have quite been expecting). Use this time to just get used to the environment, the gear and the temperature. Go with it and relax. By Pit Stop 1 or 2, you’ll have worked out enough to be comfortable…
DAY ONE / ARRIVAL AND REGISTRATION DAY
1st September 2023
Rat Race team will arrive at Thessaloniki airport for a 1330 RV. We will then transfer to Litochoro. This is approximately a 2hour journey. The rest of the afternoon will be full of briefings, registration, dinner and a recommended early night before the events start.
DAY TWO / GREECE SEA TO SUMMIT BEGINS!
2nd September 2023
It is a seriously early start. ‘Oh My God O’Clock’. We aim to start at 0200 to avoid the most serious heat of the day and to give everyone the full day to complete the epic journey. Starting at sea level and heading for the Summit of Mount Olympus. for a well earn rest and feed.
For the morning run you will only need to carry your running bag with essential items as you will be vehicle supported throughout. Once you have reached back the Prionia for pit stop you will pick up your extra items needed for the mountain stage.
Distance: 32km (19.9miles)
Highest elevation: 2908m (9540ft)
DAY THREE / BACK DOWN
3rd September 2023
We will wake up at the cosy refuge surrounded by other weary hikers. After a light breakfast we will make the final and very steep decent back down to Prionia. Here you will be transferred to our final hotel on the beach. After a relaxing swim in the sea we will celebrate your achievement with drinks and a great meal.
Distance: 5km (3.2miles)
Highest elevation: 945m (3100ft)
DAY FOUR / BREAKFAST AND DEPART
4th September 2023
After breakfast we will wave goodbye to everyone either departing on our transport for Thessaloniki airport or going off on further adventures in Greece.
TOTAL journey distances:
Distance: 37km (33miles)
Ascent: 2908m (9540ft)
EVENT ETHOS: ‘RACING’ AND OUR FINISH TIMES SERVICE
Completing not competing. Rat Race’s ethos has always been about inspiring folk to undertake challenges in awesome outdoor locations. Greece is just that, taken to an epic level. This is not a formal race environment and there are no winners and losers. We do not award prizes for the fastest folk. There will be no splits. Indeed, there will be no timings. Rat Race totally appreciate the incredible commitment of those taking on the challenges we lay down and each participant is as important as the next regardless of how fast you can cover the distance. This is akin far more to an expeditionary undertaking than anything else.
In delivering this unique challenge we prioritise factors such as safety, camaraderie and environmental concerns. Respecting the wishes of local stakeholders with our route management and litter policies is vital in being able to bring folk together for this unique experience. Safety above all else is paramount, as you will fully appreciate. To reasonably balance all these factors, we emphasise that the event is not a formal race environment, rather it is a challenge in the great outdoors where great folk come together with a common purpose.
CONTACT DETAILS AND ACTIONS CHECK LIST
To facilitate the very best support for you whilst embarked on the event, we have prepared some contact information below that should assist you and loved ones throughout your Event experience. Please find a series of phone numbers and email addresses and instructions on which is to be used; and for what.
Finally, we have included an action check-list so you may tick off the pre-event jobs arising from this Essential Event Information document.
1.) For ALL pre-event email correspondence prior to departure:
email@example.com for challenge-based questions, kit, training, prep
firstname.lastname@example.org for admin-based questions
email@example.com for any medical-based advice or discussion on medical conditions in confidence
2.) Emergency correspondence from people who need to get in touch with you (i.e. from those who need to contact you)
The originator should quote ‘Emergency correspondence for (yourname)’ in the email title and they must provide a phone number for return comms. This will be patched through to our crew’s mobile phones, (or satellite messaging platform if we are out of reception) from our office and a satellite phone will be made available for you to return the comms to the originator. We would aim to provide a suitable response period of within 24 hrs for this service to the originator.
Please, please, please do tell your family and supporters NOT to contact us about Tracker related concerns!
3.) A WhatsApp group will be created a few days before departure. This will be the main point of contact leading up to the event itself.
FINAL CHECK LIST
Submit insurance details and complete online waiver to be submitted by 1st August 2023.
Medical forms must be filled out by 1st August 2023
That’s it. Pheeeww!
See you all in Greece.
Yours in Adventure,
Abbi Naylor, Event Director
Rat Race Head of Expeditions