Hydra's Trail Marathon
Hydra might have no roads to speak of but its network of trails connecting its settlements with its beaches, monasteries, chapels, old pastures and its highest peaks are maintained in excellent condition
What is Hydra’s Trail Marathon;
The “Hydra’s Trail Marathon” is a 38 km mountain running event which aspires to highlight the beauty of Hydra’s mountain scenery. While the route is dominated by high mountain peaks with breath-taking sea views, there are also many portions where the athletes will be running along the coast, smelling the sea salt.
Distance: 38,0 km
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 2,000 m
The “Hydra’s Trail Marathon” will start at the port and the first section, as well as the last is the same as that of the Rock Race.
1st section: Distance 6,100 m
Start at the port. We follow the central, cobblestone artery, south, up towards the mountain for 1 km. The 2nd kilometre is an uphill, concrete portion which we exit by turning left on a steep uphill trail known as “red soil”. After 2.9 kilometres the trail takes us downhill to the windmills (km 4.7). A mild downhill leads us to a dirt road, where we bear right, on level ground at first and then uphill. Just before the highest point (5.9 km) we turn right and up and we bear right again at the next dirt road where we reach Refueling Station No 1 at 6.1 km
2nd section: Distance 2,100 m
On our left we can now see a spectecular beach (Limnioniza) on the back side of Hydra and an old threshing floor. Caution! Don’t let the breath-taking view lure you downhill! On the contrary, we go uphill through the pine trees to the highest point (6.8 km) where a steep downhill will take us to the dirt road at kilometre 7.3 which leads easily downhill to Refueling Station No 2 at 8.2 km
3rd section: Distance 5,500 m
Because of the distance between the Stations and the elevation gain, this is arguably the hardest portion of the race. The dirt trail is level for the first 3 kilometres and then a steep uphill on old cobblestone begins. Locals refer to this portion as the “soul tormentor” but the breath-taking views might sooth your soul a little. We reach the mountain ridge and enter a short downhill trail through a pine forest. Exiting the forest, we must turn left (CAUTION! THE OLD ROUTE WENT STRAIGHT!). Soon, at km 13.4, we will encounter a volunteer at the point where the two routes (“Rock Race” and “Hydra’s Trail Marathon”) split. Here is Refueling Station 3 at 13.7 km. Water is provided here.
4th section: Distance 5,100 m
We walk up a very steep, rocky trail. After 600 m of challenging terrain we reach the summit. Here, at the designated point of the Hellenic Military Geographical Service, at elevation 588 m above sea level and 14.1 km from the start there will be a name-check for all the athletes. The parallel, downhill trail from the summit is equally challenging, rocky and slippery so athletes are advised to be particularly cautious. After about 600 m the challenging part is over. (CAUTION! THE OLD ROUTE WENT LEFT FROM HERE!) We continue STRAIGHT through the pine forest to reach the Monastery of Profitis Ilias and Refueling Station 4 at 15 km
Here there is a disqualification limit of 3 hours, 15 minutes. Athletes who haven’t reached this point by this time will be disqualified.
5th section: Distance 5,100 m
A downhill section with many steps leads to the island’s main cobblestone road. A wonderful cobblestone section through a dense pine forest will bring us to a point offering a spectacular view of the port. At the point called ahouria (stables) we take an uphill, well-designated path which will be used for the first time. It will lead us to an intersection called Loom Yorgaki. Here is Refueling Station 5 at 20.1 km
6th section: Distance 5,200 m
For the first time we will go downhill, descending the back side of the island, passing a chapel and old, stone threshing floors towards Nisiza beach. Going over rocks, we pass the beach at kilometre 23.5. The uphill trail leads us to the remote settlement of Episkopi, where Refueling Station 6 is located at 25.3 km
Here there is a second disqualification limit of 5 hours, 45 minutes. Athletes who haven’t reached this point by this time will be disqualified.
7th section: Distance 6,400 m
Passing through the settlement, we go uphill through a pine forest to the even more remote settlement of Zogeri. It is the first time that the route passes through this, southwestern part of the island. From Zogeri we go downhill through a beautiful, pristine forest towards Molos beach at kilometre 29 which will make all the athletes “forget” their fatigue. For 100m we run on pebbles and then uphill to the next beach, Palamidas, an old shipyard, and Refueling Station 7 at 31.7 km
8th section: Distance 5,500 m
This is arguably the most beautiful portion of the route with the sea and small, rocky islets with chapels on our left. One last uphill to the chapel of Agia Irini and back down to follow the dirt road along the coast all the way to the village of Vlyhos, over the arched foot bridge and onto cobblestone again until the picturesque village Kaminia. We pass through its quaint little fishing port, stone houses and Tavernas heading for the port. Approaching the finishing line at the main port of Hydra, we can now hear applause as we enter the horse-shoe shaped harbour. All the residents of the island will be there to cheer on each and every athlete!
(Download at pdf the Refueling Stations of Hydra’s Trail Marathon, clicking the above picture)
By clicking HERE or by scanning at the QR Code, you can download the route at many different files for gps.