Erymanthos (Greece): More than 100 ultra trail runners from eight countries have started their 100-mile journey across the northern Greek mountain of Rodopi.
Officials from the Rodopi Ultra Trail, a NGO which has been organising the annual Rodopi Advendurun 100 miles (ROUT) since 2010, said 115 runners started off from the forest village of Erymanthos, about 700 km northeast of Athens Friday, reports Xinhua. A 100 miles is about 160 km.
While most runners are from Greece, 13 foreign participants also started the race this year.
ROUT is a tough adventure footrace for experienced runners who compete in tough conditions running along abandoned paths and trails through the Rodopi Mountains National Park.
Organisers said ROUT is a new approach to trail running races, introducing a new vision on the ultras, the adventure running, by putting athletes and their skills in a serious challenge, and assessing their experience gained by long practice of the sport.
Runners are expected to complete the 100 miles race, including 8,000 metres of positive altitude change, within 40 hours.
The past record of ROUT was made by Greek runner Nikolaso Petropoulos, who completed the race in 2013 in 23 hours 19 minutes and 11 seconds. Petropoulos is also competing this year.
Three women are also among this year's runners.