MANDATORY KIT LIST FOR THE 2021 EVENT
IF THERE ARE ANY CHANGES FOR THE 2021 EVENT THIS WILL BE COMMUNICATED IN THE PRE-EVENT DOCUMENTATION
Carrying this kit is a requirement of the Event and forms part of our planning in ensuring reasonable measures are put in place to keep you safe should anything go wrong during this adventurous endeavour. We ask you not to take short cuts or ‘second guess’ our advice. For instance, the carrying of waterproofs is required even if rain is not forecast as a means to prevent cooling down too fast if you get injured in a location that is very exposed to wind – remember you may be very tired and sweaty, and who says the forecast is always right?
The emergency kit is important for several reasons:
- It helps you to help yourself should you have a problem.
- We are in this together and you may need to assist others if they have a problem.
- In the case of an incident our Race Control and Medical teams will make decisions based on the knowledge that you all have this equipment.
- Carrying the kit is a requirement for everyone and hence provides an equal and fair challenge.
- It is part of our risk assessment process that is shared with insurers. Your insurance may be invalid if you do not follow our advice.
- If your lack of kit preparation contributes to making an incident more serious, then you may be avoidably drawing resources from our medical team and the emergency services at the expense of others.
- Without the kit you will be unable to complete registration. If during the race you are not carrying the mandatory kit then you will be disqualified and deemed to have not completed the challenge.
General advice on heat
The heat of the day at lower altitudes can be fierce, so a wide-brimmed sunhat, sun-cream and lightweight and breathable fabrics (ideally with SPF protection) are to be used. Of course it will be dark for a good portion of the lower sections, but it likely still to be warm. As the sun comes up, sunglasses with at least Cat 3 protection are required. As we ascend, the cover will become less so we will be exposed to the relentless sun, especially as we rise above the treeline high up on the mountain. Temperatures can drop as we climb higher and we will find ourselves in a high mountain environment where layers, full leg cover and hats and gloves could be required. It is a fairly unique beast in that respect! Hot, cold, wind, dust, lots of varying conditions. All in one day.
The beauty of the support afforded by the vehicles in the lower stage of the trip means you can take what you need and then change into other gear/ footwear/ socks as we make our way onto the mountain proper beyond Prionia. We will offer the opportunity for a kit change at this location from lighter-weight gear inti ‘high-mountain’ attire. You can also change out of sweaty clothes into fresh ones, so don’t be afraid of bringing some extra stuff if you do tend to be the sort of person who gets drenched in sweat just by stepping outside in such conditions!
Do not underestimate how much the heat will take out of you. Even if you think you ae going well lower down, as soon as that sun comes up, it’ll start sapping energy. You really do want to ensure you have mas sun protection and keep taking on fluids and salts.
You WILL need trekking poles. You WILL need a fairly large daypack (up to 30l advised – NB this is for the mountain. You can get away with a much smaller ultra vest or similar for the run stage earlier on – so bring both). You WILL NOT need a sleeping bag as we will overnight at the refuge where bedding is provided, but you WILL need something like a sleeping liner, (or a very lightweight sleeping bag will suffice) for hygiene in the refuge. With early starts both days you will need some extra insulation layers as well.
For your feet, we would advise trail running footwear for the first portion and then for the high mountain, a boot would do for this, but breathability and mobility are also bonuses. Our advice (in an ideal world) would be high-topped trail running footwear/ lightweight boots with ankle support, for the mountain. Wear these OR a separate pair of trail trainers earlier in the day. You will get a chance to switch footwear, clothing and of course backpacks before we set out on the high-mountain trekking stage.
Here’s the kit list:
Running or lightweight trekking below Prionia
- Trail running footwear
- Ultra vest or small daypack
- Bladder or bottles/ soft flasks
- Hat – cap or wide brimmed are fine
- Ankle gaiters (optional)
- Scooby snacks of choice
- GPS handheld device capable of following (phone with viewranger App recommended – see below)
- GPS watch is optional
- Headtorch, waterproof to IPX7 standard, minimum 150 lumens + spare batteries or second headtorch
- Salt tablets and dissolvable electrolytes for water are mandatory. Please bring salt tablets and some electrolyte mix for drinks. You will 100% need these on this trip
Trekking/ mountain stage above Prionia:
- Trail running/walking footwear or lightweight boots – ideally with ankle support
- Spare evening footwear, such as Crocs (if you want – not essential – footwear for the refuge is issued to you at the refuge for indoor use)
- Trail running/walking apparel – lightweight trekking trousers, technical wicking tee/ base layer, long-sleeved wicking layer, mid-layer (e.g. microfleece)
- Waterproof upper body and leg cover (yes, waterproofs, however unlikely it may be that we use them)
- Buff or similar neck gaiter, and sun hat/cap
- Spare base and mid layers
- Blister care kit
- Bivvy bag
- First Aid kit (small personal kit with a triangular bandage, steri strips and an adhesive dressing as a minimum)
- Water bottle, and/or cup OR Hydration system for rucksack
- Trekking poles
- Headtorch, waterproof to IPX7 standard, minimum 150 lumens + spare batteries or second headtorch
- A rucksack that is sized to hold this kit + camping + food. We are suggesting 30l but ultimately it’s up to you. If the gear fits, the bag is OK!
- Due to other accessories a rucksack with expandable features and straps is very helpful. Your call
- Dry bag is always very useful for general gear storage/ organisation/ protection
- Ditto small zip lock bags (especially for doing your business and disposing of toilet paper on mountain)
Refuge sleeping kit
- Sleeping liner
- Ear buds if you’re a light sleeper (for the mountain refuge)
- Personal toiletries and medication
- Casual clothing for use in evenings at hotels and transit stages – you will be able to leave a second ‘overnight’ bag with us when you depart on the route, in the support vehicle so you have warm/ spare/ casual/ dry clothes available when we interact with the support vehicle, so you do not need to carry this with you at all – see below where we reference the ‘vehicle bag’
- General ‘secondary’ bag (holdall, duffel) for spare kit
- General trekking trousers and robust outdoor footwear are recommended just given the type of destination
- Towel – travel micro towel or full-size
- Bandana, Buff or similar
- Multitool or penknife
- Reading material
- Power bank for mobile phone
- International plug adaptor
We intend for you to follow ‘the line’ at lower elevations on a GS-enabled device as a back-up to our waymarking and stewarding. Our suggestion here is a mobile smartphone with the Viewranger App loaded onto it and the GPX files attached uploaded onto it (or any other App that can open GPX files). Reality is, the route-finding on this one is not very hard at all with the suite of resources we will be deploying. So don’t worry about it. But having the GPS with you and following ‘the line’ is always handy and will give you a sense of progress along our route anyway.
There are 4 bags to be considered for this journey.
1.) You will be able to leave a ‘transition bag’ with us which you will be able to access at Prionia – which is the split between the lower stages and the ‘high mountain’ – so warm/spare/dry clothes can be donned here, together with your gear for the night at the refuge, which you will be taking with you up the mountain. You do not therefore need to carry this gear with you in the lower elevations from the coast to Prionia, where a lighter-weight running vest or daypack can be used.
2.) General ‘overnight’ bag (recommended: Holdall or duffel) for spare and general kit. Please go for a MAXIMUM size of around 60 litres and no more than approx 15kg pls. This bag will go forward from the hotel in Litochoro to the final beach hotel overnight location; so you will not see this bag until you arrive at that location. We will store it for you while you are on the mountain.
3.) Daypack or running vest. This is the bag you will carry with you on the initial stage from the coast to Prionia. It should contain the mandatory kit, spare clothes, food and water. When you get to Prionia, you can swap it with…
4.) Mountain backpack. This is approx. 30l and will have your mountain clothing, mandatory kit and itms required for the overnight at the refuge. Once you depart Prionia onto the high mountain, you will take everything with you to be self-contained out-with the Pit Stop support station that we will locate at the refuge itself.
Kit that we will NOT be using/taking
Helmets, ropes and climbing gear.
Our highest technical grade of ground will be trekking: Whilst there are scrambling objectives in the summit zone of Olympus, our summit bid will terminate at Stefani, where no scrambling is required.
How to train
For an undertaking of this nature, it’s a lot of foot travel and some significant vertical gain in mountainous country. Remember, it is not a race. If you have a good base and plan for success in doing the distance and being on your feet, you’ll be fine. Slow and steady. A robust endurance base is what you need, not speed or heroics. Run and hike, and, if you can, gat a good few longish mountain days in.
General fitness and endurance will carry you through; and a good propensity to dealing with weather, whatever that may throw at us. Go at your own pace, front up to several hours of vertical gain and train to that. And you’ll be OK. Know your limits and enjoy striding out and taking on this stunning objective. It is not a race.
We will be publishing a 6 month training plan at that juncture, 6 months prior to the challenge commencing.
For this trip, you are in the very best of hands. The trip will be led by Rat Race founder Jim Mee, who has completed this challenge himself as part of the Rat Race Test Pilot scheme and who created this concept. Jim has organised over 500 events and led expeditions on 6 continents. Jim is ably assisted by a team of local guides, Ultra runners and medics, all under the expert management eyes of Ross Worthington and the RAW Adventures team, who will oversee all challenge guiding, logistics and safety support services.