The longest distance of the Ultra trail at Stara planina starts on Saturday, June 2, 2018 from the village of Crni vrh at 5 AM. Location is the same as the year before. For this reason we strongly recommend that you book your accommodation at the mountain lodge Sum since it is less than 2 km away from the start (http://www.staraplaninasum.com/ ) and there will be no organized transport from Babin zub in the morning. The best option for you is to be close to the start while we will organize the transport from the finish (Stara planina Hotel) back to mountain lodge Sum.
From the very start you will have a serious ascent, moving along the gravel path from which you make a turn after 7.5 km at the old ruined watchtower at Mirica. You will then go left up the hill, near the watchtower using the narrow path through junipers and towards Vucje jame (saddle between Dupljak peak and Midzor peak, the very border with Bulgaria). You will proceed along the border trail passing by border pillars towards the peak of Midzor at 2.169 masl. Our team will be just below it – not as a control but for the purpose of recording and control. The same will occur at lower points, before Midzor and towards Vucje jame in order to trace the regularity of movements of all runners at 108km and to be ready for those (57 km) coming from the other direction (Babin zub). You will have around 12km and almost 1.300 m of ascent to Midzor, followed by a downhill wide macadam road to Plaza restaurant where CP 1 at the 18 km of the race will be located. So unlike the team at 57 km, the longest distance is going in the reverse direction.
At CP 1 you will have water refill and food. Pay attention here, the control point is at the restaurant a bit off the track and turning to Topli do, so make sure you do not proceed immediately to CP 2. As soon as you are done at CP 1 return a bit backwards (where you came from) to the macadam crossroad and go right down to Topli do and CP 2 which is located at 27.8 km from the start.
CP 2 is in the center of the village in an old house with a great terrace overlooking the river, same as every year. When you reach the center of Topli do village, before the bridge you have to go straight towards a small shop above which the strips will show you where the CP 2 base is. So, be careful, this is another control point not located on the track.
So after CP 2, go uphill along the macadam road towards Beledje – CP 3 at 44.9 km from the start. You will have only one strong gravel intersection from CP 2, several km from Topli do where you will go right up the hill. That part will be particularly marked, with further signs towards Beledje.
The first time gate is at Beledje / CP 3 where warm food, drop bags, massage and water will be waiting for you (it is possible to refill here). From there you will move up the hill through junipers towards Vrazja glava and to the right towards Tri cuke and Kopren. You will proceed towards the spring Tri kladenca. Do not miss this spring if you’re running out of water supplies. It is located at 6.5 km from Beledje i.e. at 51.4 km from the start on Kopren plateau.
Farther on, over the plateau you will go downhill towards Kaca kamen and Dabidzin stream which is the CP 4 at 59.8 km from the start. Here you will find water and food to help you up the high ascent of approx. 4 km. You will climb up to Klisura, the famous pass and then you will go down for 6 km towards Sinoscir which is the CP 5 at 70.4 km from the start.
The very checkpoint is located at the intersection of the main gravel road and your way down, on the right side toward Arbinje. Here you will have food but no water, you will find water on the way at Skripcan fountain, on the left side at 3 km from CP 5 – Sinoscir.
You will proceed straight along the macadam road towards Arbinje and Belcin dol. The road leads gently uphill to the left turn towards Beledje where you arrive for the second time, which is now your CP 6 and 82 km of the race. Here you have everything you need, warm food, water, massage, drop bag. From there you will move on through juniper towards Vrazja glava but this time to the left towards Midzor peak and not to the right towards Tri cuke. Along the ridge to CP 7 at Midzor, which will be your second time on the highest peak of the mountain, 96.9 km of the race. There you will have water (no refill) and sweets. From there, you go back down to Plaza restaurant along the macadam road where the last CP 8 at 103.5 km of the race is. Water, food and the last (not long) climb to Babin zub and finish at Jabucko ravniste (Stara Planina Hotel). Basically, from CP 8 at Plaza (you will come here for the second time, as this is CP 1 of the race) you have less than 5 km to the finish line.
- CP3 Beledje (45km of the race) Saturday 4 PM (11 hours from the start)
- CP6 Beledje second passing (82km of the race) Sunday, May 28, 2 AM (21 hours from the start)
- Finish Jabucko ravniste Sunday, May 28, 9 AM (28 hours from the start)
- You can give up at Beledje (45 and 82km of the race) and Sinoscir (70km of the race) with possible transport organized, while for the other CPs (except Topli do) bear in mind that it will be very difficult to organize any kind of transport or access logistics. These parts are inaccessible and Babin zub is at long distance so we kindly ask for your understanding.
- We will not be doing limit calculations for each CP, it’s up to you. It’s very simple, anyone moving slower than 3.85km / hour (average), cannot expect that somebody will be waiting for them at CP 4 or 5. In that part of the mountain mobile network reception is weak and there will be no option for transport from CP4. If you are having difficulties up to Koprenski plato and see that you cannot make it within the time limits, we would suggest that you take the same route back to Beledje. Also, those who have late start from Beledje (CP3) should take their head lamp and jacket, since last year several runners were blocked on their way to CP4 an CP5 having left the most important equipment in their drop bag before dark at Beledje.
Required equipment: survival blanket, mobile phone, head lamp and a whistle. There will be penalties of 30 minutes for those who lack the same. As with every race we recommend that you be semi-autonomous (water, gels, etc.). You can pack your head lamps in your drop bags since there will be enough daylight at the very start; bringing the poles is your own choice, but note that you cannot put them in the drop bags. If you bring them, you have to carry them all the way.
The trail profile can be found here, and the map here . All additional information regarding the race will be presented during our technical meeting on Friday, June 1, at 9:30 PM at Stara Planina Hotel (at one of the conference halls).
You can get your starting package at the race office at Stara Planina Hotel on Friday, June 1 from 5 PM until 11 PM. GPS record of the trail can be downloaded here (important points of the race have been inserted as well).
Applications are open from Monday, September 25, 2017 from 11 AM until Wednesday, May 2, 2018, 4 PM. Within the participant’s package runners will get a active T-shirt. The race carries 5 ITRA points for the Ultra trail Mont Blanc (mountain grade 7).
Applications can be submitted http://trka.rs/race/134/ portal, as usual, while the bus reservation system has been changed. There is a new rule for participant bus reservation and payment in order to enable faster and better organized filling of the same. Anyone who pays a registration fee and wants to be on the participants’ bus will have to pay extra 1200 RSD at the same payment reference number. Therefore, the same day you decide to pay a registration fee, you can book your seat on the bus immediately with another payment.
Those who do not make this extra payment within the registration fee, will not be included in the bus list.
Each participant must wear their starting number in the visible place, on the chest or on the belt, frontally. It can be on the jacket or a shirt, but cannot be covered with a jacket! The loss of the starting number means automatic disqualification. The loss of the record card also means automatic disqualification. We recommend plastic bags for record cards.
Your starting numbers are from 500 and up.
The race will be scored within Serbia Skyrunning League for 2018 in the format of sky ultra. Each race on the Ultra Trailu of Stara planina carries 20% more points in the 2018 season.
For accomodation for all the runners in 108 km race we recommend the village of Crni Vrh and the mountain lodge Sum as well as large number of private houses and appartments. If you choose to stay at Babin zub (hotel, camp, etc.), you will have to organize the transport to the start point yourself. If you choose the camp, note that the beginning of June may be quite fresh at that height, so bring your winter equipment. More information can be found at the page “About Stara planina” at the bottom.
Link for weather conditions – https://www.yr.no/place/Serbia/Other/Babin_Zub/long.html
Award ceremony: Stara Planina Hotel, Sunday, June 3, at 10:30 AM at the start/finish gate. In case of bad weather, the ceremony will be held in the hotel hall. The first three places in both categories (men and women) will receive the awards.
Transport for the participants not going by our bus:
The Tourist Organization of Knjazevac will organize special mini bus lines on Friday, June1 for all the participants who would come by a regular bus line to Knjazevac. So, on Friday there will be two buses leaving from the center of Knjazevac, one at 2 PM and another at 7 PM. The price is 1000 RSD per person and the bus will take you to Stara planina Hotel (Jabucko ravniste). There must be minimum 10 persons per tour for the bus to be organized. The same applies for Sunday, June 3, except that there will be only one bus at 12PM, in front of Stara planina Hotel. Contact for reservations Cica Svetozarevic +381 66 50 80 097. Advance payment can be made at the following account 205-9001018165529-44 Komercijalna banka. Please note that you will need about an hour for this drive, so organize your time accordingly. The bus may stop at the mountain lodge Sum, in case you book your accomodation there. For anyone who would like to share costs with people going by their own car, it would be best if you post it on our Facebook event page – https://www.facebook.com/events/135369377001369/?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A%223%22%2C%22ref_newsfeed_story_type%22%3A%22regular%22%2C%22feed_story_type%22%3A%22117%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22%7D
Get ready for the 6th edition! See you at Stara planina!