|Prokletije SkyRace 15, August 2020.
Welcome to the most beautiful, the most attractive and the most challenging race since the start of the League. No other mountain in the Balkans can come close to the beauty and challenge of Prokletije (lit. Accursed mountains). We will invest a lot in this event, as we did in Stara Planina race - iancorless.com - Ultra Trail Stara Planina 2019 Race Summary – Serbia skyrunning
This will be the crown of all our races
In the territory of the former Yugoslavia, only the Julian Alps can provide such beauty and challenge.
We have been waiting for this race for a long time. The organization will be tough and demanding since the Prokletije massif is the last unexplored part of Europe with its completely wild landscapes that are quite inaccessible. For all the reason above, this race will be a huge challenge not only for the runners but for the logistics as well.
There will be two distances with the scoring for UTMB and national skyrunning league carrying 50% more points in 2020 season. Gusinje, Montenegro, August 15 – Sky Race at 30 km and 2,150 m of uphill and Sky Ultra at 50 km and 4,350 m of uphill.
This is the first sky race that requires 100% of your focus because of its technical sections and long alpine uphills and downhills. Crossing the crude limestone of Karanfili, passing the most beautiful vistas towards Popadija and Talijanka peaks and having the two most beautiful valleys of Montenegro in the palm of your hand – Ropojana and Grbaja.
Route details and trail length:
Total of 30,5 km with 2.150 m of uphill and downhill. The fact that all 2,150 m of uphill are packed within 15 kmof the trail is enough to depict what kind of race this is and that no other race in the region can compare to this one! Please, study the profile of the race carefully – this is a world class format.
Start of the race:
The start is scheduled for August 15, 2020 (Saturday) from the centre of Gusinje at 7 AM, together with the Sky Ultra.
The start will be at the municipality of Gusinje from where you will immediately turn towards Vusanje village and Ali Pasha springs. The very springs are some 2,5 km away and once you reach them you will immediately get out to a goat path with a very steep uphill. There will be a spring in the woods along the track, but this will not be the only one. There will be another one close to the mountain huts with a beautiful view of the surrounding area. CP1 will be located at the saddle of Vezirova brada (Vezirova brada) at the 6th km of the race. After refreshment you will continue towards Podgoja peak (2,021 masl) from where you will have a magnificent view of Ropojana valley, Trojan peak, Albania, Plav city... From there you will come to the tough terrain going along the ridge. You must be completely focused here since you will be climbing the peak of Mali Karanfil (2,119 masl – the highest point of the Skyrace) through the realm of limestone using your hands throughout this section. After that you will go downhill vertically below the peaks of Karanfil Ljuljaševića and Očnjak straight to Grbaja and CP2 (Maja Karanfil mountain huts) at the 12th km of the race. You will have substantial refreshment and water refill at the hut after which the trail will take you past the mountain lodge “Branko Kotlajić” from where you will turn into woods on the most famous path of Prokletije National Park towards the peaks of Volušnica, Talijanka and Popadija. Here you will come across the most beautiful views, tough uphill, border with Albania and once again climb over 2,000 masl. CP3 will be located at the top of Popadija (control point only) at the 17th km of the race.
From the top of Popadija you will go downhill towards Popadija mountain huts just beneath the Karaula peak (there you will find the remains of the old watchtower in the valley) where refreshment (18th km of the race) and water refill await for you. This is the point where two trails forge – the Ultra runners will go towards the Trojan peak and you will continue downhill towards Gusinje village.
From CP3 and refreshment there are no more challenging sections, these are mainly in the form of broad macadam paths leading downhill towards Dolja village. The section before Gusinje is an interesting one and will lead you through a dense pine forest called “Šume Rahine”. CP4 will be there at the 26th km of the race (control point only). The finish is at the Gusinje municipality, the same place where the start was.
• CP-1 – Vezirova brada, 6th km of the race, 8:45 AM (1 hour and 45 minutes from the start)
• CP-2 – Mountain hut Maja Karanfil, Grbaja, 12th km of the race, 11 AM (4 hours from the start)
• CP-3 – Popadija, 17th km of the race, 1:30 PM (6 hours and 30 minutes from the start)
• CP-4 – Šume Rahine, 26th km of the race, 3:30 PM (8 hours and 30 minutes from the start)
• Finish – Gusinje centre, 4:15 PM (9 hours and 15 minutes from the start)
A harsh and magnificent ultra that is very close to the SkyExtreme format for its technical sections and long alpine uphills and downhills. You will be entering Albania, crossing the peaks over 2,200 masl with lots of uphills along the way. The trail may as well receive the “Lord of the Rings” certification as it passes through stone outcrops, hundred-year-old pines and sharp ridges. This is the perfect trail for the fans of TOR, UTMB and Skyrunning World Series races.
Before you enter the realm of crude limestones of Karanfili, the most beautiful vistas towards Popadija and Talijanka, the two most beautiful valleys of Montenegro (Ropojana and Grbaja), you will have to conquer Bor mountain first! Just as the colleagues from the SkyRace continue along their path you will have the highest peak waiting in front of you – Trojan of 2,200 masl.
Another interesting fact – Stara longest race has 4,000 m of uphill at 99 km distance while at this race all of this (and more) will be packed in only 50 km!
Route details and trail length:
Total of 50,6 km with 4,350 m of uphill and downhill. No further comment is needed – just compare the length and the ascent of the race. It is slightly lighter than the our SkyExtreme race of the Šar Mountains 2018, but certainly a nicer one! Please, study the profile of the track carefully – this is the race of the season.
Start of the race:
The start is scheduled for August 15, 2020 (Saturday) from the centre of Gusinje at 7 AM, together with the Sky Race.
The start will be at the the municipality of Gusinje from where you will immediately turn towards Vusanje and Ali Pasha springs, but unlike the shorter race, you will split before Ali Pasha springs to the left. At the very asphalt intersection there will be volunteers with signposts so that you do not continue for 30 km race.
You will continue towards Bor mountain and the peak of Ćemena at 2,036 masl. CP1 Ćemena will be at the 7th km of the race. Control and water await you there. After that you will go downhill towards the centre of Gornje Vusanje village and following the winding, alternative paths through the village you will reach the base of the race and Eco Mountain Hut Rosi. CP2 (Rosi) awaits you there with control and refreshments at the 13th km of the race. Continue along the narrow paths with rocks, climbing towards Ali Pasha springs.
You will then merge with the trail of Skyrace, following the route of your colleagues at shorter distance. There will be a spring in the woods along the track, but this will not be the only one. There will be another one close to the mountain huts with a beautiful view of the surrounding area. CP3 will be located at the saddle of Vezirova brada (Vezirova brada) at the 21st km of the race. After refreshment you will continue towards Podgoja peak (2,021 masl) from where you will have a magnificent view of Ropojana valley, Trojan, Albania, Plav... From there you will come to the tough terrain going along the ridge. You must be completely focused here since you will be climbing the peak of Mali Karanfil (2,119 masl – the highest point of the skyrace) through the realm of limestone using your hands throughout this section. After that you will go downhill vertically below the peaks of Karanfil Ljuljaševića and Očnjak straight to Grbaja and CP4 (Maja Karanfil mountain huts) at the 27th km of the race. Here you will have substantial refreshment, water refill in the hut, drop bag and lunch. Bear in mind that from here on you will have to have a headlamp, but prepare your warm clothes, as well. The trail will take you past the mountain lodge “Branko Kotlajić” from where you will turn into woods on the most famous path of Prokletije National Park towards the peaks of Volušnica, Talijanka and Popadija. Here you will come across the most beautiful views, tough uphill, border with Albania and once again climb over 2,000 masl. CP5 will be located at the top of Popadija (control only) at the 33rd km of the race.
From the top of Popadija you will go downhill towards Popadija mountain huts just beneath the Karaula peak (there you will find the remains of the old watchtower in the valley) where refreshment (34th km of the race) and water refill await for you. This is the point where two trails forge – you will go towards Trojan peak and Albania. Take care that you refill and refresh properly here since there will not be water or refreshment for a long time due to the inaccessible terrain.
You will continue along the border path and then to the Trojan pass where tourists from Lepuša (Albanian village) come from. That section is extraordinary with vertical peaks and pines everywhere around you. After you have passed the first peak and the most beautiful one within the Trojan ridge you will come to the saddle and then to the “knife” going all the way to the top. The views are magnificent here and the very peak lies at 2,200 masl. CP6 Trojan will be located here at the 40th km of the race (control only). From there you will go downhill along the ridge and cliffs towards the Trojan Pass – a magical rock formation! Please, follow the flags at this section strictly since there will be an abyss on your left. Be completely focused. After the pass you will continue through the rock creep and a magnificent slope full of centuries-old pines towards the old watchtower where only the remains can be found now, and then towards the Balića mountain huts. This will be the 42nd km of the race with the spring that will be marked. From there you will go downhill towards Kodra Bajrovića mountain huts where the CP7 Kodra Bajrovića will be located at the 44th km of the race. Refreshment and control await you here. From there on, everything will be much easier, just continue downhill by the macadam path, the same as your colleagues running at the Skyrace. The section before Gusinje is an interesting one and will lead you through a dense pine forest called “Šume Rahine”. CP8 will be located here at the 48th km of the race (control only). The finish is at the municipality Gusinje, the same place where the start was. It should be noted that the section between the Balića mountain huts and Gusinje is full of bears so those who are afraid should go in groups or wear bells. People from the organization and Mountain Rescue Service will be located along the section between Trojan and Gusinje. We will pay special attention to that part of the trail.
• CP-4 – Mountain hut Maja Karanfil, Grbaja, 27th km of the race, 3 PM (8 hours from the start)
• CP-5 – Popadija, 33rd km of the race, 5:30 PM (10 hours and 30 minutes from the start)
• CP-6 – Trojan, 40th km of the race, 8 PM (13 hours from the start) *this will be strictly adhered to
• Finish – Gusinje centre, 11 PM (16 hours from the start)
Race profile and map:
ITRA link, track rating, map, gpx file and scoring:
Ultra - https://tracedetrail.fr/en/trace/trace/104635
Skyrace – https://tracedetrail.fr/en/trace/trace/104636
As you can see, the trails are not easy. Make sure that you bring enough water and food with you.
Survival blanket, rain/wind jacket, mobile phone, cup and whistle. Penalties of 30 minutes will apply if any of the above is missing. If two or more items are missing – the disqualification will follow. Runners at 50 km must also have a headlamp, that will be in their drop bag at Grbaja (CP 4). For Ultra runners on 50km, besides the headlamp, GPS device is obligatory!
We recommend that you have poles but bear in mind that you cannot leave them at the posts (CP). We also recommend that you pack them at the section between Podgoja and Karanfili since you will need your hands free at this section. It is highly recommended for Sky Race runners to have the GPS with the record of the track! You must be semi-autonomous (water, gels, etc.). All additional information regarding the race will be presented in our final email and race guide (Prokletije Race Guide 2020.) as well as at our technical meeting on Friday, August 14, 2020 at 9 PM at Eco Mountain Huts Rosi at Vusanje.
Starting packages collection:
Race office will be located at Vusanje in Eco Mountain Hut Rosi EKO KATUN ROSI - OLD TOWER HOTEL GUSINJE and will be open on Friday from 5 PM to 11 PM.
The packages must be collected in person. Medical certificate is obligatory for both races, no older than one year. Registrations is open and will be closed on Monday, July 13, 2020 at 4 PM (the payments have to be made up to this time).
Sky Race starting packages will contain a unique finisher medal and a custom buff, for all those who pay their registration fee up to May 15, 2020. After this date, a cotton T-shirt will come as a gift instead of the custom buff. The amount of registration fee is 2,000 RSD (EUR 17). After June 15, 2020 it will amount to 3,000 RSD (EUR 25).
Sky Ultra starting packages will contain a finisher medal and a Compressport T-shirt, for all those who pay their registration fee up to May 15, 2020. After this date an active T-shirt (local brand) will come as a gift instead of the CS T-shirt. The amount of registration fee is 3,500 RSD (EUR 30). After June 15, 2020 it will amount to 4,600 RSD (EUR 39).
Applications can be submitted through portal, as usual.www.trka.rs.
Minibus with the participants (20 seats) will operate as it did during the previous races. Everyone who pays the registration fee and wants to be on the minibus from Belgrade will have to pay extra 2,000 RSD (17 euro) at the same payment reference number. For further information contact us. The minibus leaves on Friday, August 14, at 8 AM from Kombank Arena parking lot. It will be taking the participants back on Sunday at 12:30 PM in front of Eco mountain huts Rosi with one stop at Gusinje.
Each participant must wear their starting number in visible place, on the chest or on the belt, frontally. It can be on the jacket or T-shirt but must not be covered by the jacket! The loss of the starting number means automatic disqualification.
The only point for giving up from which we can provide the transport to the finish is the CP at Grbaja (CP 2 for SkyRace or CP 4 for SkyUltra). For Ultra runners there will be one more option at Popadija mountain huts (after CP 5).
Should you have any complaints you can contact us at email@example.com within 48 hours after the finish of the race. After this time no complaints will be taken into consideration.
Limit: 299 runners at SkyRace, 99 runners at SkyUltra!
The races will be scored within Serbian Skyrunning League for 2020 in the Sky Classic and Sky Ultra format. Each race at Prokletije carries 50% more points for the 2020 season. Both races have the alternative track (option B) in case of bad weather. The race might be rescheduled for Sunday, if the organizers find it safer.
The recommendation for all runners is to book the hotels, cottages and eco-mountain huts as soon as possible. You can start with contacting local Tourist Organization of Gusinje at: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information will follow as of March in our Race Guide.
Weather forecast link
It will be held in front of Gusinje municipality building on Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 9 PM next to the start/finish gate. In case of bad weather, the ceremony will be held in the café just across the municipality building. The top three places in men’s and women’s category will receive the awards.
Get ready for the most beautiful and most challenging Balkan race since the start of the League!
See you at Prokletije!