Venue – Track, conditions, provisions etc

I had a few of questions earlier concerning the course and venue (thanks Lynn)

The points raised were on the nature of the venue – There are quite a few questions here actually, so I’ll do them one at a time below. Please bear in mind I am not one of the organisers of the race and currently I’m out of touch with the crew in Athens while waiting for them to get their mobile broadband signal back, so if any of the information is a bit sparse, please forgive me.

What sort of provision is there for tents?

The race organisers included the following instructions for runners/crews

“Please bring with you sleeping bags, tents (optional) and mattresses. There will be big rooms for night (or day) sleep located 10-20m from the course.”

There seems to be plenty of space provided for tents (for the runners and crews). Here is a shot of the current home-away-from-home of Team Sichel (which is a 6 man tent, so pretty big).

Are there only portable toilets or some real bathrooms and are there showers?

There are portaloos on the trackside (this is generally the case) but the big rooms set aside for the use of runners/crews also have actual toilets and showers.

William runs away from the mobile toilets...

What is the noise and air quality from the traffic like?

Noise I’m not so sure about, air quality is I believe pretty fair – the course may technically be in Athens but it isn’t downtown and is actually a bit outside the city (away from urban smog). I don’t think traffic is allowed on the actual course but may well run alongside art of it. I’ll try and check this when possible.

Is the track surface asphalt, or concrete?

Officially the track is described as “Good quality asphalt, flat with a 1km lap.”

From reports at the race I’m told that the track varies from asphalt to tight gravel. Drainage qualities during any heavy rain (and there could be some during the race) are a little uncertain. This is pretty much a road surface.

Is there any spectator space available?


Do any people come to watch?

Yes, but it seems a bit random. William has had friends either stop by (others are planning on doing so) and I think this is true of other runners. While there is interest in the race it isn’t in a stadium and there is no seating provided for spectators (as far as I am aware). It is likely to be quite busy at times as the 1000  mile race isn’t the only race going on… The 1000 mile World Cup is taking place as part of “The Athens International Ultramarathon Festival 20100” which features the following races

  • 1000-miles: March 15-31
  • 7-day race: March 24-31
  • 24hr race: March 27-28
  • 48hr race: March 26-28
  • 72hr race: March 25-28

If you look at the dates you’ll see that the track (used for all races) will be rather busy at times…! I expect the closing/awards ceremonies and the starts and ends of the races will be the best attended times during the events.

I’m told that there have been plenty of journalists stopping by, a Italian film crew and I think local Greek TV coverage.

Italian film crew at the race

Hope this answers your questions – if anyone wants to ask anything else, fire away.

All the best,

Shaun Brassfield-Thorpe – William Sichel’s training advisor –