The final stage starts at Lion heart base camp in the northeast direction passing by the residency Pearl. The route crosses picturesque crags and fresh broad-leaved forests to cape Maslen nos and the sacred sanctuary Beglik Tash at the 9-th km. This is the last reinforcement checkpoint. The athletes follow the markings to the intimate beach of the gulf St. Paraskeva and back via forest pathway to the Ropotamo reserve. In 1929 the Bulgarian sailor Kostadin Georgiev sacrifised his life to save the crew of the French ship Jacque Frassine, crushed not far from this place. We bow our heads to his memory and after a short run on the asphalt we start the climb to the astonishing stone phenomenon Lavskata glava (Lion’s head).
This is the last trial for the lion hearts, however the prize is well worth it. After the uphill comes the most panoramic part of the competition. We stop to take a deep breath and enjoy the magnificent view of the whole Arkutino gulf, lying behind the Lion’s head to the north and the coast of Kiten and Primorsko to the south. Energy is literally swarming from these sacred lands.
What follows is a pleasant, long descend via the not-so-well-known parts of Ropotamo, where herds of roes and deer can be seen, back to the “Lion heart” base camp through a splendid final sprint.
The starting point again is Lion Heart base camp in direction of Maslen nos cape (north-east). The running is on a dirt road, slightly dusty in some sections, but wide and relatively flat. 2 km before Maslen nos cape starts a series of short up and downhills. Small boulders emerge on the surface and lead to series of small gulfs.
Right before the military base by Maslen nos cape the route turns left, goes between the diving school and the military base fences and the runners experience the most dangerous part of the route regarding terrain – a sheer, rough and slippery path. The big vertical cliff near the path requires the full attention of the competitors. Then the track returns to the dirt road going north. In 300 m the track enters a narrow forest track towards Beglik Tash sanctuary. The running continues on soft ground through the amazing Ropotamo reserve. It is likely to hear and see wild animals. Be careful for snakes and wild boars!
After 2 km through the forest the route crosses the checkpoint Beglik Tash and continues east through the forgotten town of Ranuli on a tourist path in the direction of St. Paraskeva beach. Just before the beach there is a sharp descent on rocks followed by a sandy segment of 100 m. The forest track continues for 2 more km, then 2 km of asphalt road going south lead to a right turn towards the “Lion’s head” following a dried-out riverbed climb. The most challenging part of the running route continues with 300 vertical meters of uphill on a forest track with high vegetation, fallen trees and fantastic views to the gulfs of Perla and Primorsko. At the top of the climb the vegetation gradually disappears and the competitors have astonishing views all around.
A gradual downhill follows which lasts all the way to the finish. The ground is hard turns into a stone trail and then into an asphalt road back to Lion heart base camp. This segment requires more attention due to the increased fatigue and the round stones under the runners’ legs. There is big probability of tripping. The last few km are the sweetest – downhill final stretch and finish at “Lion Heart” base camp.