say the people who have run it. And this is because it requires not only physical endurance and proper power management for more than 118 kilometers, or the bike to cope without any mechanical problems. The greatest feature and the grandeur of the struggle are the soul and the will to impose on both the mind and the body, with the mere purpose of ending next to the Aoos River.
The area where the “Protect Aoos MTB Ultra” takes place is located in the heart of the North Pindos National Park, the largest protected land area in Greece.
The risk of a new intervention in the river flow, following the operation of the Aoos Pipe Hydroelectric Power Plant in Politsies, Metsovo, in 1988, will be the final condemnation of the Aoos gorge up to Konitsa, while the consequences in the Albanian part of it (in Albania it is called Vjosa) and up to its estuary in the Adriatic Sea are still unpredictable. Therefore, through the need to address the problem of a future diversion and to find supporters in its effort to prevent it, a race of 100+ km of mountain biking embraced the Aoos and the surrounding mountains was born in 2013.
The creation of the North Pindos National Park with the unification of these areas has got the main purpose of preserving, protecting and promoting the natural and cultural heritage of the area. The special ecological value of the North Pindos National Park, which is recognized at national, European and global level, is derived from the fact that it includes: two national parks, Pindos National Park (Valia Calda) and the National Park of Vikos-Aoos, eleven sites belonging to the Pan-European Network of Protected Areas: NATURA 2000, a terittory designated as a Biogenetic Reserve at the core of Valia Calda, eleven Wildlife Shelters, and an important part of the Geopark Vikos – Aoos, which is a member of UNESCO’s European and World Geoparks Network.