nature preservation

Race rules & regulations (article 17.)

17. ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION
17.1. The race takes place in the parts of Galicica National Park that have been designated as World Heritage by UNESCO. Participants are therefore required to fully respect the environment, in particular by not leaving rubbish, picking flowers or disturbing the wildlife.
17.2. Anyone found leaving rubbish along the route shall be disqualified from the race.
17.3. In the various aid stations there are rubbish bins into which athletes may throw their rubbish. The organizers advise participants to carry a small bag for collecting any tissues which can then be disposed of at aid stations.
17.4. Participants must follow the outlined paths and avoid leaving them so as not to cause damage to the surrounding environment.
17.5. In order to reduce the use of plastic, there will be no disposable cups available at aid stations thus participants must bring their own cups/flasks.

Prespa-Ohrid Nature Trust

The Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust – PONT, one of only 8 Transboundary Conservation Trusts funds around the world, was set up in 2015 to support and improve the environmental management of The Prespa Ohrid ecoregion is Ohrid Utra-Trail's main partner and financier.

PONT has initially focused its funding on the Prespa lakes basin, including the six protected areas covering the most significant biodiversity features of the Prespa lakes and adjacent terrestrial ecosystems. PONT aims to expand its work beyond the Prespa region to include the Ohrid lake basin and its surroundings in the near future.

At its core, PONT believes in protecting for future generations, one of Europe’s most ecologically valuable areas, the Prespa Ohrid ecoregion which is a refuge for many rare and endemic species as well as many cultural and historical monuments. PONT understands that biodiversity conservation and the management of ecoservices is complex and takes time. It is with that in mind that PONT provides effective long-term funding to support the national parks, other important protected areas and conservation organisations in the region.

As part of that, PONT promotes partnerships, transboundary cooperation, and a collective ecoregional approach. PONT provides the resources for those working on the ground to manage their own needs while engaging with governments to leverage funding and political commitments towards conservation. Working together with a long-term vision we can raise public environmental awareness and community engagement to protect The Prespa Ohrid ecoregion.

Learn more about our work here: https://www.pont.org/

National Park rules of conduct

Any outdoors activity involves some kind of impact or perturbation to the natural environment. Therefore, everyone enjoying it must consider actions to make it sustainable and to minimize its impact. In this regard, the Galicica National Park requests all runners of Ohrid Ultra-Trail® to always take into consideration the following points at any time:

>>Always stay on the track or path when running or walking. This helps keeping them open, as well as minimizes the erosion problems usually linked to making shortcuts.
>>Ensure that any food or drink wrapping remains inside your pockets or in the backpack after using it. Not littering will keep the paths free of papers, plastics or other trash, preventing the animals to eat them with the consequent intestinal problems.
>>Try to leave the mountain cleaner than when you found it. Pick the rubbish that you may find in your way (or part of it), and put it in the dustbin.
>>It is quite usual to find domestic animals on or near the path (cows, horses, sheep), observing with certain mistrust, particularly when young ones are present. Avoid altering them, slow your pace, take some distance from the animals and do not touch them.
>>Sometimes dogs accompany the flock, protecting the animals from bear, wolf or wild dog attacks. In this case you must circle around the flock (never cross it), avoid touching the animals, allow the dog to sniff at you and confirm you are not a threat, and continue walking at slow pace until getting enough distance.
>>Wild animals usually avoid human presence. If by chance you come across a wild boar, a deer or any other animal, you should stop and leave space for the animal to escape from you. To prevent a defensive action from the animal, it is not recommended to walk towards it.
>>Mountains have always been a convivial place. Greeting the people you come across helps maintaining a good atmosphere. Commenting any incidences we may have found along the way may be helpful to other users.
>>Moving our body also moves our intestines, which may bring the need to empty them. Please dig a small hole with your heel and defecate inside, then cover your excrement and any paper used with soil, leaves and rocks.
>>Raise your eyes from the track from time to time to look around you and fully enjoy the beautiful landscape surrounding you. Knowing and enjoying nature is the first step to loving and respecting it.
>>Friends and family coming as public or to provide support to runners should also be aware of this exceptional natural environment, which needs to be respected and protected. Please behave respectfully, for example by parking only in appropriate areas (never in non-designated fields), not littering, not being too loud, not trespassing on private properties, respecting the high grass fields, etc…

Leave No Trace Seven Principles

• Plan Ahead and Prepare
• Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
• Dispose of Waste Properly
• Leave What You Find
• Minimize Campfire Impacts
• Respect Wildlife
• Be Considerate of Other Visitors
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