As many as 250 runners from ten countries have signed up for the most difficult ultramarathon in Romania, the 2X2 Race, which takes place on Saturday at Balea Lac, at over 2,000 metres altitude in Fagaras Mountains.
"This Saturday, the 10th edition of the 2X2 Race starts at Balea Lac, the only mountain running competition in Romania that takes place entirely at over 2,000 m altitude. The race is particularly technical and certainly one of the most difficult mountain ultramarathons in the world. The 2X2 Race takes place entirely at over 2,000 m, which makes it unique in Europe and one of the few in the world. The mountain ultramarathon starting at Balea Lac is the most spectacular and demanding event in the domestic competition schedule and it is comparable in difficulty to other recognised races outside Romania. Organisers of the UTMB (Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc), the most important mountain running competition in the world on Chamonix-Mont Blanc, sees the 2X2 Race as a qualifying race for their mountain ultramarathon. This year, 250 runners from 10 countries (Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, France, Israel, and Russia) signed up fort he competition," the organisers say in a press statement released on Friday.
The race consists of two categories, each of the two being run in a single lap, with intermediate and final time limits:
X2 - a spectacular race both in terms of the route and huge level difference (1900 m D+) against length (18 km). The participants will run on some of the most technical routes in the Carpathians, reaching the second highest peak in Romania, Negoiu Peak (2,535 m). Final time: 10 hours.
2X2 - The route is 45 km in length and it has a positive difference in level of 4,200 m crossing the two highest peaks in Romania, Moldoveanu (2,544 m) and Negoiu (2,535 m), from the spectacular ridge of Fagaras Mountains. Final time: 14 hours, Agerpres.
"Compared with an ordinary marathon, the 2x2 Race is an ultra-sky marathon, its characteristic being mainly given by the difference in level on the route, in the present case of 4,200 - 4,500 meters. Competitions of this type take place on rugged terrain, from dirt paths through forest and alpine hollows, to ridges and cliffs. The 2x2 Race is run only in alpine hollows and 80% on high-difficulty rocks. The weather is always difficult in the mountains, so we have to make sure that the runners are mentally and physically prepared for such endeavour," says Florin Baras, one of the organisers of the competition.
The 2X2 and X2 routes cross marked, partially prepared and unprotected paths that include steep slopes and rugged areas, pass through alpine gaps (ridges, cols, steeps, valleys, ravines, alpine meadows) and their passage requires advanced experience.
"2X2 RACE" is an event co-financed by the Sibiu County Council under its Sports Agenda, organised by the 2X2 Race Sports Club Association in collaboration with the Grey Projects Sports Club Association. Main event partner: Andu. The event is sponsored by Decathlon, Gold Nutrition and Zuzu Fit, with the main aim of promoting mountain running in Romania,using marked trails in Fagaras Mountains.
The complete schedule and competition regulations are available on https://www.2x2race.ro.