Adventure on the Spis Loop
Ultra Janosik, running through the Land of Spisoks.
races / discover
The Spiska Pętla is not only a unique sporting event, but also an opportunity to discover the beauty and history of Spis and its inhabitants, the “Śpisoki”. During seven editions of this race we have experienced the warm hospitality of the Spis people and this year’s edition promises to be just as unique. However, before embarking on this Bieszczady adventure, it is worth knowing a little more about the place you are about to explore.
Spis and its inhabitants.
Not everyone knows that the inhabitants of Spisz are Spiszacy, not highlanders. They call themselves “Śpisoki” and emphasise their difference from other highland groups. The cultural differences are significant, from the layout of village buildings, which are more urban, to the characteristic Spis dress, which differs from the traditional Podhale dress. Spis cuisine also has its unique flavours, such as grulownik (Spis cottage cheese), which is included in the list of traditional products.
Start from Maliniak.
The Spiska Pętla, like other routes, starts in Maliniak at eight in the morning. At the beginning of the route you will find a beautiful landscape, which leads through Kunia and then down to Kacwin. Don’t slow down, because after six kilometres there is a challenge – an uphill climb. However, there is no need to get discouraged, because after four kilometres to Frankovska Hora you will be rewarded with exceptional views. From here you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Pieniny Mountains, the Lewockie Mountains in the distance, the green Spiska Magura Range and the impressive Tatra Mountains. One of our talented photographers will be on hand to capture the moment.
Spis guesthouse – a place to rest.
Then you descend to the Spiš guesthouse, where you can catch your breath and fill up your water bottles, flasks and canteens. Before you cross the threshold of the guesthouse, however, you will encounter a unique obstacle – the Kacwinianka River. This wide river is a challenge for runners who have to cross it in different ways. Some take off their shoes, others jump across.
Through Leśne Dukty
After leaving the checkpoint, run westwards along forest paths. On the way you will come across a blue trail, but be careful and follow the markings associated with the legendary bandit Janosik. Following the markings you will reach Pieskowy Wierch, from where you start to descend towards Przełęcz nad Łapszanka, which is about three kilometres away. There Danusia and our volunteers will be waiting for you, they will prepare a campfire, nutritious soup and admire the breathtaking panorama of the Tatra Mountains.
The rest of the route.
After a short rest, the route continues, first on a road that resembles the difficulties of the Tour de Pologne. After a few hundred metres, turn into the fields and head towards Pusty Wierch and Piłatówka. Continue and you will come across a red trail indicating that you are approaching Pawlikowski Wierch, the highest point on the route. Even if the clouds can be a little irritating at times, this area has its own charm. All that remains is to descend and then climb to Trybska Przełęcz. There you can taste the delicious oscypek cheese served by the shepherds. After such a meal, you will set off towards Grandeus with renewed energy, until it gets dusty. Once you have reached the top and admired the wonders of nature, the last stage of the route will take you to Dursztyn. There you are just a few kilometres away from your well-deserved rest.
A unique point at the Dursztyn Fire Station.
The point at the station of the brave firefighters of the Dursztyn Volunteer Fire Brigade is a place that remains in the memory of every participant. It is here that those who lose their strength suddenly regain it in a mysterious way. Some believe it is the robber spirits that roam the area, others attribute it to the hot, strong highlander tea. Either way, this fire station has its own unique charm. By the way, it is worth knowing that there was a manor distillery in Dursztyn, from which high-proof brandy was transported to the cellars in Frydman.
Courses Ultra Janosik:
Spiska Pętla 50 – Distance: 50 km Elevation: +/- 1600 m
Zbójnicka Śleboda 36 – Distance: 36 km Elevation: +/- 1100 m
Wartko Maryna 20 – Distance: 20 km Elevation: +/- 666 m
Spiska Siódemka – Distance: 7 km Elevation: +/- 200 m
Event website: tourdezboj.com/ultrajanosik/
Photography: Jan Haręza