Stage 3: Imotski lakes
Distance: 23,1 km / Ascent: 990 m+ / Descent: 1000 m- / Start: Prološko lake / Finish: Imotski
Stage 3 is a story about water and spectacular geomorphology of Dalmatian karst. The race starts above Prološko blato lake which during summer months dries up significantly. As the trail descents, a small hill comes into sight. When the water level is higher the hill becomes a small island. There is an interesting local legend related to this phenomenon.
It says that during the Ottoman conquest the friars fled to the island for protection. As the lake was drying, they were throwing animal skins into pits to prevent the water of running out. People nowadays say that it is the reason why the fields around Imotski flood. Very close, right next to the Prološko blato are Lokvičići lakes. It is probably the best kept secret of Dalmatia: a series of deep sinkholes, some of them filled with water. The trail goes above and between these huge holes offering surreal views on these wanders of nature. After you leave the lakes you will soon come to another, but different one, called The Green lake. It is artificial lake with tame shores and intense green color. After the run over the dam, the trail goes along river Suvaja for a while before entering the spectacular Badnjevice canyon. Technical on some parts, the canyon offers the views to remember for life.
Few kilometres after the canyon, close to the finish line, the course goes by the most famous single lakes in Croatia – The Red lake and The Blue lake. The red Lake is the world`s third deepest sinkhole, 500 meters deep: the cliffs are 250 meters high and the water is 250 meters deep. The legend says that it is so deep that no rock thrown can reach the water. Right next to Red lake is the Blue lake with cliffs high almost as the Red lake, but the access to the water is possible on one part. Interesting fact, during extremely dry years the lake dries off! It is not very common but when it happens it is the custom that people of Imotski play a football match at the lake bottom. To finish this stage runners will go deep into the sinkhole and find finish line just above the water on the place called ”Vilinsko počivalo”, where, according to legend, fairies stayed for a rest.