Two ultra-marathon races this year in Turkey will test some of the world’s elite runners against more than 124 miles of extraordinary landscapes, from mountains, beaches and river valleys, to underground cities and tunnels.
These competitions of human endurance and strength – the very first Runfire Cappadocia and the 3rd Annual Lycian Way Ultra-Marathon – also offer the opportunity for individual athletes from around the world to test themselves and for companies and other organizations to compete as teams.
The races have been added to the calendar of the International Association of Ultrarunners and are accredited by the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), thus qualifying runners to compete in the most exclusive marathons around the world. Both competitions are organized by Argos Culture & Arts, a division of Argos Communications, which also operates Argos in Cappadocia, a unique luxury hotel in Cappadocia, site of the Runfire Cappadocia ultra-marathon.
Being held for the first time, Runfire Cappadocia, scheduled for July 7-15, will be run on a surprise six-stage course exceeding 124 miles and encompassing climbs up to 5,577 feet, salt lake flats, valleys, spectacular rock formations and UNESCO World Heritage sites as well as the underground cities and tunnels that have made Cappadocia famous around the world as a tourism destination.
For families and friends of the competitors as well as running enthusiasts interested in watching this premier event, Cappadocia’s hotels, restaurants and unique attractions and activities provide additional reasons for planning a trip to Turkey. Top attractions include hot air ballooning over an astonishing fairyland of rock formations, cave churches and galleries, historic underground cities built for thousands of residents and world-class wineries.
Beginning and ending in Uchisar, competitors will be given the exact route at the start of the race and are limited to basic supplies in a backpack, including food. Organizers provide water and tenting areas for overnights. Professional medical teams are available 24/7.
In addition to the Runfire Ultra-Marathon, the event features four-day corporate races, with teams of four running 6-9 miles a day and opportunities for individuals to test themselves in four- and six-day races
Those registering for Runfire Cappadocia by the end of February will receive a 30 percent discount on fees. Competitors in the ultra-marathon competition qualify for four points from UTMB.
The Lycian Way Ultra-Marathon, September 22-30, is run over 136- 150 miles of the ancient Lycian Way which stretches between Fethiye and Antalya. Once again, the course details are provided at the start of the race but encompass terrain from sea level to more than 2,624 feet, including rocky trails, dirt roads, beaches, river beds and forests. Each contestant is provided with a GPS device. The Lycian Way was an historic trade route built 1,700 years ago but with 3,000-year-old roots dating back to human civilizations pre-dating the Bronze Age Hittite Empire. The Lycian Union, founded in the 2nd century BC, was the world’s first democracy.
Runners must carry their own food but are provided with camping areas, tents, hot water, drinking water and medical attention at checkpoints along the route. In 2011, the winning time was 31 hours, 29 minutes and 42 seconds.
As in the Runfire competition, the Lycian Way event features opportunities for corporations to enter teams of four in a four-day competition and for individuals to test their individual endurance and strength over four- and six-day courses. Competitors in the ultra-marathon competition earn three points from UTMB. Participants who register by the end of April receive a 30 percent discount in fees.
Application fees include: first and last day hotel accommodations, transportation from Dalaman and Antalya Airports, medical checks prior to the race, sightseeing tours, health care, and more.To obtain more information about Runfire Cappadocia and the Lycian Way Ultra-marathon, visit www.runfirecappadocia.com or www.likyayoluultramaratonu.com.