Turkey’s first ultramarathon runner, Bakiye Duran, 62, will participate in the Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) which will take place on August 23.

Duran will participate in the 300 kilometers (186.4 miles) UTMB which took place for the first time in 2003. The race will cover France, Italy and Switzerland and the competitors will tour the Mont Blanc massif in the Alps.

Born in Samsun Province in the Black Sea in 1959, Duran told Anadolu Agency that UTMB 2021 will have rough conditions with dangerous places in the mounting area, but she intends to finish it in good condition. health.

She said that unlike urban races, the ultramarathon is tough because it has difficult weather and terrain such as hiking in mountains, crossing rivers and rocky places.

Duran said the conditions and being continuously active for almost a week during ultramarathons improve both physically and mentally an athlete.

This UTMB will take place in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc from August 23 to 29.

After the UTBM, Duran said she plans to run in the polar deserts of Sweden and Greenland, as well as the Taklamakan Desert and the Australian deserts.

A former chemistry teacher, Duran has written a book about her running adventures and challenges in the Alps, the Carpathians, the Abu Dhabi Desert, Italian Sardinia, the Kalahari Desert and the Namib.

The passion to run

Duran said that she was passionate about running in the village where she was born and then chose it because it is the basis of all sports disciplines.

She said basketball, tennis and volleyball require teams, teammates or partners but the race is done alone and with simple equipment.

“You can put on your sneakers or your rubber shoes to run. In fact, you can even do it barefoot on the sand. Running can be done in simple outfits. You can run in your sports hijab, pajamas or your slippers, ”she said.

Istanbul marathon victory 1989

Duran said she started to run professionally in the Istanbul Marathon, formerly known as the Eurasian Marathon.

She was then a chemistry teacher in Istanbul but joined the race.

Duran said she won the Istanbul Marathon in 1989 in the women’s category, finishing the race in three hours and 33 minutes.

She then raced professionally for Istanbul Sports Club Besiktas.

Duran said her first ultramarathon was in 2000 in the Netherlands, where she finished third.

Now 60, she said she also finished third in the Verona 100 kilometer marathon in Italy.

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