Running a half marathon “Pyramids Half Marathon”, which took place on the historic plateau of Giza, and after getting acquainted with Cairo, it was time for me to return to Kiev. But I decided not to finish my travels, but to go from one sunny country to another. My choice fell on Antalya, which is in Turkey - this is where the famous is held turkish marathon “Runatolia“ which I wanted to run.
Marathon “Runatolia” has its own official website where participants are registered - runatolia.com. In the registration form you need to enter your contact details, choose the appropriate size of the T-shirt, determine the distance of 42, 21 or 10 kilometers you want to run, and pay the entry fee. The cost of participation for the distance of 42 kilometers is from 80 lira (approximately $ 13). After paying the fee, the registration confirmation and a ticket are sent to the participant's e-mail, which must then be exchanged for a starter pack.
The "Runatolia" Marathon, as it is better known marathon in Istanbul, is considered one of the top marathons of Turkey. Every year this event gathers a lot of participants from around the world, so usually before the start of the marathon is an international sports exhibition "Sport Expo". During the exhibition, participants have the opportunity to learn about interesting running events in different countries, attend presentations of various sporting goods, as well as pick up their starter packs. "Sports Expo" in Antalya as part of the marathon "Runatolia" was held in the shopping center "Terra City", where everyone had the opportunity to see the exhibition for two days.
The starting package of the "Runatolia" participant included a T-shirt with the race logo, a backpack, a personal number, a paste on the pasta party, and a running chip for measuring time. To receive the package, you had to provide a ticket, which was sent after paying the entry fee. There was a small nuance: the participant's personal number and chip were issued separately, so you had to follow this moment so as not to forget it when you pick up the starter pack. The day before the "Runatolia" races, the organizers organized a pasta party.
After receiving the starter pack, I went to get acquainted with the interesting running events of Turkey, which were presented at the "Sports Expo". Here I learned about such races as:
- "Geyik Kosulari" - a trail of 14 kilometers
- "Uludag Ultra Trail" - ultratrail for 100 kilometers with an altitude of 5100 meters
- "Izmik Ultra" - ultratrail for 160 kilometers with an altitude of 4900 meters
- "Bodrum 1⁄2 Marathon" - half marathon
- "Avsa Yari Marathon" - half marathon
After the show I went to take a closer look at the city and especially its historic part and the local port.
Running event "Runatolia" opened on Sunday morning at 9:00. There were three starts in total - 10, 21 and 42 kilometers, so the participants started at different times with a break of 15 minutes. Marathon runners were the first to start at 9:00, followed by half marathoners, and the last to run 10 kilometers.
The starting town was set up in a park near the "Antalya Stadyumu" sports stadium. In the depths of the park, there are storage rooms, a stage where the awarding of participants takes place. There was also a good area for relaxing on a picturesque lawn.
The "Runatolia" marathon had a simple route consisting of one lap. But it was special - after overcoming a distance of 21 kilometers, the runners were waiting for a turn, where they had to turn around and run to the finish line in the same way. The time limit for which the marathon distance was required was exactly 5 hours.
Speaking of himself marathon route, or rather its segment with a distance of 21 kilometers, it should be noted that it is laid quite interestingly. The beginning of the route passes through the city and then turns to the waterfront, where runners are waiting for magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. At the end of the route passes through two parks, and then there is the same turn, and all this way you run in the opposite direction.
The peculiarity of the "Runatolia" marathon route is a large number of gentle hills. Because of this, it can be divided into three parts: the first 16 kilometers the path goes up and down, then there is a straight section of 10 kilometers, and then, starting from 26 km, the path goes up and down again. There are quite a few hydrations and food stations along the entire route - you can find them somewhere every 3 kilometers. Here you can refresh yourself with gel or fruit, as well as quench your thirst with water or RedBull.
We can note a very good level of organization of the marathon "Runatolia" - runners will find an interesting route with beautiful scenery. The route is well marked and fenced off from traffic. I was also pleased with the large number of hydration points, where, despite the usual water and fruit, the runners were given gels - this is the first time I saw it. But there were no isotonic, and RedBulls were issued instead. Due to the fact that there were many ascents and descents on the route, sometimes I got tired of running, then up, then down.