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Cappadocia Ultra-Trail®

20-Oct-2018 Cappadocia, Urgup, Turkey

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4 REVIEWS
Trail Race Race Terrain
114KM / 68Miles
1 Day - 1000 Runners

Alternate Distances: 61KM/37M 35KM/19M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Brutal  

Entry From €65 EUR

Cappadocia Ultra-Trail® is an ultra trail run that takes places along the hills and valleys of the unique Cappadocia region, a UNESCO world heritage site.

The distance is about 114 km with a variation in altitude of 3,350 m.

The race starts on October 20, 2018 at 7:00 in Urgup city center. Participants should finish the route under 24 hours in a semi-sufficient way, i.e. they should carry equipment that is necessary to ensure the safety of their run for possible weather conditions.

Cappadocia Ultra Trail 110K
Situated in the valleys and plateaus of Cappadocia region listed as one of the Unesco World Heritage places, Cappadocia Ultra Trail is a trail running event with 114 km length and climbing of 3,340 m+.

Starting at 07:00 in the city centre of Urgup, competitors should carry the equipment helping them to run safely under natural conditions according to the semi-self sufficiency rule and they should finish the race in 24 hours.

The route of the trail passes along these points with order; Ürgüp, Ortahisar, İbrahimpaşa, Zemi Valley, Pigeon Valley, Uçhisar, Love Valley, Göreme, Red Valley, Çavuşin, Akdağ, Ürgüp, Mustafapaşa, Damsa Lake, Cemil, Taşkınpaşa, Plateau, Karlık, Ürgüp. Runners pass 10 aid stations along the route.

Cappadocia Trail 60K
Cappadocia Trail 60 K is 61 km long and contains 1,810 m+ climbing. It passes along these points with order; Ürgüp, Ortahisar, İbrahimpaşa, Zemi Valley, Pigeon Valley, Uçhisar, Love Valley, Göreme, Red Valley, Çavuşin, Akdağ, Ürgüp.

Except some of the places in the route, it is mostly on the dirt road and rocky terrain. There are 5 aid stations on the race course. Runners should complete the race in 12 hours and 30 minutes and cross the check points in specified times.

Cappadocia Trail 30K

Cappadocia Trail 30 K is 35 km long and contains 940 m+ climbing.

Starting at 10:00 in the morning, runners should complete the race in 6 hours under the rules of partial adequacy law.

The route of the 30 K trail is following these points in order; Ürgüp, Ortahisar, İbrahimpaşa, Zemi Vadisi, Göreme, Kızılçukur Vadisi, Ürgüp and there are 2 aid stations on the racecourse.

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Event Organiser
Salomon Cappadocia Ultra-Trail®

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Beginner

Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.

Intermediate

Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Advanced

Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Expert

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Brutal

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Type: An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for: Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Global - Virtual

Type: A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for: For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

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ismail

09:43 02-01-19

When I ran this race in 2016, one of the reasons I wasn’t able to run was the heat during the day. This year, the weather was very similar, but couple of days before the race it started to get better. It started to rain slightly and became cloudy. And on race day it seemed that it’ll stay the same. This was great news for me. On race morning, it was a little bit chilly and I started with my arm sleeves to keep myself warm during the early hours of the morning, and I ended up wearing them the whole day!

At 7:01, the race started. I wanted to start fast and run as much as possible before it gets warm during the day. The race starts at the bottom of a small hill in the city of Urgup, and some people start walking this early, I pushed hard and tried to pass as many runners as possible before we get to the single trails.

My plan was to finish the first half of the race and get back to Urgup (km 64) in 7 hours or less if possible, and finish the race in 14 -15 hours.

Once we reached the trail after less than 2 km, it started to get less crowded and I picked up my pace. I was doing very good, util I lost focus at km 10, right before the first checkpoint. I missed a turn and continued to run into a cave. When I got out of the cave, I realized that I was running alone, and because this can’t happen very early in the race, I knew that I’m not following the route! I retraced my steps and found the route again on the other side of the cave.
I reached the first checkpoint Ibrahimpasa(10.8km, 352m+) few mins later than I planned, but I had enough water and food so I continued straight ahead into the next checkpoint. The first part of the race is not very steep and is runnable anyway.

I ran for another 17k into the next checkpoint (Uchisar, 27.8 km, 885m+), after 2 small climbs. I already visited this small town before when I was exploring Cappadocia and refreshing my memory about the race. I was looking for the climb that follows the route which is full of flowers. I remember this scene from 2016. It was very beautiful and I wanted to visit again with my camera, but I failed to locate it. Luckily, the race followed the same climb and the flowers were still there. After the race, I managed to get there and took some really good photos :)

In Uchisar, I only stopped for couple of minutes to refill my water bottles and eat some bananas for calories. I had my sports drink powder which I pour into the bottles and then fill them with water, it’s a trivial process, but when I’m in a hurry it gets complicated. Luckily, a volunteer saw me and took my soft flasks to fill them while I ate some bananas and salty biscuits. He was very helpful and saved me couple of minutes, so that I can hit the road again quickly.

After Uchisar, it was a nice and easy decent to Goreme (35.8km). This section passes though some forest and rocky hills, it was really good running there under the shade of trees. And very fun to run on those big rocks. And even though I remember this section from 2016, it seemed a little bit different, the route must have changed, in 2016 I remember running into some technical canyons, some parts needed a ladder to descent or climb.

After Goreme, it was couple of small climbs to Cavusin (48.2 km). Before this point the weather was perfect for running, it was was raining lightly in the early kilometers and it stayed cloudy for couple of hours. But at around 11 AM, the sun started to shine, and the temperature increased.

From Cavusin, it was only 6.5 km to the next checkpoint Akdag (54.7km, total ascent 1884 m+). This is probably the steepest climb in the whole race. The climb goes up for 350m in one go over short distance. Running this section in the heat wasn’t fun. Before this point, I was running almost all of the climbs and I didn’t have to use my trekking poles. But that was when I unfolded them for the rest of the race.

In Akdag, I stopped for 5 minutes to refill my water before reaching Urgup (64, 2021m+) in 7 hours 11 mins. In Urgup, my wife was waiting for me, and it was the midway point of the race which is very close to the start/finish line. It was a big station, where the crew were very helpful, it felt like first class aid station. When I entered, a volunteer brought me a chair to sit down and immediately handed me my drop bag. A nice little girl approached me, and asked for my water bottles to refill them, and another lady came asking if I want something to eat. They were really helpful and very friendly. I never experienced this in any race I’ve been to. I was in a hurry since I arrived 11 mins late and I wanted to refuel, refill my water and get going as soon as possible. So I spent around 10 mins at most, and this is something I learned from UTMB CCC, spending a lot of time in aid stations isn’t only going to delay my finish time, it also causes my muscles and joints to start cooling down and it becomes harder to move again. This is why I even refused to sit down when they gave me the chair. Apart from the heat, I was feeling good anyway.

And so I started to run again, this time totally alone for few kilometres, until a dog started to run with me for around 5k. When we reached a city, few dogs started to bark at him and it had to run away from them. I eventually reached Damsa (76.5km, 2388m+) after running for 9 hours and 4mins. This was the checkpoint in which I decided to stop in 2016 after running/walking for more than 12 hours. But this time, I was doing much better. I stopped to refuel and quickly hit the road again. I wanted to get to the next checkpoint before dark, which I did when I reached Taskinpasa (87.8km, 2876m+) after 10 hours 41 mins. At this point, I started to realize that finishing in 14 hours isn’t going to happen, but I still have a chance to finish in 15 hours if I can maintain the pace. I was doing my best to avoid stopping for long time in checkpoints to get to the finish line quickly. I even didn’t put on my jacket even though it started to get cold during the night to force myself to keep running to stay warm, but I was no longer able to run on the climbs, so my plan was to power hike them with my trekking poles even though they were gentle and runnable, early in the race I was running steeper climbs, but my legs are starting to get heavy now. So I sticked to my plan, and ran when it was flat or descending. Luckily, my quads were still working and I was able to run on the descents. I remember running the 100th kilometre in 5:49 min/km, this is something I never did before, running at this pace after 100 km!

I eventually reached Karlik (101km, 3277m+) in 12 hours 23 minutes. From there it was less than 19 kilometres to the finish line, with one big climb (500m+) and then I run my way down to Urgup again. At this point, I thought I can really make it and finish in 15 hours or less. But these 19km were the worst part of the race. It’s the creation of a mad man. The climbs are not steep, but they don’t follow any route. There’re just few flags and we were supposed follow them, there’s no trail, it’s a mixture of a lot of slippery sand, plants and rocks. And while it was hard to climb, it wasn’t dangerous since I’m walking anyway, but descending on such terrain was very slippery and risky. I was descending very carefully yet I fell less than 10km from the finish line, luckily I wasn’t alone at this point and someone helped me get up and I continued to descend very slowly. Honestly, I was trying hard to move faster but I didn’t want to risk it and get injured, especially that after running for almost 14 hours, my legs are no longer strong to hold me on the steep descents. So I took my time, and descended even slower than climbing until I reached the final stretch which was runnable. Approaching the borders of the Urgup, I was relieved and I started to run again, even though I crossed the 15 hours mark, it was less than 2 kilometres to the finish line, but suddenly the route starts to go up again a steep climb only 1 km away from the finish line. Again, it was unexpected and I had to walk, I even missed one turn and I found myself entering someone’s home! I retraced my steps and continued to walk until I started to hear the noise from the finish line which motivated me to run the last stretch.

I eventually finished in 15 hours 29 mins. And what a finish! I was feeling good enough and I sprinted with my wife to the finish line.

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guldan

08:26 02-01-19

It is part of the UTWT series. The race take place in a very unique landcape covered with caves and rock chimneys. Cappadocia is a world heritage site worth seeing. The race organization is very professional and successful. Organization takes care of runners' every need including pick-up services from the airport. Well-prepared check-points and nice finisher jackets. I highly recommend this race!

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Byilmaz

07:36 30-11-17

2017. It was a pleasure to run Cappadocia Trail 60K through unforgetable landscapes. Refreshment points were well prepared by pro organisation. Willing to run 120K next year which is a part of UTWT. This trail is a must run!

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Runningdutchie

02:41 04-12-15

Imagine a landscape covered with amazing rock formations where people live in caves and fairy chimneys, the colours change with each shift in light and the soulful call to prayer sounds out through the still air. It sounds like something out of a fairytale but it exists and it is in Turkey. Cappadocia, a region in the centre of this rugged country is a geological oddity with fairytale topography which has been inhabited since as early as the 6th century.

To showcase this stunning landscape The North Face created 3 unique races here with a choice of 30km, 60km or 110km distances, with the 110km taking in a challenging 3,485 metres of ascent. This year was the 2nd edition bringing a total of over 900 runners, with 200 toeing the line for the 110km race including me, with only 122 finishers showing just how tough this race really is.
An absolutely brilliant race, I ran the 110km in 2015 and would highly recommend it. Read my full review here https://runningdutchie.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/fairy-tales-from-cappadocia/

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