Kackar mountains located in northern part of Turkey can be named as Turkish Alps. The mountain and the region is so beautiful in all seasons it attracts nature lovers.
3 years ago I climbed the summit of the mountain which is 3.500 meters high and enjoyed a lot. This time I’m again on the roads to climb up and run in this marvellous nature for 45 km in first edition of Kackar Trail Ultra Marathon.
When Jeroen Geldrop was reminded me the importance of getting adapted to the weather and height, I decided to go 3 days earlier and applied to be a volunteer so that I could be aclimatized to the altitude. Altough highest point of trail is 2.150 meters is so likelihood of being mountain sick is low, it is necessary for those of us living in sea level to be adapted.
I flyed with Turkish Airlines to the coastal city of Trabzon at 23rd of july and reached city Rize in the middle of the night then I had to stay in Green Hotel Ayder which was a very bad accomodation experience I had.
After a sleepless night I got up early in the morning and left the hotel as soon as possible and tried to go to Ayder town where ultra trail meeting point is.
First day in the region:
Now at last I’m in a green paradise, after settling in very small but sweet room having a great river and forest scenery, I went to thermal bath to have a rest. After relaxing and feel healty again I ate whole day beautiful foods such as muhlama a kind of delicious omlett, dolma made of different green graves and tasty meatballs with delicious souces I had a very beautiful sleep.
I got up early again but this time felt very healty, got enough sleep full of fresh air in my lungs.
Then after breakfast one of my friends of race organizers called me to take some pictures while ı was running in trails for a TV programme. I accepted so that I could see the parcour before race and train as well.
We all got up at 3:30 and be ready to go start point. Air was foggy and wet.
I was experienced with such morning runs so I enjojed those moments with other participants At 7:00 o’clock race started in the beginning I decided to walk in the first few kilometers of trail since I had to keep my energy for the next part of the trail. But after a while surprisingly I started to move faster and I ran up some part of the hilly trail. Since I was motivated enough by the beauty of the mountains again.
At the 15th kilometer, climbing was over I didn’t wait in the check point where ı took only a lime of lemon and a few salt. I said myself my marathon has just started. There was lying a 30 km trail down in front of me. I prefer to run down instead of up since I’m more powerful in that.
There my pace was 4.30 of stg. After 2 km running in such a way suddenly ı saw 4 calves running near me. They were so cute they gave a kind of natural energy and happiness to me so I considered them as my pacemakers and run with them along the way.
Mountain was still foggy and weather was cool offering a very good condition to run.
I passed my first 15 km in 2 hrs but now I’m flying like a lonely bird and passing over other guys on the trail. Up to the finish line ı passed over as much as 71 ultrarunners.
I ran quite easily till 35 km of the parcour with an adorable pace but after that point my knees started to give signals forcing me to slow down. So my pace settled down to 5:30’s. Thanks to downhill I’m running at an easy pace and I’m just about to finish the race. I have just 4 km to see the finish but I hear voices so nearby how could it be. Then I saw the finish line. 0,5 km away I took my finishing medal and my time was 5 hrs 14 minutes allowing my rank to be set out 31’st out of 150 participants. Soon I realized that in the mountain gps of my sport watch deviated for 4 km.
**I ran in this ultra for the charity “The Hope Foundation for Children with Cancer” (KAÇUV)