With its diversified geography, and mild weather between October and May, Turkey is an ultramarathoner’s paradise.
- Runners’ base: Göreme
- Upcoming dates: October 2020
Taking place within the borders of former Göreme National Park, Salomon Cappadocia Trail is the most popular, as well as the most important event of its kind in Turkey. Offering qualifying points in the UTMB classification, it attracts hundreds of participants from all around the world participating in 38, 63, and 119 kilometer races. cappadociaultratrail.com/en
- Runners’ base: Olympos, Antalya
- Upcoming dates: May 2020
Lycian Way is Turkey’s iconic hiking trail, bringing every year thousands of visitors to the Mediterranean part of the country. Researched and waymarked by British historian Kate Clow in the late 1990s to identify and protect historic byways, it is approximately 540 kilometers long. The ultramarathon trails, spanning the distance between Olympos Beydağları National Park and Demre, are organized in three different distances: 16, 37, and 100 kilometers. likyayoluultramaratonu.com/EN
- Runners’ base: Afyon
- Upcoming dates: September 2020
Still considered undiscovered and relatively unspoiled by human presence, Phrygian Valley is an ancient Anatolian settlement dating back to the eighth century BC. The running trails that range between six and 54 kilometers are a great place to start your ultramarathon adventure, giving the participants a full scope of natural challenges to come.
- Runners’ base: Şereflikoçhisar, Ankara
- Upcoming dates: August 2020
Don’t assume that if there is no elevation within the trail, the run is as easy as it gets. Runfire Salt Lake is one of the most challenging ultramarathons in the country, with its peak distance of 100 miles. During the race the daytime temperature reaches up to 35 degrees celsius, going down to approximately 15 degrees at night—and yes, participants in the longest distances are expected to run at night as well. www.runfiresaltlake.com/EN
- Runners’ base: İznik
- Upcoming dates: April 2020
Easily accessible from Istanbul, the area around Iznik Lake is a great place to train and unwind in nature. Although the beginners five kilometer trail around the historic part of town is a part of the program, the real fun starts from 20 kilometers onwards, where the trail takes you through the lavish local forest. Peak distance is 160 kilometers. www.iznikultra.com
- Runners’ base: Kayseri
- Upcoming dates: July 2020
Mount Erciyes serves as the ultimate orientation point to everyone living in its shade for a very good reason: it dominates the landscape for hundreds of kilometers. Sky Erciyes Ultramarathon includes a vertical race of 4.5 kilometers at 1000 meters of elevation up one of the slopes of the mountain, as well as 12, 25, and 64 kilometer trails. skyerciyes.com
- Runners’ base: Antalya
- Upcoming dates: November 9, 2019
Of all the trails in Antalya region (and in 2020 there will be many to choose from!), our final choice isn’t the longest and most difficult option, but the one that seems unique and probably more picturesque than any other trail on the list. Up to 400 meters deep, and encompassıng stretches of the Köprü River, Köprülü Canyon is home to rare and protected nature.
If you haven’t visited the areas along the St. Paul Ultra Trail before, out of curiosity, you might want to put it on your weekend escape agenda very soon.