Every new endurance race offers a fresh opportunity to both physically and mentally challenge yourself. To pit yourself against a new course, a new environment and a new group of athletes while having the privilege to explore some of the most beautiful parts of the world. The 119k, 3730m+ ascent Salomon Cappadocia Ultra Trail was no different. Held along the uniquely stunning UNESCO World Heritage Cappadocia plateaus and valleys. The CUT is truly breath-taking in both sense of the word.
Starting in the pretty town of Urgup, in the Anatolian region of Turkey, the race quickly headed out into the Goreme national park. Where you find yourself in the surreally picturesque landscape, running past ancient fairy chimneys under a sky dotted full of colourful hot air balloons. The beauty continues along the remainder of the route as the trail winds its ways along the Cappadocian countryside going past ancient castles, churches and villages all carved out of rock before eventually going back to Urgup.
The route is very runnable, with only small sections of technical terrain and manageable climbs (all less than 1000m), so ideal for athletes looking for faster ultra times. The course was excellently marked, which is a godsend for runners like myself, who frequently gets lost on training runs in my local area! Like all World Ultra Trail races I’ve had the privilege of running, the organisation and volunteers are both second to none. To such an extent that we had a volunteer at the finish offer to drive us back to our hotel if we did not have a car. My only small constructive criticism was the food at the checkpoints, an abundance of sugary biscuits and salty snacks, but nothing healthy or substantial. Thank goodness I always race with Longhaul pouches!
I was proud to cross the finishing line after 15hrs29mins in 31st place. And I was really ready to put my feet up in our beautiful Cappadocia cave hotel after another eventful race season.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Cappadocia Ultra, Medium or Short Trail, check out next year’s races at https://cappadociaultratrail.com/en