Sunday, 10 January 2016 18:56

Ultra race countdown

The race will start at Vasa Kellakiou The race will start at Vasa Kellakiou

The Limassol district village of Vasa Kellakiou is preparing for the Cyprus Ultra trail to start from its village square on January 16.

The racing event will see 120 runners from the US, the UK and other European countries, Russia and the Middle East to run either 7, 21, 50 or 217 kilometres. Including the viewing public, over 1,000 people are expected at the 45-hour, non-stop event, putting the small village of about 70 inhabitants back on the map and bringing financial benefits to the area.

The Mayor of Limassol, the Bishop of Limassol, as well as Vasa Kellakiou village head, Pantelis Georgiou, are among the VIPs who will attend the start of the event.

In contrast to its humble beginnings in January 2012, where only a dozen runners competed in a trial run, this year’s Cyprus Ultra closed out registration for its four-race, 120 participant maximum ahead of deadline.

The Cyprus Ultra is unique in that it comprises four individual trail running races, all starting at the same time in the same location, Vasa Kellakiou village.  This year, for the first time, a 7km trail run/walk with a 90-minute cut-off time is included to draw beginner runners and corporate teams.

There is also a half-marathon of 21km, a 50km trail ultra marathon and a super ultra marathon demanding 217 km of sleepless, non-stop running along vertiginous mountain trails with a cut-off time of 45 hours. The race’s total elevation is 9.144 metres.

“So far, only two runners have managed to finish it in the event’s four-year history,” says race director Michael Rivers. “It’s considered one of the toughest trail races of this distance anywhere in the world.”

Rivers is a passionate runner himself and is also founder of the Limassol Running Club and Limassol Skate School. The English-Cypriot sports fan has a sports and fitness background and is looking to promote running, outdoor sports and healthy living in general.

He is pleased to promote Cyprus as a sports destination and boost the profile of population-threatened villages with the non-profit event. “There is a lot happening for runners in Cyprus and I see the participation in the Ultra doubling for next year,” he predicts.

Partially sponsored by Universal Life, the event includes a pre-race safety briefing on January 15, as well as first aid teams offering water supplies, fruit and food on race day. All participants are invited to a free, post-race party with Italian sparkling wine and snacks on January 18.

The popular event is currently seeking volunteers and cash sponsors to continue to grow and promote the race, and Cyprus itself as a world class sports destination. Those interested in offering time or funds should contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and, for further information on the event itself, should visit: www.cyprusultra.com

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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