Iznik Ultra 55K: Kerem Çalkýlýç
Kerem Çalkýlýç chose the Iznik Ultra to enter into the joys of ultra running. With beautiful nature and a runnable course, it was a challenge, but one he loved.
What was your last race? I participated in Iznik Ultra trail race in Turkey. It has distances of 20k, 35k, 55k, 90k and 160k.
How far was it? Was it a new distance? I've done the 55k +/2000m route. It has been my longest distance so far.
How long have you been running consistently? I've been running for almost 3.5 years without a break now. My priority is to stay injury free so I can keep going.
What made you sign up for this race? Terrain, location, recommendation? Location was a big plus as it is a 1.5 hour drive from where I live. Another reason was how beautiful nature of Iznik is. I wanted to finally give a 50k+ race a try and this is one of the less technical races out there so it'd be a good place to start.
What did you eat the most at the aid stations? I mostly fed myself with gels and bars that I brought. I ate oranges and crackers from the aid stations.
High moment? Between 40-50k I realized my legs were still going strong and I didn't feel like I had to check my watch to see how long was left every few minutes. That was when I realized I was going to finish greatly.
Low moment? A few kilometers after 2nd aid station at 20th km weather suddenly got a lot colder and light snow turned into blizzard. My hands were freezing before I knew it. It was almost impossible to put my windbreaker and bandana on. I had to get help from a fellow runner to put them on and even then it took a few minutes. It was when I realized we were so helpless against nature. It was scary.
Do you listen to music? If yes, what's your song of the moment? I don't listen to music while running. I feel like listening to nature and my body makes me feel better and more in peace.
Would you do it again? I would definitely do it again. It was quite a challenge for me and I loved it.
What race is next? I'm going to run in Wings for Life on May 5th which is going to be a training race. My next goal race is Salomon Ultra Trail Hungary 54k +/-1640m route on June 9th.
What shoes did you wear? I wore Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 for this race. They did a wonderful job.
What race pack did you use? I used Raidlight gllet responsiv 8l as a vest but I replaced its soft flasks with Salomon 500ml soft flasks as they feel easier to drink for me. I also used Crazy Idea running shorts as it had many pockets to carry all my fuel easily.
Favorite local running store/brand/community? I train with my running team Runformance.
Dream running destination? Race or holiday. It probably would be Transgrancanaria. I've already raced there twice but I would like to go there again. I love the challenge of rocky technical terrain.