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Press Release for the Universal Life Cyprus Ultra 2016

The 16th to 18th January 2016 saw the fifth Cyprus Ultra Marathon race in the beautiful village of Vasa Kellakiou. Michael Rivers, Race Director, worked closely with the Vasa Kellakiou Mayor, Mr. Pantelis Georgiou, and the Council of Vasa Kellakiou to host this year’s much larger race. There were over 100 participants in the four race categories. The smaller race distance of 7km was set as a taster for the ultra marathon distances of 50km plus. The Archbishop of Amathountos provided a beautiful service of blessing prior to the race start. The District Mayor of Limassol wished the runners a safe race and started the race procession. Maria Papadopoulou, Cypriot Olympic Swimmer, started the timed-section of the race.

In the 7km race, the third place was awarded to one of our younger and very talented runners,  Karim Arnous with just 40 minutes. Karim certainly felt the Cyprus Ultra bug bite as he casually asked race officials for the 217km age requirement – Cyprus watch this space! In second place came Cyprus’ Sotiris Christofi with 37 minutes. The 7km first place winner was Ignasi Burgues from Barcelona with just 36 minutes! The 7km times were seriously fast considering the mountainous terrain, the elevations and the muddy sections to cross.

The 21km third place was taken by Gareth Young in one hour and 23 minutes. The second place was awarded to Martin Proctor in one hour and 22 minutes, and a few seconds. The 21km winner was Sean Bryne with just one hour and 22 minutes. These three runners were all from the UK. They made running a half marathon in the mountains look easy and came in with super fast times!

The 50km third place was awarded to Chris Moss from the UK. Chris is an experienced Ultra Runner and fulfilled his distance in just five hours and 20 minutes. Chris McCarthy came in second place with an amazing time of five hours – this was half of the time allowance for the race! First place was secured by the highly talented David Simpson in just four hours and 53 minutes. David is a highly experienced Ultra Runner based in Cyprus, and regularly races at ultra distances within Cyprus and Europe.

The 217km race had nine entries this year. Four were unable to finish. Five runners were successful in completing the challenge within the 45 hour cut off time this year. Fifth place was awarded to the talented Debbie King from the UK. This was her second attempt to complete the Cyprus Ultra 217km distance. She successfully completed the arduous course in 44 hours and 16 minutes. Fourth place was claimed by Cyprus’ Sergio Nicolaides in 43 hours and 59 minutes. We believe that Sergio is the first Cypriot to complete a 217km non-stop race. Sergio trained himself to become an endurance runner after a career as a body builder – this is quite a feat! Third place was awarded to Greece’s Athanasios Krigkas. He completed the course in just 42 hours and 50 minutes. In second place came Steve Muir in just 42 hours and 33 minutes. Steve ran to raise funds for the Karen Woo Foundation – this organisation raises funds for healthcare to families, with little medical provision, primarily in Afghanistan. First place was claimed by Steve Hayes from Jersey. Steve Hayes is arguably the most laid back Ultra Runner in history. He spent his entire race in good humour and joked with race officials about dry, badly made toast and installing lighting for the course at night! Steve came in with a fantastic new 217km course record of just 34 hours and 38 minutes!

We would like to thank our main sponsor, Universal Life, for their support for the second year running. We have a number of sponsors that facilitated with food, beverages, first aid and venues credited on our website www.cyprusultra.com – we thank you all warmly too!

In previous years, the Cyprus Ultra has been a summer race. This year’s winter race brought issues such as shorter daylight hours, thunderstorms, excessively cold nights and disproportionately warmer days.

Race Director, Michael Rivers, reports that he is pleased that the 2016 race was a great success and that he has been inundated with with positive feedback. He believes that the race is due to become even bigger and welcomes support from sponsors and volunteers to bring back the race in 2017. For media, sponsorship and volunteer enquiries please contact Michael at info@cyprusultra.com

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