ROUT 2013 - Ran more than an 160 km ultra trail! Κύριο

Από 05 Νοε 2013

Agust Kvaran, professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Iceland, participated at the Rodopi Advendurun 100 miler that took place in Rodopi National Park from 18 to 19 of October 2013. Professor Kvaran managed to successfully complete the tough race in 38:30:04 and the web-site of the University of Iceland devoted an article about this great accomplishment. We are very happy to reprint the article as an honor to Professor’s Kvaran adventure in the Greek mountains and dense forests and we will be very happy to see him – and other friends from Iceland – again to this, or other great races that take place in some of the most beautiful natural environments in our country.

Agust Kvaran, a professor in chemistry at the University of Iceland, recently participated in a 100 miler - more than 160 km - running race in a wilderness area of Greece. This he did just over a year after he broke his leg in a bicycle accident and had two operations because of torn meniscus in both knees!


There was a period, shortly after the accident, where it looked as if Agust would never be able to run again, but by the help of thorough exercises he managed to gain back his former strength. Agust says that he started preparing for the ultramarathon race in the beginning of the year (2013). He gradually increased the amount of running until about middle of the summer, after which he kept running about 80 – 120 km per week. In the summer he participated in a 50 mile mountain race in Iceland, “The Hengill Ultra” and the Reykjavik city marathon. In addition he ran rough off-road trails along the south-west peninsula of Iceland, Reykjanes on a regular basis. In Crete, where he stayed from the beginning of September, he emphasized mountain running and/or hiking. Furthermore, on a regular basis, he did exercises to strengthen leg-, back- and stomach- muscles and made sure that the nutrition was in a proper balance with the heavy training.



The 100 mile race in Greece was in October in the Rodopi mountain area extending to the Bulgarian border, a territory with wild animals such as bears and wolfs. The area is mostly uninhabited but has number of attractive hiking trails. The race, “The Rodopi Ultra Trail“ (ROUT) was presented as “a new approach to trail running races“ with an emphasis on self-sufficiency by the participants and minimal external assistance says Agust, but he has a long term experience with long distance running.


The race was tougher than he had imagined, Agust said. Many places the trails were rough and very steep. The surrounding was mostly a dense forest. Frequently it was impossible to run, in which cases he tried to walk bravely. “Sometimes I was on my own or in groups with other runners“ Agust said.



Agust finished the race in 38 and a half hours. Due to a strict cut off times there was limited time for resting or sleeping during the race. On the way there were only six aid stations, where food and drinks were offered. Runners, therefore had to carry with them water and food supplies as well as appropriate clothes. The temperature could vary between 0 degrees Celsius during the nights and to about 20 degrees Celsius in the middle of the day. Although generally the track was well marked, Agust, some times managed to get lost for a while.


There is no guarantee for a runner to finish a race like this, a race which almost equals four standard marathons in a rough surrounding. Of nearly 90 starting the race more than one third did not make it to the finish line. After such an achievement it is an obvious question to ask whether Agust has plans for participating in more ultra races in the future? "For sure I am interested in more adventure runs in the future. In particular I like mountain and off-road tracks, but I have not decided anything definite yet" Agust says in the end.


Dimitris Troupis


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