A wonderful running & travel photostory around the world

Από 20 Φεβ 2018

Before I married my husband, Argyrios Papathanasopoulos, 10 years ago, he told me that one of his greatest passion is to travel. I was delighted to find a common interest in us. However, he did not tell me in great detail that he is an ultramarathon runner, and that he would usually include a race in his travel itinerary. I have to admit that I knew very little about running and ultramarathons before I met him. All that changed when I started supporting him at his races. Not only did I find myself enjoying everything from helping him with preparation of gears to the excitement of the race itself, I also begin to look forward to making new friends with people we meet at these races.

In many of our travels around the world, we have been able to include Argy’s running/training in our itineraries. In doing so, I have had the opportunity to capture him in action at some of the most unbelievably astounding places in the world. Here are some of those images:


Arches National Park, Utah, USA

Laguna de los Tres, Patagonia, ARGENTINA

Death Valley National Park, California, USA

Grand Canaria, Canary Islands, SPAIN

El Chalten, Los Glaciares National Park, ARGENTINA

Zabriskie Ponint, Death Valley National Park, California, USA

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, AUSTRALIA

Wadi Ghul “Grand Canyon of Arabia”, OMAN

Mozambique Channel, MADAGASCAR

Boulder, Colorado, USA

Drakensberg Mountains, KwaZuluNatal, SOUTH AFRICA

Simien Mountains, ETHIOPIA


Varanasi, INDIA
Leadville, Colorado, USA

Morondava Beach, MADAGASCAR

Madeira Island, PORTUGAL

Jebel Shams, OMAN

Lake Manyara National Park, TANZANIA


I became Argy’s “personal photographer” at races only by chance. It all began when I saw him take-off from the start line and waited for him at checkpoints/finish line. I started clicking photographs of him during those moments.


In the beginning, I was too shy to photograph other runners, as I was not sure whether I would be invading their privacy, and whether they would get offended at being photographed. But over time, my confidence grew, and I was captivated by the raw emotions on the runners’ faces – their moments of playfulness, joy, pain and despair. And I also realised that most, if not all runners, do not mind being photographed!!


Since first accompanying Argy to the Eco-Trail 80km in Paris back in 2011, I have been his photographer-cum-supporter at all his other races. Although logistics difficulties sometimes prevented me from getting to some of the most scenic spots he had run through, I always tried my best to meet him at as many checkpoints as I possibly could, just to give him my moral support. Here are some of the images I have captured during his races:


El Cruce Columbia, CHILE

El Cruce Columbia, CHILE

The Last Secret, BHUTAN

The Last Secret, BHUTAN

Badwater 135, USA

Cortina Trail, ITALY

Spartathlon, GREECE

Euchidios Athlos, GREECE

Olympian (Aethlios), GREECE

Virgin Forest Ultra Trail, GREECE

Ultra Trail Pelion, GREECE

The Hidden Treasure, ALBANIA

The Hidden Treasure, ALBANIA

Hong Kong Vibram 100, HONG KONG

Leadville 100, USA

Leadville 100, USA


Ultra Caballo Blanco, MEXICO

Ultra Caballo Blanco, MEXICO

Namib Desert Challenge, NAMIBIA

Namib Desert Challenge, NAMIBIA

Namib Desert Challenge, NAMIBIA

Al Andalus Ultra Trail, SPAIN

Al Andalus Ultra Trail, SPAIN

Al Andalus Ultra Trail, SPAIN


The most emotional moment, for me, has always been those time when I photographed Argy at the finish line, where he proclaimed to the world that he is Greek. I must admit that during those moments, I always had to control my emotions to hold back my tears and stabilise my trembling hands. Here are some of those precious moments:-


Atacama Crossing, CHILE

Western States 100, USA

Leadville 100, USA

Ultra Caballo Blanco, MEXICO

Namib Desert Challenge, NAMIBIA

El Cruce Columbia, ARGENTINA (Finish line)

International Association of Ultra Trail World Championship, IRELAND



Of course, it is not all about running and racing when we go travelling. Our most memorable moments are those when we were able to include the locals in our adventures/activities. Most of the time, children would shout in joy and join Argy when they see him running through their villages. Here are some of the images of those beautiful people who had run with Argy during our travels:









After all these years, you can say that Argy and I have reached a point where we can combine our very different passion (Running and Photography) within the bubble of our same passion (Travelling). Through Argy, I have learned that discipline and persistence always pay, and no matter how challenging some things may seem to be, all things are actually possible if we put our hearts and minds to it.


And this is the image which will always remind me of this fact. I captured this at the Namib Desert All Things Are Possible…back in 2013 when Argy was running the Namib Desert Challenge 230Km race. You can see a tiny Argy running through the vast desert – facing all his challenges with determination and perseverance. When I look at this image and reflected on all his achievements at all his races, I am often reminded of his motto - “All Things Are Possible…”


“All Things Are Possible…” – Namib Desert, NAMIBIA



All Photos ©: Hannisze Xuanyi Yong

Hannisze Xuanyi Yong

Hannisze is a trained Advocate & Solicitor and has worked in the legal industry for 16 years in Malaysia, before moving to England, where she now lives with her husband. She is a passionate photographer and is currently working on a book which will be published later this year, to showcase a selection of photographs and stories of the people she has met during her travels around the world. You can view and buy her prints at www.hannisze.com or follow her travels at www.facebook.com/HanniszeImages and the races she has photographed at www.facebook.com/RunAndRaces.


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