Italian trail runner Andrea Macchi won Turkey's prominent footrace Salomon Cappadocia Ultra Trail 2018 title on Saturday. The 32-year-old runner defeated 262 others in the 119-kilometer (74 miles) race finishing the run in eleven hours and 12 minutes. The race had a variation in altitude of more than 3,730 meters across the iconic chimneys and valleys of scenic Cappadocia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Macchi said he was happy to win such a difficult long-distance race. "The course was so long and very difficult. I knew nothing about it. The footpath was very hard but I loved the tectonic streets and mountains," Macchi said. He stated that the landscape was "amazing" and local community were friendly.
"The most beautiful thing is that all the people especially tractor drivers [passing through the course] said hi to me," Macchi added.
The race, taking place for the fifth time, ran in three different courses: ultra (119 kilometers), medium (63 km), and short trail (38 km).
In the medium trail, German athlete Moritz Auf Der Heide finished the race in 5 hours and 5 minutes. In the short trail, Turkey's national athlete Uzeyir Soylemez came first in two hours and 47 minutes. In the ultra trail, Maria Miteva Nikolova from Bulgaria won the race in 13 hours and 14 minutes. In the medium trail, Brazilian athlete Fernanda Maciel finished the race in 6 hours and 44 minutes. In the short trail, Yuliya Bozhko from Ukraine won the race in four hours. This year the race attracted more than 2,000 runners from 75 countries. Most of participants came from Turkey, Russia, France and the U.K. Foreigners made up 45 percent of total participants and that around 30 percent of the total runners were women.
Cappadocia, which lies in Central Anatolia's Nevşehir province, is known for its volcanic rock formations, underground cities and churches carved into mountainsides.