Aykut Çelikbaş, the successful long-distance runner of Salomon Turkey, braces for his fifth stint in Spartathlon, one of the most prestigious ultra-marathon events in the world.
Çelikbaş will compete in the 37th edition of the event today, on a route reenacting historical run of Pheidippides, the man who inspired modern-day marathon when he ran to famed Spartan King Leonidas to deliver the news of imminent Persian invasion in B.C. 490. Every year, only 400 runners from more than 60 countries are picked to run the race and they need to fulfill a set of strict criteria to be eligible.
Racers are required to start at 07:00 a.m. from Acropol in Athens and cover 246 kilometers in 36 hours to reach Sparta and touch a statue of Leonidas. Çelikbaş was the first Turkish runner of Spartathlon in 2014 and managed to complete the race in 33 hours and 47 minutes.