Runfire Cappadocia Turkey 20K + Ultra Marathon

Runfire Cappadocia Turkey 20K + Ultra Marathon

(Photo: Runfire Cappadocia)

I’m leaving on a jet plane for Cappadocia Turkey! Why, pray tell? I’m running the Runfire Cappadocia 20K, part of the the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon!

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, in conjunction with Argos in Cappadocia, has put together a media trip for this year’s race. They’d first invited me out to the inaugural event in 2012, but the race was taking place shortly before my wedding so it was a no-go. There was no race in 2014. But this year, I’ll be there and writing a story about the experience for

Runfire Cappadocia Turkey 20K + Ultra Marathon

(Photo: Runfire Cappadocia)

Runfire Cappadocia is a six-stage ultra marathon in Central Anatolia, taking runners from a rock formation known as “Three Graces” in Uchisar to the white salt of Lake Tuz across 160 miles through arid plains. Conical rock formations make stone “fairy chimneys” as they’ve come to be known, and caves form the basis for dwellings that date to the 4th century. Goreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To run among all of it? I can’t wait.

This year is the first time Runfire Cappadocia has offered six different categories of races.

There’s the RFC 20K I’ll be running, which comprises the first 20K of the ultra marathon; the RFC Ultra, which includes 260K over 6 stages in 6 days, all self-supported; the RFC Toughest Day, which is the longest stage of the Ultra at 104K; Discovery 6D, where runners cover 15-20K per day for 6 days while fully supported by race staff; Discovery 4K, where runners cover 15-20K per day for 4 days while fully supported by race staff; and corporate team races.

Runfire Cappadocia Turkey 20K + Ultra Marathon

(Photo: Runfire Cappadocia)

I’ll be touring Cappadocia for two days before the race begins, then running the 20k and bits of the ultra for three days to get a feel for the event and the terrain.

I wish I could commit to one of the longer categories, but my schedule and stress fracture recovery prevent it. I’ve been back to running for 12 weeks since my injury. I’ve successfully rebuilt my longest run from scratch, starting at 2 miles and building to 13 miles so far.

It’s tempting to say, Yeah, I can run 9-12 miles a day for 4 or 6 days in row! But I know I shouldn’t, especially when my weekly mileage has barely topped 20 miles so far. So it’s the 20K and bits of the other days for me.

Then I’ll spend two days in Istanbul to get a taste of one of Eurasia’s grandest cities.

I visited Turkey for all of one day as a 16-year-old on a high school trip to Italy and Greece. I was a Latin and Classics student, so we tromped around the Mediterranean touring ancient sites in Rome, Pompeii, Athens, and beyond. Our one-day stop in Ephesus, Turkey was a highlight. Once a great Greek, then Roman, city of antiquity, Ephesus housed one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. Though that temple is long gone, other ruins remain, like the facade of the Library of Celsus.

But this time around, I’m excited to see a bit more of the country than one day allows—the ancient and the modern, the natural and the man-made. I’m not just going to see it. I’m going to run it. See you in Turkey!

Scenes from 2013 Runfire Cappadocia, Turkey

As mentioned above, I’m attending the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon as a guest of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, in conjunction with Argos in Cappadocia. As always, all opinions are purely my own. I really do believe in being honest about my experiences. Seriously. For more information read my Disclosure Policy.

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


07 2015

12 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    I’m soooooooo jealous!!!! Have an incredible time and I can’t wait to read your write up. What an amazing opportunity! I’ve never been to Turkey but I hope to go one day.
    Elle recently posted..Bottom Feeding, Dessert Feeding, Escaping, and RunningMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Thanks! It was incredible. Definitely worthy of your bucket list!

  2. 3

    This sounds like a wonderful opportunity Karla. The visit to Cappadocia will be amazing and combing it with a race will make it a perfect vacation! We have visited Turkey, but only Istanbul and Ephesus. It is a lovely country and I look forward to your recaps of this adventure!
    Pam and Christine recently posted..Why I did not sign up for Princess 2016My Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      I loved Cappadocia and the race! Turkey all around was an amazing place–the landscape, the people, the food. I loved it!

  3. 5

    I’m jealous too! My husband and I honeymooned in Turkey, and it was a wonderful country. I would love to run there. Have an awesome experience!
    Judith recently posted..The One Where I Prove I’m an IdiotMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      What an amazing place to honeymoon! I kept wishing my husband was with me. He would have loved it.

  4. 7

    Wow, I cannot wait to see pictures and hear stories about this race!
    Sadye recently posted..Goals for the Bix 7My Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      It was THE most scenic course I’ve ever run. Can’t wait to share!

  5. 9

    Oh my!!! What an amazing opportunity!! I’ve only been to Istanbul and several years ago but I really enjoyed my time there. Can’t wait to hear more and see pictures from your time there!!
    Emily recently posted..2015 Chicago Rock ‘N’ RollMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      I loved Istanbul and Cappadocia. Would go back in a heartbeat!

  6. 11

    May I just say that I am SOOOOO jealous of your life?!?! What an incredible experience this is going to be. I can’t wait to read all about it!
    Jennifer @ The Final Forty recently posted..And We’re Off…NYCM Training: Week OneMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      It was incredible. I’ll definitely be posting about it after my Shape story goes live!


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