It's not very often that I begin a post with a link to another site but there is a reason why I have. A startling number of self-described fanatical runners still don't either know who Yiannis Kouros is, or aren't aware of the number of records he has set.
Quite simply,Yiannis Kouros is the greatest runner of all-time.Now, I recognize that determining who is the best is a somewhat subjective task but Kouros' records are spectacular. Another thing,the link above doesn't note the numerous point to point victories he's had.
I recall reading on one of the running forums awhile back that someone viewed the ultra running stars as people who ran slower,longer.Interesting comment, made in an era when,as I saw recently in a major metropolitan city, that the 20th place male competitor out of three thousand plus runners ran a time of 20 minutes and change for a 5k. These kind of times are going on all over the country. Thirty-five years ago 20 minutes would have maybe gotten you into the top 100,maybe.But again,I digress.
Suffice to say that most of the running public does not understand ultra running. Factors besides extreme aerobic fitness are needed to be great, and not surprisingly,those factors are all mental.
Recently I came across a set of conditions that Yiannis' handler says must be met before he will compete in a race.Not surprisingly,they mostly relate to keeping the event honest and accurate.Kouros is very zealous about maintaining the integrity of the sport.He has "gone off" on those who are called ultra superstars because they do what some call ultra stunts instead of winning true ultra races.By ultra stunts he means things like running x amount of marathons in so many days or running without stopping for extended periods of time.
Yiannis is now 57 years old and has recently returned to the ultra scene after a long lay-off. He recently set some age group records and last month ran from Athens to Sparta and back in 61 hours.By the way,that's a distance of around 306 miles.So for any of you race directors out there, if you'd like Yiannis to appear at your race,consider the following, it is most interesting:
Standards that should apply in order to invite Y. Kouros to a race:
by Yiannis Kouros admin. on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 11:37am ·
1. The race director or the first in charge person for the race would have achieved an exceptional and outstanding performances in distances longer than 100 miles or 24h. Otherways, how can we could communicate, when I speak the language of real Ultra-running and they speak the language of fun-running, or the language of the spectator, or the language of marketing/media etc?
2. Judges should be present at the entire duration of the race in every spot that should need to be controlled. Beyond that extra persons from at least two other nation should be present, checking out the lap scoring area and/or other critical spots by shifts.
3. The course should be measured according to international rules.
4. If it’s a road race the distance of the loop should be 1, or 1.5 or 2km and nothing in between.
5. Competitors who have taken part in events with cheating history should NOT be allowed to take part, unless they have reported in written form whatever they have experienced, plus the evidence can be considered by supporting in practice the fair play by not taken part again to that event.
6. Anti-doping control should be available according to IAAF rules.
7. Minimum competitors should be 6 and, for maximum the following should apply: if the course is 400 meters, 40 competitors, if 500meters 50 competitors, if 1000meters 100 competitors and if 2km 200 competitors.
8. Competitors who do power walking from the beginning of the race should not be allowed to take part, as (on top of the fact they belong to another sport) they bother those who are after great performances and who are trying to pass them from outside lines, something that is repeated more frequently and, therefore, they cover extra distance which can’t be considered –not even measured- and, so, their extra effort is wasted.
9. Among the lap-scorers, crew members and other people involved with any activities on the venue of the event should NOT be SMOKERS.
10. Movable/chemical toilets should be placed only there where Yiannis Kouros will suggest.
Competitors who do not sweating or do not urinate should be an alarm for drug testing…
I love the #1 standard and #8.The list of potential race directors is significantly reduced by #1.As for #8,it only makes sense,it's an ultra race,not a walk.
Some have said Yiannis is being unreasonable but it's all about the integrity of the sport to him.