15th August 2015 Aladağlar National Park, Niğde, Turkey
Trailing on an empty mind
It was just before 7 am. After about 6 km, at 2000 m of altitude, the race course turned away from the gentle uphill road right into a narrow, steeper rocky path going entering a valley towards Kapı (the gate). My mind emptied out. The 45 km ahead through high altitude valleys, plateaus and peaks in the Aladağlar National Park were too long, steep and harsh to foresee. We would climb over 3000 m, and, of course, descend as much.
Two months before, Çağatay Köksoy and I had taken three days to walk the full race loop, from the village of Demirkazık (circa 1600 m) to the Emler mountain peak (3723 m), down to the Yedigöller (seven lakes) plateau (circa 3100 m), up again towards Çalınbaşı and the MTA top (3517 m), then down the…
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