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Cappadocia trail race sees spike in runners

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A trail race in Turkey's splendid Cappadocia region is foreseeing a 50% rise in the number of runners this year.

Nearly 3,000 runners from 80 countries are expected to take part in the 6th edition of The Salomon Cappadocia Ultra-Trail on Oct. 19-20.

The footrace will feature three categories; 119-kilometer (74-mile) with a variation in altitude of 3,730 meters, 63-km (39-mi) with 2,030 m, and 38-kilometer (23.6-mile) with 1,120 m.

It will take runners through plateaus, valleys and hills overlooking unique "fairy chimney" volcanic cones of Cappadocia, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Cappadocia is also famous for its colorful fresco paintings covering underground cities, boutique hotels, houses carved into rocks, rock churches, chapels, and shelters used by early Christians.

Starting in the city center of Ürgüp, competitors will have to carry safety equipment during the 24-hour marathon.

The Salomon Cappadocia Ultra-Trail is part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour and is also a qualifying race for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) and Western States Endurance Run (WSER).

The 119-km race has 10 aid-stations along the route, the 63-km has five and the 38-km two.

Australian Lou Clifton, the runner-up of Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji 165K (102-mile) in women's category, Briton athlete Jo Meek, Mehmet Soytürk from Team Salomon Running Turkey, and winners of previous years Elena Polyakova and Kemal Kukul are among the competitors.

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