Running on all continents is his dream and Gürkan is about to achieve. After his participation in the Ultra ASIA Race 2018, he will join us for the Ultra NORWAY Race next July. His aim, taking pleasure there and surpass while sharing an issue that matters a lot…
This strong and smiling fellow first practiced motocross and Enduro. But for 8 years, running got the upper hand in his life and even more ultramarathon. Gürkan appears as an amateur athlete but trains very seriously all year long.
Nevertheless, he discovered he is a diabetic at 20.
“It was difficult to accept and hard to live with at the beginning but I stuck it out. Today, I can run such distances like in Vietnam. I just had to learn about nutrition and fine-tune. “
His tenacity, his motivation (also) comes from this chronic disease.
“Diabetes means that something does not work correctly in your body. Nevertheless, we can remedy it. Insulin replacement, appropriate nutrition and physical activity, here is the good diet against diabetes. Carbohydrate counting allows you to eat and to drink what you want, when you want.”
Gürkan wishes to take advantage of his experience to help the diabetics and their relatives.
“It is necessary to integrate two things: at first, sport is good for diabetics and helps them to manage their daily life. Secondly, you can make what you want, even run ultramarathons! On this plan, one can say that I am a good example. “
People still believe that the diabetes is an obstacle to many activities. It was thus necessary to mobilize.
To convince them, a project was born, in partnership with the Turkish Diabetes Association. A Running team of typ1 diabetics – The TEAM1 – was created and Gürkan is the captain.
“Diabetes is progressing in Turkey, as everywhere moreover. No national information campaign is presently led but the races in which I commit generate a lot of interest. Once ended Ultra Asia Race, I received a lot of messages. I think this kind of project is going to raise awareness and inspire.”
In 2017, he became an athlete of the Solomon Running Team Turkey. Since Ultra Asia Race, Novo Nordisk decided to sponsor his next races of the Roadsign Continental Challenge. To receive such sponsors’ support still increases his motivation.
Since then, he was even requested to intervene in conferences on the subject in Turkey.
Ready to challenge anywhere…
Beyond this ambassador’s role, Gürkan speaks as well about the pleasure he had to participate in his longest race in Vietnam. He admits that, being optimistic, he had a little underestimated the up hills but fells proud to have surpassed the technical difficulties. And then, he insists on kind Vietnamese and the beauty of landscapes. He should spend more time there …
He made friends among the runners and specifies that it is rather easy when we share the same passion. The quality of organization of the Ultra ASIA Race also impressed him, just like the kindness of local volunteers and all the team, always eager to help.
“I am really excited for the next race in Norway. I am anxious to live it!”