GlobalLimits organises 3 multi-stage races in Bhutan, Cambodia and Albania in 2017.
Share with your friends GlobalLimits' adventures!
In this issue:
Argy Papathanasopoulos, our winner of The Last Secret 2016, talks about how he prepares to tackle the "Spanish Mountain Goat" in Albania and offers advice on plans after the race;
Interview with Vladimir Dedndreaj, GlobalLimits' partner in Albania, "Stefan sounded so weird to me..."
Special news from Bhutan
Race Pre-view: GlobalLimits Cambodia - The Ancient Khmer Path 2017
"I have always been curious to discover this relatively unknown and undiscovered country (Albania)..." Interview with Argy Papathanasopoulos, our winner from The Last Secret 2016.
Can you tell us about yourself?
I am 44-year old guy who is trying to balance my stressful job as an Emergency Doctor with my passion of running and traveling to some of the most remote-unique places of our planet.
Since young, I have loved the freedom that running gives me.
During my medical studies in Italy, I dedicated all my free time to intense training for marathons (BP 2:38’). After a few years of living near the Italian Alps, I began to fall in love with ski mountaineering, and I have had the opportunity to explore most of the Alps by skiing, before participating in the sport in competitions, where I represented Greece as part of its National Team. I reverted to running once I finished my studies, as my busy professional commitments no longer allowed me to indulge in spending time away skiing on the mountains.
Running became a more convenient passion for me once I started work and it has also become indispensable, for me to release all the stress and pressure I faced at work. In the last few years, I was able to run for pleasure. I have since combined running with my passion in travelling and discovering new places, and meeting people who share the same interests and passion as myself.
What attracts you to the race in Albania?
Albania is a neighboring country to my home country, Greece. I have always wanted to visit it as I have a few Albanian friends and have met many of them as patients while I was working in Greece. After having listened to the stories of their lives and the political situation in their country, I have always been curious to discover this relatively unknown and undiscovered country.
Certain issues concerning safety in the country between 2000-2010 had discouraged me from making my journey there. However, in the last few years, I have received very positive feedback from some friends who had
traveled all over the country. As soon as I found out that GlobalLimits was organizing a running event there, I did not waste a second in sending through my registration to Stefan.
The professionalism of GlobalLimits which I experienced at The Last
Secret race in Bhutan was probably the huge pushing factor in prompting me to make my hasty decision. The organiser had chosen some of the most scenic routes for us to run through in Bhutan, with the BEST marking on the trails (impossible to get lost). We have also been given ample opportunity to spend time in villages and monasteries with the locals and monks respectively. All these positive experiences played a great part in encouraging me to register for yet another GlobalLimits event, because I know it is going to be another once in-a-lifetime experience.
How do you prepare for the race?
The Hidden Treasure is going to be a race which will include a significant amount of climbs on the mountains. Due to this, I have decided to focus on my uphill training, which is one of my weak points. Living in England, I do not have many opportunities to train on uphill trails and due to this, I will need to find ways to train on this terrain. I have planned to spend a few weeks before the race in Greece (coinciding with our annual summer holiday) and will try to do as much
climbing as I can, adapting to different groups of muscles for the tough
Albanian climbs. I am not really looking forward to my ‘Spanish Mountain Goat’ friend, Manu (Pastor), annihilating me on the climbs, as he flies past me while flashing his irresistible smile !!!
Any recommendation for extension program after the race?
I have a very attractive suggestion for those who love to have some rest and relaxation by the sea after the race. After 6 days of torturing our body, I think immersing our bodies in the sea will be the best recovery - to float or swim in the crystal waters of Ionian Sea.
From Butrint, where we will finish of the race, there is a 30-minute ferry ride to the Island of Corfu. Once we reach Corfu, we can get another ferry or a sea-taxi and head to the island of Paxos (it takes one hour). It is the smallest of all the Ionian Islands, with exotic beaches of turquoise blue waters. To appreciate the true beauty of the island, we can rent a motorboat for a very good price to explore the coastal line on the east side of the island, full of hidden stunning beaches, secluded coves, and blue caves.
When we have enough of the sun and sea, we can stop at some of the local tavernas for fresh fish and local cuisine. I have been to these parts in past and I can suggest very interesting places for accommodation and meals. My wife, Hannisze (who will be photographing the race) and myself will be heading to Paxos after the race and I will be more than happy to help anyone who is interested in this itinerary or who needs any help
with any post-race plans around the islands.
I hope to meet some (or many) of my GlobaLimits’ friends and would-be friends in Albania.
Come explore the Hidden Treasure!
GLOBALLIMITS ALBANIA - THE HIDDEN TREASURE - Inaugural Race
"Stefan's requests sounded so weird to me...," - Interview with Vladimir Dedndreaj, our event partner in Albania. He tells us what the first multi-stage race in Albania means for the country and his advises to runners.
Can you tell us about yourself?
I founded AA in 1998. I love outdoor life and want to share my passion with others. As an Albanian, I am especially passionate about the beauty and nature of my own country. I want to share these wonderful experiences to international visitors to Albania.
Our inaugural race in Albania is the first multi-stage race organised in the country. Have we made any impact in Albania?
The Ministry of Tourism of Albania has expressed high interest in and has promised to provide maximum support for the event. Also, it obviously has attracted attention from Albanian runners.
Can you tell us your experience when selecting the course with GL?
I would like to thank GlobalLimits for having selected Albania to organize this race. Honestly, when I first heard Stefan's request it sounded so weird to me and I continued to think so during the first course exploration/selection trip. But slowly, Stefan managed to clearly convey his ideas to me. The collaboration with Stefan has been an unique experience for me – I used to think that I was very familiar with Albania’s landscape but together we had explored many new places in my own country.
Any advice for our runners (To do/ Not to do in Albania)?
Albania is a quiet and safe country. The customs and social conditions are similar to other Mediterranean countries. The inhabitants of the mountainous regions in Albania are generous and ready to come to assistance.
Where? Albania lies on the western side of Balkan Peninsula
Population? about 3.3million
Who are Albanians? The ancestors of the Albanians were the Illyrians, who are one of the most ancient people with long-standing civilization in Balkans.
GLOBALLIMITS HERITAGE SITE RUNNER SERIES AWARD - Join the three amazing races and be part of the proud group!
Manuel Pastor, Gianpietro Marion, Charla Heimer, Stan Lee, Joe Kelbel, Marcel Brenn, Edda Bauer, Gyeong Su Kim, Christopher Lewis, Angie van Bemden, Kenneth Krys, Patrick Singh, Moo Woong Lee, Leonard Stanmore, Véronique Messina, Derek Kwik, Haruki Minaki, Ali Wehbi
Special – News from Bhutan!
Registration opening for 2018: June 2017
A record number of runners from 22 countries will be running in GlobalLimits Bhutan – The Last Secret 5th edition. The race was fully booked since January! Thank you for your supports!
Special thanks to the Lamas and the monks of the Chorten Nyingpo and Phajoding Monastery who agreed to make extra space to host us.
A BIG THANK YOU to Peter Osterwalder (Switzerland). Peter, who won the second place in The Last Secret 2016, raised over US$20,000- for supporting the education of the young monks in Bhutan. Thank you Peter!
Registration opens now!
GLOBALLIMITS CAMBODIA 2017 - THE ANCIENT KHMER PATH - 6th Edition 220km - 6 stages
24th November - 2nd December 2017