Sunday November 8th, 2020
Distance: Marathon · 15K · 10K · Fun Run
At the beginning, the main intention was simply to organise a marathon event. Being a unique city in terms of history and geography, Istanbul deserved a unique marathon. Despite the financial and logistical problems, an initial project was set up for the Eurasia Marathon.
In 1978, the officials were informed that a group of German tourists would visit Istanbul the next year, who run marathons in the countries they visited, the Nile Marathon in Egypt being the most recent race they participated. It was then decided to realise the Eurasia Marathon project.
Having solved the problems with the course and the traffic, the organisers invited the elite Turkish athletes to the event as well. Finally, all preparations were completed and the marathoners whom 34 of them were from the 74-person tourist group gathered at the starting point, 700 meters behind the Bosphorous Bridge on that historical day.
Thus, the Bosphorous Bridge witnessed a marathon for the first time in its history, which the runners crossed from Asia to Europe. That was the beginning of an important event. The first Eurasia Marathon was won by Hasan Saylan, a Turkish athlete from the city of Zonguldak, in a time of 2:35:39.
Being organized for 30 years, one of the most important features of the Eurasia Marathon is that it aims friendship and peace since day one. The race course changed three times over the years, therefore winning times vary in those periods. Well known athletes such as Ian Thompson and Terry Mitchell participated in the Eurasia Marathon, which also became a testing ground for Turkish athletes, many of whom went on to run at international races.