Posted by & filed under 2019, Contender.

I am an avid long-distance runner, and having been running for over 25 years. I will be completing my 40th Marathon in the Ultimate, all before I turn 40 years old. I plan on expanding my running experiences to ultra marathons in 2020.

We’re thrilled to have Costas Farassoglou back back this year. He has the chance to set the record for most time between Ultimate completions (2009 – 2019)!

What are your ENDURrun 2019 stories? My goal is to enjoy the challenging and rewarding journey, while making connections with old and new running friends, the Schmidt Family and the volunteers.

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2019? Completing the Ultimate, and finishing the Ultimate with my 40th Marathon before the age of 40. Also, I am looking to connecting with old and new running friends, volunteers and the Schmidt Family.

What are you nervous about, if anything? Bechtel (Stage 3) scares me the most. I have only completed it once (2009), and pacing will be crucial.

Can you share any details of your training? I currently run 40-50km per week due to my crazy work schedule. I try to do my long runs on my off days, which can be weekends or during the week. For the most part, I throw in various runs with hills and trails.

You’ve trained for Ultimate before. What did you learn that you will build from (or avoid) this time around? Hills and trail races play an important role in the Ultimate, especially Stage 3 and 5. This time around, I will practice the hills a lot more. Also, I learned from the first time that it is best to conserve your energy in the early stages for the “tough” stages near the end of the week.

Besides training, what will be the same and/or different about this Ultimate compared to your first completion? I completed my first Ultimate 10 years ago (2009). I was much younger and had a lot more speed. Over the last ten years, I have learned that the beauty in running is enjoying the journey along the way.

What is the one piece of advice that you’re glad you knew/you wish you knew before your first completion? I wish that I knew that your body can handle a lot of stress. For instance, the first couple of stages in my Ultimate in 2009, I struggled physically and mentally to bring the times that I wanted. What I found out was that as I became more mentally strong, my body followed. I actually got stronger near the latter part of the Ultimate competition.

How were you feeling in the days and weeks following your first Ultimate completion? I was thrilled to have finished the Ultimate, but felt Ultimate letdown in the coming weeks. I met such amazing people during the week, and we build close relationships. After the race, we knew we had to go back to our regular lives.

What is your runner profile? I am an experienced marathoner (38) with over 25 years of running experience. I have raced from 5K to 42.2K on all kinds of surfaces including gravel, trails, roads, pathways, etc. My main goal is to complete 40 Marathons and 40 Half-Marathons before the age of 40. I love to travel, discover new places and run marathons at the same time. I have completed the Authentic Athens Marathon (2nd Marathon), and that was really special because I am Greek and the finish was the white marble Panathinaiko stadium in Athens, Greece (site of first Modern Olympics in 1896).