Yiannis Kouros: “I Don’t Believe in Long Runs”
August 31, 2021
In 2019, LetsRun.com did a month-long exploration of the ultramarathon sceneduring which we spent a lot of time searching for the greatest ultramarathon world record. At the end of the exploration, we declared Yiannis Kouros’ 24-hour world record of 303.31 km (188.68 miles) to be the greatest ultramarathon record in history. After all, no one else in history had even come within 21 kilometers/13 miles of it. That all changed last weekend as Aleksandr Sorokin of Lithuania broke the record by running 309.40 kilometers (192.25 miles).
It reminded us that we never published a fantastic emailed interview that Robert Johnson did with Kouros in 2019. We didn’t publish it at the time as there was a delay in getting the responses back — Kouros had some problems with his eyes as he had been busy welding iron as he worked on his house. By the time we got the responses, our ultramarathon exploration was over and Robert had stopped looking for the reply. Thus it was AWOL in his email inbox for many months until being discovered. Since then, we’ve been waiting for an appropriate time to publish it. Now is that time.
Few excerpts from that interview:
I think that my records last so long because the majority of runners believe in fitness. Ultra-running is a mental sport that touches metaphysical/spiritual aspects of the human [being] and this is the main reason why it is not for the masses. Organizers who leave it open and accepting everybody –regardless of their abilities – are wrong, using people who love running, while in those of the participants who do not belong to the sport, there is lack of self-knowledge.
There is no distance or time-limit event in which I performed with -not just ideal, but not even- good conditions, either personal or weather/course conditions
In the last few decades may they came some good runners in the scene, but I don’t follow as they really [race] based just on fitness.