Stavros Kakourides lives in Nicosia, Cyprus, where he was born 39 years ago. He is a sales representative, and has been a runner for 18 years. About three times a week is how often Stavros runs. He does not belong to a running club and usually runs alone. His workouts average in length from 6-10 kilometers, and he tends to stick to the same workout.
Since Cyprus can have high temperatures, from 35-43 degrees centigrade, the most popular time to run is from October to April. Stavros’ favorite type of weather to run in is when the temperature is between 15 and 25 degrees, centigrade.
Stavros owns three pairs of running shoes, and when he runs he wears shorts and a T-shirt. For night runs he wears reflective clothing. He does not run with a water bottle because he says, "I always arrange to park my car at a point where the 3rd, 6th & 9th kilometer of my run is located and stop a few seconds to take water". While he is running, Stavros does not listen to music because he concentrates on his running, and listens for traffic.
Stavros reads two popular running magazines, and when asked if running is popular in Nicosia he said, "Unfortunately no. Cypriot runners are less than 100, and the ratio of men to women runners is 10 to 1". When it has to do with a visiting runner in Cyprus, Stavros points out that, "Foreign runners visiting Cyprus either for training or to participate in international running events should have in mind the hospitality of the Cypriot people and the excellent Mediterranean cuisine of Cyprus". According to Stavros even though running is not popular in Cyprus, organizing international running events is. In Cyprus you will find the "SpiderNet Pafos Marathon" in March and the "Kolossi Half Marathon & 10 km" in December. For more information on the events visit www.pafosmarathon.com and www.spidernet.net/web/kolossimarathon.
When asked if there are any running taboos in Cyprus, Stavros said, "No. Everything is allowed provided that you wear a pair of shorts".
Stavros runs in both big international running events, and the small local races which are popular because of their small distances of 3 to 5 kilometers. The rage in prices for an event is CY £2,00 for small races to CY £20,00 for marathons. There are also running events for charity.
During most of the races the participants are provided with water and orange juice. The better organized races also provide electrolyte and sponges. The runners also receive a medal upon completion of the race.
Stavros has run in all the cities of Cyprus; Nicosia, Limassol, Pafos, Larnaka, and Famagusta. He has also run in England, Germany, Greece, Egypt and Israel. When participating in a race in another country Stavros is always interested the aspect of the race organization so he can bring some new ideas for improvement in his country.
The personal best time for Stavros in a half marathon is 1:29.00, and 3:10.30 for a marathon. All of the marathons in which Stavros has participates have all been in Cyprus.
When asked in his whole life where and when was his favorite run, Stavros said, "My favorite run was back in 1987 in a 5 kilometer race in my city where I took the second place overall after an excellent tactic I followed during running".
Run The Planet would like to thank Stavros Kakourides from Cyprus for taking part in the Planeteer Spotlight.