Osman Atakan Tekin is a 56 year old runner from Istanbul, Turkiye (Turkey) where he was born. He is an electrical engineer, and graduated from Istanbul Technical University. He is a bachelor and speaks Turkish, English and a little Italian.
Osman has been a runner for thirty years, and was a football player and a pole-vaulter before that. For the past thirtynine years he has been a member of the Fenerbahce Sports Club in Istanbul, the most popular and largest sports club in Turkiye. Yellow-Blue colored Fenerbahce has won 2001 Turkish football championship. Fenerbahce has many sport branches such as athletics, football, basketball, volleyball, rowing, boxing, swimming, and yachting. Osman is also a member of the Supreme Council of Fenerbahce Sports Club. There are about 150 athletes in different categories of his running club (track & field, cross country, marathon).
Osman runs about 5 or 6 times a week, usually a minimum of 10 kilometers each workout. He runs alone on the road, but with others when on a track. He does not eat any typically Turkish food before he runs, he prefers to eat carbohydrate rich foods such as rice and macaroni 3-4 hours before an afternoon run and eats some sugar and water half an hour before a morning run. Osman says that there is not any typical food in Turkiye that is popular to eat by runners before they run, but there are many typical foods in Turkiye that is popular to eat by runners after they run, such as sis kebap, doner kebap, iskender kebap, kokorec.
Runners in Turkiye run in all types of weather conditions. Osman's favorite is hot weather, but not sunny. There are no great weather conditions that affect running in Istanbul, but Osman says that once in a while a heavy snowfall will make it hard to run in the winter, mostly February.
When Osman runs he wears a training suit and wind jacket in cooler weather, a T-shirt or singlet and shorts in warmer weather, and socks in every type of weather. He owns two pair of running shoes, one for training, and one for races. The only running accessory that Osman runs with is a reflective flashing belt during the night runs. He does not usually listen to music while he runs, but when he does he prefers to run to the cd of "Mantovani Orchestra". Though there are not many in Turkiye, Osman reads the few running magazines that there are.
Running in Turkiye is an accepted and popular activity, there is also a world famous "Intercontinental Eurasia Marathon" in Istanbul. It is a unique marathon because the course runs between two continents, Asia and Europe, over the Bosphorous Bridge. Osman offers more details on this marathon at his website MaratonTurk (http://maratonturk.cjb.net). Running, however, is met with much traffic in Istanbul, and Osman thinks that a visiting runner should be prepared for it before thinking of running.
During the early morning runs or late night workouts Osman mentions that sometimes dogs create a problem. Runners do not run with pet dogs in Istanbul.
Osman has quite a full running career. He has run in races and marathons in 19 countries on 6 continents. You can read more on his adventures at his website. When Osman runs in an Istanbul race the distance is usually 10k or a half marathon. The race organizers tend not to charge a fee for the participation, and they provide water and sponges for the runners. The Eurasia Marathon which does charge a U.S. $ 30 entrance fee, and includes a race packet containing a T-shirt, food, medal and finishing certificate.
Osman has run in many marathons around the world: New York (6 times), Los Angeles, Vancouver, Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Sydney, Bangkok, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Omsk, Moscow, Ulaanbaatar, Hanoi, Saigon, Phnom Penh, Istanbul, Wien, Sofia, Amsterdam, Twente, Puerto Rico, Kobe, and Amagasaki. After having run in all of these different places Osman says that the race organization is the best in the United States and in Japan.
His personal best time in a marathon (4:15) and a half marathon (1:53) are a bit special for Osman for he does not run alone. He runs with Yavuz Sap, a disabled runner with polio. Osman has been coaching Yavuz for 16 years and is trying to send a message to able bodied and disabled people around the world. You can read more about this on Osman's website.
When asked where and when was his favorite run, Osman said, "My favorite run was San Blas half marathon in Puerto Rico in 1997. The course was very tough, but the opening ceremony and general ambience was fantastic".
As you can read, Osman is quite an enthusiastic and dedicated runner. He has been influential and a leader in his running community. The list goes on and on of his accomplishments. He carried the Olympic torches of 1964 Tokyo and 1972 Munich Olympic games. He has worked as a trainer, has been elected as the first Secretary General of Netas Sports Club, as well as being a founder. He worked in the founding committee of the "Istanbul Eurasia Marathon", worked as the managing director of the Sise-Cam Athletics Club, and under his management Sise-Cam Cross Country Team won the bronze medal among the European countries in Clusone (Italy) in 1987. He has prepared the project of the first "International Golden Horn Half Marathon", and applied it together with the municipality of Eyup (Istanbul). He has worked for four years as the race director of the "Golden Horn Half Marathon" and attended as the Turkish delegate to the Iaaf congresses held in Rome, and in Bratislava, and to the Aims world congress in Melbourne. He organized the Aims Board Meeting in Istanbul, and was the first Turk to measure a marathon course abroad by measuring the "Vietnam Marathon" course in Hanoi, and in Saigon. He was appointed as Aims Press & Public Relations Manager for Turkiye by Aims Board. He is a congress member and a member of the Supreme Council of Fenerbahce Sports Club, and has taught, mentored and coached the disabled marathoner, Yavuz Sap, since 1985.
We are sure that Osman's running community is grateful for all of his hard work and it is a better community due to his efforts.
Run The Planet would like to thank Osman Atakan Tekin from Turkey for taking part in the Planeteer Spotlight, and thank him for being part of our community too.