Champion mountain runner Ahmet Arslan, who got his first victory of the new season at Red Bull 400 in Almaty recently, will join Wings for Life World Run on May 8. This year Arslan, who’s been active at the race since 2014, will be running with his girlfriend Yasemin Can, who is also a runner. We talked to the couple in İzmir, a day ahead of the race.
You’re running at the event since 2014. As a person who’s been in it since the first race, how do you see its development, how did it improve in years you think?
The event, the race definitely improved since 2014. At this point we are talking about 8,000 registrations, which puts Turkey to the second place in the world. I am very happy to hear that. Everybody has to support this cause, that’s not even a question. I feel very proud to be a part of it. The first year, I ran, I pushed my limits, but last year I was sick so i didn’t perform very well.
You take the race seriously and try to do your best, and you’re also here for support…
I’m an athlete, even if it’s a training run or anything, I’d like to win, I feel that way. If it’s a race, that’s my motivation, I can’t help it. But this is different, I want to run and win, but here that means doing the best for Wings for Life World Run, which is great.
What do you think about the İzmir track?
The altitude doesn’t even change so you can run long distance. I hope that the world champion will come out of this track this year.
We see that this year your girlfriend is also joining the race, you’ll run together, so we want to ask her some questions, too. Yasemin, did you set yourself a goal?
This is the first time for me and that makes me really happy and I also feel very emotional because of the purpose of the race. Even though I had an exam today, I wanted to be here and run on May 8.
You’re a marathon runner, so you are familiar with this race format, right?
Yes, also I ran here at this track before.
So Ahmet, do you think she has a chance of being the champion here?
She used to be a mountain runner and now she’s a marathon runner. She has two championships, so she's capable. I think she’ll achieve more victories in the future.