12.8.16

Yiannis Kouros the "Running God" or "Pheidippides Successor".

Yiannis Kouros (Greek: Γιάννης Κούρος; born February 13, 1956 in Tripoli, Greece) is a Greek ultramarathon runner based in Melbourne. He is sometimes called the "Running God" or "Pheidippides Successor". He holds many men's outdoor road world records from 100 to 1,000 miles and many road and track records from 12 hours to 6 days. In 1991, he starred as Pheidippides in the movie The Story of the Marathon: A Hero's Journey, which chronicles the history of marathon running. Kouros came to prominence when he won the Spartathlon in 1984 in record time and the Sydney to Melbourne Ultramarathon in 1985 in a record time of 5 days, 5 hours, 7 minutes and 6 seconds. He beat the previous record held by Cliff Young.


Kouros says that his secret is that "when other people get tired, they stop. I don't. I take over my body with my mind. I tell it that it's not tired and it listens."

Kouros has also written over 1,000 poems (several of which appear in his book Symblegmata (Clusters)) and the book The Six-Day Run of the Century

Yiannis Kouros was born in Tripoli, Arkadia, Greece in 1956. At the age of 16 he started running systematically and devoted himself to long distance running. Today he is the number one ultra-marathon runner, having broken more than 160 world records up to now. All of these records remain unbroken until today.
Yiannis Kouros has been pronounced through the years with various nicknames like “Running God”, “Golden Greek”, “modern Feidippides”, “unstoppable”, “master of pain” and many others. However, he who gets to know him well, will see a humble and simple man. Some of his incredible world records have already been recorder to the Guinness book of records and he is truly a legend for all ultra-runners, globally.
Yiannis walked a tough road to get to where he is now. Tough childhood created a tough personality and temperament, that learned from his early years to overcome difficulties “dragging plus out of the minus” as himself writes in one of his thousand poems. Efforts had to become overexertions, the impossible possible, disappointment had to be converted to courage, in order to achieve his goals.
In 1990 due to the Greek state’s unwillingness to support him, he was forced to migrate to Australia where he stayed for ten years. He returned to Greece in 2000 and continued running with great success, in Greece and abroad. It is remarkable that in 2005, at the age of 51, he broke his own world record made 21 years earlier!
What is not widely known about Yiannis, is his remarkable art capabilities. At the age of 12, he began writing poetry and music. He studied Byzantine and European music as well as singing. He has issued four music records (two orchestral and two vocal), writing all the lyrics and music himself. He holds a Master Degree in Literature and has published his first poem collection titled “complexes” as well as an autobiographic book titled “6 days of the century” in which, amongst other, he describes the 6-day race in 1984 in New York where he broke six world records.
Yiannis Kouros loves tradition, the history of Greece and its heroes. He is inspired from the heroic figures of Leonidas, Nikitaras, Kolokotronis and many others, mentioned in many of his poems. The flame that burned inside the ancient Athenian runner Feidipides, calling Spartans for help before the battle of the Marathon, burns also inside Yiannis. Inspired by Feidipides achievement, he organized and run the “Feidipides Feat” twice, in 2005 and 2011.
We could write many pages about Yiannis activities and achievements and surely we would not be able to cover everything due to his exuberant personality. The purpose of this webpage is for readers to get to know Yiannis, his values and his ideas, that are expressed through his running, music, poems and personal attitude. This webpage serves as a mean for information about Yiannis Kouros and his activities, but also as a mean for him to express himself and communicate.
Yiannis Kouros teaches us many lessons: to fight until the end, to be winners in life, overcoming unpleasant situations and sometimes our own self, in order to find out our real capabilities, just like he did.
This offer to us, will probably be the greatest moral reward for the runner, musician, philosopher, poet, Yiannis Kouros.

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