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The first woman athlete to represent Turkey in the international ultramarathon races, Bakiye Duran has turned her life of challenges and countless successes into a book sponsored by Siemens. Starting off on her struggles at an early age, Bakiye Duran has proven herself on both national and international platforms. Her biography, "Bir ultra maratoncunun hikâyesi - Cesaret Yalnızdır" (The Story of an Ultramarathon Runner –Courage is Solitary) is now on sale and will be an inspiration for many.
The story of how Bakiye Duran, fifth of nine children in a family with roots in Tatarstan, started her life in the village of Hilmiye and travelled the long distance to become a record-breaking ultramarathon runner is the subject of the book that has now been released under the sponsorship of Siemens. Siemens AŞ CEO Hüseyin Gelis commented on the life of Bakiye Duran, the first Turkish woman athlete to participate in the Ultramarathon, saying, "In the belief that learning about the life stories of successful people like Bakiye Duran can be more inspirational than may be expected, our aim in contributing to the publication of this book was to offer young people a different perspective. There is a lot of information in the book about leadership and also many different resources and outlooks. There is a lot to learn from this story. I am sure that the different views presented here will be useful for people that are travelling along the same road."
Born in Samsun in 1959, Bakiye Duran's father died when she was two. She found herself having to take on the burden of looking after her siblings long before she had reached adolescence. Duran never gave up and faced the challenges of life, recording an impressive story of success. Starting off her education in Samsun, Duran attended middle school at the Samsun Girls' School of Arts and later the Kahramanmaraş Teacher's High School. In 1979, Duran graduated from the Samsun 19 Mayıs University's School of Education, Department of Science Teaching, after which she taught at school and continued her athletic endeavours as well. Running on the village paths every evening in the village in which she was teaching, Duran participated in the Eurasia Marathon in 1989, coming in 10th in the general category and becoming champion among the Turks. After this competition, Duran made the decision to concentrate on working at sports on a professional basis. She has since stood out with her many accomplishments.
Bakiye Duran participated in her first Ultramarathon in the Netherlands, finishing the 100-kilometer race as European third. Later she came in second at the Bielersee Marathon, then completed the 110-kilometer Orienteering/Super Mountain Ultramarathon by breaking a record at 11 hours. She won third place in "The Stars under the Stars" World Cup Races, after which she became a member of the Turkish Athletic Federation's International Ultramarathon Association. As the first Turkish woman to participate in the ultramarathon races, Duran has started to represent Turkey in the congresses of the Association.
Despite an injury suffered at the World Championship in 2003, Duran did not withdraw from the race and instead finished in 19th place. At the flag ceremony, International Ultramarathon Association President Malcolm Campbell's comments on Bakiye Duran met with applause for minutes on end when he said, "She is an athlete who has gone beyond the limits. She is a courageous person but unfortunately at the same time a solitary person. That's why I've dubbed her, "the solitary and courageous daughter of the Ultramarathon." I wish her all the best. Please give her your support."
Revealing that she prepares for the races not only physically but mentally as well, Duran calls attention to the importance of long hours of work, good nutrition, endurance, patience, underlining that patience comes from being at peace with oneself and the environment. Never giving up on running and standing tall despite the adversities, Bakiye Duran's new dream is to run on one of the world's hardest tracks in the Himalayas.
Succeeding to realize her dreams with her persistence, discipline and patience, Bakiye Duran and the countless awards she has won in the ultramarathon competition and other adventure races are an inspiration to everyone. Published through the sponsorship of Siemens, the book entitled "The Story of an Ultramarathon Runner--Courage is Solitary" is an exemplary story of experience and accomplishment which can be useful in the development and communication of management strategies.