Victor Olov Leonidou @UltraTrailSnowdonia 2023

OUT 2024 #Runnersstories Viktor Olov Leonidou - Cyprus

Need the motivation to keep trail running? Read Viktor's story and watch the online premiere of the film Lighthouse 2 Lighthouse which features Viktor Olov Leonidou running the distance across Cyprus in 3 days, from Cape Greco to Akamas. A run of 300 kilometers with over 8500 m of elevation gain, in the magical nature of Cyprus. The film documents the 3-day effort and depicts how he and the support crew experience this journey.

The film is scheduled on 26th December at 5pm UTC+2 - LINK

Be inspired to join him at the starting line of Ohrid Ultra-Trail next edition in May 2024.

OUT: Please introduce yourself to our followers:

My name is Viktor Olov Leonidou, born and raised in Nicosia, Cyprus, by Swedish mother and Cypriot father. Growing up I was playing football for several years and training Muay Thai. I’m more or less an introvert, who really enjoys being out in nature, exploring new places and seeking for new adventures.

OUT: How long have you been running/trail running? (why do you run)

I started running in 2018, after I signed up for my first race. A 21km trail running race, in Akamas Peninsula in Cyprus, a unique area of unparalleled beauty that has been under pressure for development for decades The answer to “why I run?” is something that keeps on changing through the years. It started as something new and turned into a journey of self-discovery, connecting with nature, exploring new places, and it is something that keeps me motivated through life. 

OUT: What do you enjoy most about trail running?

I feel it’s something unique. Being up on the mountains for hours, exposed and vulnerable, moving forward despite the difficulties, without the help of machines… It’s the pure sense of freedom. 

OUT: Do you have a memorable running experience/story to share with us? (or your biggest achievement)

There are various memorable running moments that I am grateful to have experienced. One of the most recent ones is from ‘Lighthouse 2 Lighthouse’ project. I shared the information on social media, that I was going to attempt a run from Cape Greco to Akamas in 3 days. Still, I expected a solitary journey. However, the overwhelming response from the trail community was beyond any expectation. A group of individuals joined me on the trails,  some at stations, others running, and a few cycling. It was just magic how the community embraced the adventure. It not only boosted my spirits and kept me going but also enhanced the overall experience! Ultra trail running is often seen as a solo endeavor, in this case though, it turned into a group effort. 

OUT: How do you stay motivated when the going gets tough?

I try to be mentally prepared for the worst things that can happen. At the same time, I remind myself of the privilege I have, being able to choose what I want to do.

OUT: What are your top three "little things" that you do to prevent injury?

Good amount of rest/sleep. Eat better - I follow a plant based diet, and feel it helps my body to recover faster. …and as much as I dislike doing it, strength training.

OUT: If you could give a single piece of advice to less experienced trail runners what would it be?

Listen to your body - enjoy the process and respect nature.

Lighthouse to Lighthouse Trailer

Victor Olov Leon @High Scardus Ultra 2023

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