By Ahmet Abdulaziz…….
Being an ultra marathon runner is tough, but still there are hundreds and thousands of ultra marathon runners the world over. But 35 year old Bilal Gul is one smart such runner who has made his unique mark in a short period of time. He runs wearing a full suit. Yes, he runs wearing trousers, tie and coat. This is what has made him a different athlete apart from his other achievements in this field.
Born in Malatya (Turkey) in the year 1982, Gul was not involved in sporting activities until six years ago. He had been smoking for over 20 years and was overweight then. But on a lucky day, he set out to run in a 10 km race, on recommendation of a friend, without ever running before. The result was obvious, after finishing the race, he could not even walk properly for the next few days. But that particular piece of running had woken up the runner inside him. He stopped smoking and started his new life as a marathon runner.
Once getting serious, he started sticking to daily training sessions, and started participating in half and full marathons. However ultimately he found out that he was more interested and suitable to run ultra marathons.
Since then he is participating in all of the ultra marathons that he can.
In the year 2016 he decided to take a very unique decision to join a group who were thinking to form a group of runners who wanted to attract attention towards their causes, by wearing their suits, running with pants, coat and tie on is not so easy, particularly under the sun, plus the heat generated by running itself. But as he himself put it, “it is worth to bear such heat and discomfort, if I succeed in attracting attention to the causes for which I run”. Bilal Gul runs for various charities wearing his suit.
There is very long list of races of various distances in which he has so far participated. However lately he participated in a very dangerous 250 kilometre long Kalahari Desert ultramarathon race, wearing full suit, to attract attention towards CYSTIC FIBROSIS. It was not an easy race, as he had to bear the extreme heat. and extreme natural hazards, but he succeeded in overcoming all hazards and pains. He succeeded in attracting world attention towards CYSTIC FIBROSIS, by wearing a suit throughout the duration of the race.
With thanks to Bilal Gul who supplied these pictures