Record breaking endurance runner Yiannis Kouros recognised for exceptional achievements in ultra running
Believed by many in the ultra circle as the world’s greatest endurance athlete of his time, Yiannis Kouros this week was given recognition for his stellar racing career, which dates back to the 1980s, and inducted into the Australian Ultra Runners Association’s Hall of Fame.
Now in his early 60s and retired from the sport, Kouros’ record breaking times have set the benchmark for ultra runners across the globe. He holds world records for 24 hours (303.506kms, Adelaide 1997), 48 hours (473.495kms, Surgeres 1996), 6 days (1036kms, Colac 2005), 1000kms (5d 16:17, Colac 2005) and 1000 miles (10d 10:30, New York 1998), while the 1983 Spartathlon 245kms saw him victorious in 21:53:42.
Kouros ran Spartathlon three more times (1984, 1986 and 1990) winning each and every one, and today they remain the four fastest times in the 36-year history of the event.
As well as setting world records, Kouros became a well-recognised hero amongst the general Australian population when he won the 875kms Sydney to Melbourne Ultramarathon no less than five times between 1985 and 1990.
Born in Greece, Kouros moved to Australia in the 1980s and became an Australian citizen; he has since returned to live in the country of his birth. He was awarded AURA’s Male Ultra Runner of the Year in 2002.
AURA President Rob Donkersloot said Kouros is nothing short of a legend.
“Baseball has Babe Ruth, basketball has Michael Jordan, ice hockey has Wayne Gretzky, cricket has Don Bradman, ultra running has Yiannis Kouros,” he said.
“Yiannis so dominated our sport with his performances that it is unlikely some of his world records will ever be broken.”
“AURA is very proud to induct one of its past members in Yiannis Kouros and formally recognise his incredible performances, many of which were set at events here in Australia.”
The retired endurance runner is revered in the ultra running community, and his induction into the Hall of Fame sees him alongside other great athletes who have left their mark on the country including Bryan Smith, Helen Stanger and Cliff Young.
Kouros’ record-breaking history could well see his name on the top of record lists for a century or more, with his athleticism and dominance in the sport certainly not soon to be forgotten.
AURA is proud to announce Kouros as its newest inductee.
Pictured: Yiannis Kouros.