A young British Turkish Cypriot student has run 70km in a single day in a bid to raise thousands of pounds for the victims of the massive earthquake that hit Turkiye and Syria last week.
On Friday, 17 February, Celine Akiner took to the streets of London to run an Ultramarathon, which is slightly less than the distance of two marathons (84km).
Celine, who is the daughter of Turkish Cypriot author Metin Murat, has previously taken part in marathons and the even more testing Ironman events, which require the athlete to swim for 2.4-miles, then do a 112-mile bicycle ride, before running a full-length 26.22-mile marathon.
Those completing an Ironman triathlon will have covered an area spanning a total of 140.6 miles (226.3 km), which means Celine is clearly very fit. Yet the London School of Economics student says the Ultramarathon is “by far the most difficult physical challenge” she has ever set out to do.
Writing on her fundraising page, Celine estimated the 70km run would take her “between 10-13 hours”. She completed the gruelling mega run earlier this evening, with her stopwatch showing a time of 10 hours and 30 minutes.
So far Celine has raised £5,000. She hopes many more people will sponsor her run to help her raise as much money as possible for people whose lives have been devastated by the two powerful earthquakes that struck Anatolia on 6 and 7 February, destroying vast swathes of southeast Turkiye and northeast Syria.
All funds Celine raises will be “donated directly and automatically to the Turkey Mozaik Foundation”, she states on her fundraising page. The UK based charity have “lots of experience in emergency and humanitarian relief across Turkey,” with funds to be used to help “provide immediate relief, as well as long term recovery to survivors of the earthquake.”
More than 44,000 people are confirmed to have died, with the death toll expected to rise in the coming days. The two massive earthquakes have also left millions of people homeless, as countless buildings, including hospitals and schools were reduced to rubble.
The plight of the victims has been further compounded by the freezing cold winter conditions across the affected regions.
Tens of thousands of people now urgently need food, water, heat, shelter, warm clothes, and vital medical supplies to survive.
As Celine explains, “There will be critical long-term implications associated with a natural disaster of this magnitude that will continue to require global support”. She signs off by thanking everyone donating for their “generous support”.
Click here if you’d like to contribute to Celine’s fundraiser.