Telma Ghazarian Altoon (age 41), is the only Armenian ultra-marathoner on the planet. Born to Armenian parents in Iran, raised and living in California, USA, Telma has been running and competing since she was a child. She got on the High School Varsity team in 9th grade and competed all through High School in Track and Cross Country at Glendale High School. She has also competed in track and cross country during her college years at USC (Devision I) on a full athletic scholarship.
Telma competes in self-sustaining multi-stage races which are unsupported (having her nutrition and sleeping gear on her back) and athletes got to survive harsh conditions. She also competes in long endurance races locally and internationally. "I like to push my body to extreme levels", says Telma. Just to have an insight into the level of challenge Telma puts herself into, we checked out her performance during the Kodiak Ultra in September 2016; she ran 100 miles (>160km) on high altitude for 35 hours non-stop.
Telma will keep training and competing for upcoming months in several ultra-marathones. She will also gear-up for a non-competative ultra-marathone; a once-for-lifetime personal challenge where she will run 178 miles (~290km) along Janaparh Trail in her homeland Armenia, in summer 2017. Janaparh Trail runs from Vardenis in Republic of Armenia to Hadrut in Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabagh); an unchartered trail passing through mountains and dense forests, with astonishing natural monuments and cultural heritage around.
"It will be my first time running in my homeland, I have never been to Armenia. I have ran all around the World and competed everywhere, and I have never set foot on that soil... I am looking forward to running there and also enjoying myself running on those trails in my home Country, so I am looking forward to the June challenge", says Telma.
Let's also note that a friend of Telma, Hans Keifer, the President of Bellfree contractors and a professional trail maker visited Armenia (supported by local hiking and adventure company "Arevi") along with a group of mountain bikers to cycle through the Janaparh Trail and assess the current condition and plan trail preparation activities.
Hikers.am welcomes Telma's initiative and announces its full support during the whole course of the event. Stay tuned and follow our updates on Telma Altoon and the Janaparh Trail.
An updated list of Telma's recent ultras and standings:
Grand To Grand Ultra – International Self-Supported Stage Race – 170 Miles - Grand Canyon, UT – 9.2014 – Ranking: 16th Female and 4th in my age group – Time: 61:37
Kodiak Ultra – 50 Mile Endurance Run – Big Bear, CA – 9.2015 – Ranking: 8th Female, 3rd in my age group – Time: 15:56 (Featured in Ultra Running Magazine December 2015 Issue)
Nirvana Racing Company – 100K (62miles) Endurance Run – Joshua Tree, CA – 11.2015 – Ranking: 1st Female – Time: 15:20
Sean O’Brien – 50 Mile Endurance Run – Malibu State Creek, CA – 2.2016 – Ranking: 21st Female – Time: 12:47 (Golden Ticket Race for Western States 100 Featuring Top Female 50 Milers in the US), (Featured in Ultra Running Magazine April 2016 Issue)
Badwater Salton Sea 82 Mile Endurance Run – Salton Sea, CA - 5.2016 – Team Race (British, Armenian, and American Team) – No Individual Ranking – Time: 24:30
Kodiak 100 Mile Endurance Run – Big Bear, CA – 9.2016 - Ranking: 10th Female – Time: 34:58 (To be featured in Ultra Running Magazine 2016 October Issue)