What Runners Say – Previous Years

It was excellent! Very well organised, great staff and lovely sunshine. Thank you

Samantha Toop (UK – 2012)

Awesome !!!! Amazing organisation.. Views to die for..!! Brilliant team.. Well done to you all “Athena” absolutely seamless.. And Sam any other crazy races like that, count me in 😎

Andrew Dickens (UK – 2012)

Whats not to love? Trails, hills (both up and down) road run, sunshine, sea, beer and dancing. Very well organised. Enjoyed it more than I expected.

Paul Newton (UK – 2012)

Excellent organisation! Nice people and a wonderful arena team. We will come again 🙂

Denise Wendland (Germany – 2012)

Thank you for your help in the 4day challenge. I enjoyed it (apart from day2!). I managed to be 1st in the ‘old mans’ category!
Hope to see you next year.
Once again, thanks!!

Glyn Jenkins (UK – 2012)

Many thanks for another nice week with all those fantastic people from Arena and 2:09! guys you did a great job to make us feel comfortable.

Rene Tik (Austria – 2011)

First of all congratulations for your organization, very great challenge (the four races are very different but very interesting) beautiful scenery, and very good atmosphere, thank you in advance and congratulations.

Jacky Bennevault (France – 2011)

I would like to thank you for your warm welcome and for all the efforts to make me have a wonderful experience on this challenge. I will be back once for sure!!

Karin Hubert (Netherlands – 2011)

Dear all, Thanks for a wonderfull event

Pim van Beek (Netherlands – 2011)

Hi Guys, Just to say a very big thank you to each and every one of you. As usual everything was organized with exact precision, a bit like a well oiled machine. We look forward to next year.

Liz and Dave (marshalls – 2011)

Firstly I would like to say thank you on behalf of my Team and also on behalf of AKI Runners. It was a great event and one that all of our team enjoyed. Thanks again

Mark Moscrop (UK – 2011)

Thank you to the whole team at arena, 2:09, Leptos and all sponsors for making this an amazing event!! Very well organised! Unique in its kind in Cyprus! Thank you also to weather! THAT is why Cyprus is such a great place to live. To all PWC’ers: bedankt dat jullie er waren! Normaal gesproken ben ik de enige Nederlandse gek, nu waren er gelukkig nog VEEEEL meer 🙂 bedankt voor de goede sfeer! I hope to see a lot of you back next year on our beautiful island!!

Saskia Koper Groenevelt (Netherlands – 2011)

Dear all of the Cyprus Challenge Team! Many many thanks for an unforgettable event!! Have a good rest now! You deserve it! Also congratulations to all the runners! It was a tough but fulfilling event

Niki Verkaik (Netherlands – 2011)

Dia & Yiota, Having just returned to shivering Germany, I thought I would send you a brief email to thank you both for your part in organising the Cyprus Challenge. It was a superb event and the organisation was excellent. The 11 other guys I brought out had a fantastic week, and to make it even better we also brought home a trophy! Thanks once again for your assistance leading up to the event and I hope to see you again next year.

Mick Holland (UK – 2011)

This is just to say a big thank you for welcoming me back to Paphos and giving me the chance to stay in a wonderful hotel in such beautiful surroundings. I hope to return again next year. thank you so much.

Bel Levene (UK – 2011)

Thank you for the perfect organisation and your nice company. That is why I like to return to Cyprus.

Wolfgang Hoffman (Germany – 2011)

Hi, Yiota ! Thank you very much to you and everyone at Arena and 2:09 for a lovely Cyprus Challenge 2011 !

Sean Bowen (UK – 2011)

Fantastic experience again. Organisation is brilliant. I’ll be back.

John MacAskill (Scotland – 2011)

Hi Arena! Thank you very much for a great event, I really enjoyed it and hope to return next year.

Chris Childs (Germany – 2011)

Hello to You all in Cyprus, thank you very much for the greetings and for another unforgettable memory of emotions and holiday feelings on your marvelous island. We’ve enjoyed again a wonderful time and a fantastic hotel during the event. Thank you all for your help, support and organisation! We will return next year and even my parents want to accompany us again. I will stay in touch with you for an early booking at the beginning of the new year. A merry Christmas and a good start into a new year with another challenge (in every direction……..)!!! With best wishes from the German island of Sylt.

Gabi and Gerry Henningsen (Germany – 2011)

Just a quick note to let you know how much the 3 of us from Newquay Road Runners enjoyed the Challenge this year. The organisation and marshalls were superb, we all want to do it again sometime in the future and perhaps bring some of our fellow running club members along

Kevin Burnett

First please pass on my thanks and congratulations to all the organisers and volunteers of the recent event. I enjoyed taking part and truly found the four days a real “Challenge”! It was a shock to the system returning to the freezing weather in the UK infact we only arrived a little in advance of Gatwick airport being closed by snow!


I just wanted to drop you and your team a line to say thank you so much for organising such an amazing event for 2010. I really enjoyed myself, the stunning views make you forget about the pain of getting up the hills — the routes are wonderful! The support and organisation and the efficiency of the team was fantastic. From start to finish I had an absolutely amazing time, I really enjoyed the runs and met some lovely people, I have some really fond memories and did not want to come home!

Tamsin Simmonds

Both my brother and I enjoyed the race once again! Rory was pleased with his times and I was pleased just to finish. We shall of course be back again next year…..me to try and get some quicker times! Our favourite race is definitely the half marathon as the course is beautiful. all of your organisation and preparation was again incredibly smooth.

Zoe Todd

Our Austrian group had much fun being part of this years challenge. and let me say – everybody of you did a great job (as every year) and the new courses were beautiful. Think we will come again.

Rene Tik (Austria)

First of all, many thanks for the organisation that went last week’s Cyprus Challenge, it was the first time I run the 4 day challenge and surely not the last time! Our group (TUS DEUZ / GERMANY) had a great time in Cyprus.

Andreas Senner (Germany)

Can I thank you and your team for all the work you put in to make the challenge go so well, all the people I spoke to really appreciated all the hard needed to make it go so well. I put a comment on the runners world webb site to say how good I thought it was.

Steve ONeil

The week was wonderful to me and I really have to congratulate you to the event. I have rarely visited or rather participated in such an almost perfect event.

Josef Wachter (Germany)

Forget Guernsey, Lanzarote, Algarve, Malta and the Isle of Man; these all pale into insignificance when measured against this series. The Ultimate test of toughness in a 4 day challenge. The Cyprus 4 Day Challenge started 2 years ago with just 60 runners , last year that grew to 120 runners and this year there were 250 entrants — convincingly proving that many runners now search for that extra — ordinary event and seek the biggest test of pain and endurance…… We flew with Cyprus Air from Heathrow — had a free paper, free headphones and free drinks with the lunch. It was so embarrassing to see Richie fill his pockets with small bottles of wine though! A slick airport transfer and 45 minutes after landing at Paphos airport we were dropped at our hotels. Being almost 10.30 pm local time there was nowhere open to eat — no problem , a ploughmans buffet was waiting for us in our rooms. There was a two day rest for training and acclimatisation (daytime temperature around 22 C) before matters started in earnest. Then the Event team held a full briefi ng attended by virtually everyone to explain the courses, timings, transport , toilets, water stations — in fact everything except how to survive the runs…. The celebration banquet in the evening saw the top man (Swiss) and the top lady (Norwegean) take home 4 giant sculptured trophies each. Goodness knows how they got them through customs! Their winning prize ? A return ticket to Cyprus in 2008 to defend their titles.There were no less than 8 countries represented , including the army, the air force and the local British Telecom squad all based in Cyprus. As well as runners from all over Britain : Swansea, Bedford, Newquay, Plymouth and of course, Southampton. Would they do it all again?? No doubt they will and another 300 plus mad runners likewise as numbers are still expected to climb.

Malcolm Price – extract from the Southampton & Eastly Running Club newsletter.

We just wanted to say our grateful thanks for the Cyprus 209 challenge. We thoroughly enjoyed it, the organisation was first class, the hotel was brilliant and everyone was so encouraging whatever position you were in (and I was near the rear of the field each time). It didn’t matter what size, pace or shape you were the support was there for everyone! Please pass on our thanks to everyone involved and we will be back again next year.

Caroline and Steve Orrells from Maldwyn Harriers

Can I just start by saying what a fantastic event! We enjoyed every minute of it and it was organised so well, no problems at all, we will be entering again next year, so well done to everyone who helped put it all together. Thanks for a brilliant weekend

Yvonne Davies

Just wanted to say thanks for your hard work that made the Cyprus Challenge such a great event again this year – even if I saw rather more of Pafos hospital than I would have liked after my mountain fall ! The scars have made unusual souvenirs and hopefully I’ll be able to get the stitches removed later next week !! As usual the photos & DVD footage were wonderful to watch and I would love to know how I could now get hold of a copy (and of the 2006 challenge too as you mentioned you might still have a disc available). Best wishes for the festive season

Debbie Ghant

I should just like to say how much I enjoyed the 4 day challenge. The impeccable organisation, friendliness, scenery, running routes and hotel were all excellent. Thank you very much for putting it all together so well. As a slow runner I really appreciated the encouragement and support of everybody, including other competitors.Thank you again.

Hilary Allen

Another fantastic years running!:o) Well organised, well marshalled, transportation superbly managed, great pasta party and gala dinner. Thank you all very much indeed! Loved the Keo stand at the end of the 10k – nice touch! The music was great too – a good party atmosphere.

Zoe Findlay

We are now back in freezing cold Germany after a refreshing but challenging break in Cyprus.The event was fantastic and we all really enjoyed it. The organisation was first class with well marked out routes, enthusiastic marshalls, well placed water stops and good camaraderie amongst the runners. The weather was also perfect for running and I would not have liked to run the second day in the baking heat. I have seen the results on the Website but am wondering if we can get hold of some of the photos/film footage that was taken during the 4 days? We have our own photos but the photos on display at the Pasta Party were very good. Grateful if you could let me know.All the very best and we may be back next year!

Tony Armstrong from RAF Germany

Good morning from Scotland – I just wanted to send a short note to say thanks and well done for the 2007 Cyprus Challenge. My brother and I really enjoyed it and the organisation was brilliant. Our favourite race was the half marathon – the route was spectacular and we were on a high after finishing it! The finish at Paphos was also great fun. Thanks again……we will recommend the race to everyone we can!

Zoe Todd

Kalispera,being home again in cold, cold and wet Austria let me congratulate you for this very excellent event. We had fun, did a good job by running as fast as possible and relaxed our martyred body.All the best.

Rene Tik

Just a note to say how much I enjoyed the week in Cyprus. The challenge was a great event and so very well organised. Well done to all the team and hopefully we will be along again next year. May even see you at the County Cross Country ! Have a good Christmas Regards

Eryl Penney

Good Evening to all, I have just been a spectator at this year’;s event and would like to say a massive thankyou to each and everyone thathelped in the organisation. Not only did it put my husband and his running partner at ease but the good old trusty wife’s who are often forgotten. The daily events were brilliant to watch and for me the atmosphere was brilliant. So A GREAT BIG THANK YOU from me and my dog Jake and the hooter, all of us will be there again next year.

Sharon Edmundson & her dog!!!s

Just arrived back in the UK and naturally it is raining. I wanted to write to thank everyone for the Cyprus Challenge. It was a brilliant event, well organised and all of the staff in Cyprus were so friendly and helpful. Naturally it was a challenge but I am sure there is nowhere else in the world to rival Cyprus for such an event and the feeling at the end was worth all of the hard work. Please pass on my thanks to all the people in Cyprus who obviously worked so hard to ensure that the event went smoothly. I have taken part in many half marathons in the UK and also the London Marathon and the Paris Marathon – but I will treasure my 4 Day Challenge medal above everything else.

David Dodd

Very much enjoyed the 10k, but had to leave before i could check my time. Could you please let me know? My no was 130. Many thanks.

Ann Saunders

Thank you for a very well-organized event! I had a great time. I did not stay at the Coral Beach hotel, and I had to return to Nicosia before the gala dinner last night, so I have not seen any results since the first day. Could you email me a copy of each day’s results and cumulative results after each day? Thanks!


First of all, many thanks for the organisation that went in to last week’s 4 day challenge, I would like to say it was most enjoyable but I can confirm I am glad it’s over! It was my first time and was very impressed with the way it flowed and your staff are a credit to you so thank you once again! Kind regards,

Darren Carrington

Thanks for all your help and support during the 4-day challenge. It was a well run event and made my trip to Cyprus a memorable one! Kind regards.

Panos Alexandropoulos

Just wanted to say, I had a great time in Cyprus – it was well organized event and you guys should be proud of yourself. Please pass on my thanks to everyone at 2:09 and in Cyprus. Cheers,


Just a quick e-mail to thank everyone involved with the Cyprus International Challenge for such an enjoyable and well organised event. Sitting here in wet and windy England its hard to believe that a few days ago I was running across that fantastic Akamas landscape in glorious weather! Regards and thanks


As promised, here is the email with my contact details for next year’s 4-day challenge. I had great fun this year, and I am extremely grateful for the very generous and unexpected prize. The scenery and the weather were outstanding for all the races in this year’s challenge, and it was a shock to get back to the very wet and grey UK.

Chris Bradfield

Did the Cyprus Challenge last week, and would like to thank you all for a great event. Well organised, nice place, good hotel, good weather, excellent. Cheers

Richard Vaudin

I’ve arrived home safely and sent Scott and Linda up North when we went our separate ways at Manchester Airport. This is an “Official Thank you” from team Tony. It was great to see you all again and I would like to convey my sincere thanks for yet another superb event. I have been trying to identify the difference between your Company and other Operators and the conclusion I have drawn is that ALL YOUR TEAM “CARE” and have a genuine interest in others. This is in stark contrast to the others where we become just another client or maybe even worse just another “Punter” I will be back next year and hopefully with Roz. My sincere gratitude

Tony Vout

Last Friday we flew back to Holland because we had some nice days of vacation after the Cyprus Challenge. The weather was still good, so we were lucky :o) Like in the UK it was also raining in Holland when we arrived and now it is windy and cold. We want to thank all of you for the nice, very good organised and beautiful Challenge. We sure want to join the challenge next year. Maybe more people of our athletics team will join us. We have told them all the stories and they are very enthusiastic. Thanks once again and maybe we see you next year. Best regards,

Pascal van de Vendel en Claudia Geldermans

Yes I have received the mail shot of photos. Beautiful pictures, it is great! All the memories come back. The event was super!

Regards, Claudia

I hope to see you next year on the 4-Day Challenge. It was this year an unforgettable experience. We have run the best, organised marathon ever. Everything was perfect; we thank you Andreas, Yiota and Dia and Yioulia. For the wonderful time your giving us.With kindly regards

Regards, Claudia

I am writing to tell you just how much I enjoyed the Cyprus International 4-Day Challenge. I competed with a couple of friends from England and we were all really impressed with the organisation and the professionalism and willingness to help from all the staff of Arena and 209 events. I would like to thank also any volunteers who were helping and the sponsors for supporting the events and for providing such wonderful trophies. The running routes were well thought out and very picturesque. I will never forget how I felt at the finish on the 4th day: a mixture of pride and achievement that can never be bettered. It was the hardest event I have ever taken part in which made it even more special to complete. I learnt a lot about myself both mentally and physically over the 4 days. So, once again thank you and I hope to do it all again next year!
Joop Vermeer (runningreport, Netherlands)
I am just dropping you an email to thank you and everyone at 209 events and Arena for organizing and running such a wonderful holiday. Everything was superbly organized from the moment I was met at the airport until I was dropped off at the airport when I left, we were really treated like professional athletes. The events themselves were also very well organized and the support provided was superb. I found the races themselves tougher than I expected but the support from the 209 and Arena staff and other athletes was brilliant, which made them easier if that makes sense. There was a white haired gentleman who always seemed to be stationed at the toughest parts of the hill run and half marathon with encouragement to get you through and it was a real buzz when Mike Gratton drive past me towards the end of the half marathon and encouraged me by name. Do you know if the pictures and video that were taken by the organizers is going to be available to purchase? It was a brilliant event and providing I don’t get into the New York Marathon I will be back next year to improve my times. Many thanks for all your help and for putting on such enjoyable and well organized event.

Kirsty Bishop