​The press conference has been held for 'N Kolay 42nd Istanbul Marathon', which is one of the world's most important marathons that is run in golden category and will be run for the 42nd time in cooperation with N Kolay, the digital banking platform of Aktif Bank, the new name title sponsor.

To be held under the title sponsorship of N Kolay by Spor Istanbul, a subsidiary of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, N Kolay Istanbul Marathon will be run on Sunday, November 8, 2020. Differently from the previous years, the race, which will start off from Yenikapi as part of the pandemic measures, will be run from Europe to Asia for the first time in its history. Due to the pandemic measures, Turkey's most extensive virtual run will take place in the marathon, which will be started off for the 42nd time this year, under the slogan of 'run alone with us'. The press conference of the event was held at Swiss Hotel with the attendance of Ekrem Imamoglu, the Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, I. Renay Onur, the General Manager of Spor Istanbul, Mustafa Yasin Tas, the Vice President of Turkish Athletic Federation, and Serdar Sumer, the CEO of Aktif Bank.  The press conference was attended by Murat Ongun, the Press Secretary and Advisor to Mayor at IMM, Ertan Yildiz, the Advisor to Mayor at IMM, Fatih Keles, the President of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Sports Club, and Erdem Aslanoglu, General Secretary of IMM Sports Club. Ziya Igdebeli, Osman Atakan and Munir Yaras, who are among the marathoners with great contributions to Istanbul Marathon and can be considered as the architectures of the Marathon, attended the press conference.

Imamoglu: "It will be a historical journey"

Stating that it is an exciting event for the city, he added: "This marathon is a precious event that has reached this point with great efforts. We would like to thank our esteemed brothers for being among us. One of our elders has passed away, and some of our elders can not be among us. I am grateful to everyone who had a kind thought and gifted such a precious event to Istanbul in 1979. All of my friends work with this effort. We thank Mr. Serdar. He is an athletic manager and displays a valuable character by matching up his corporation with the sports. I hope this run will be remembered with you for long years through a concept that contains various messages in it by its name. We want to spread this brand of Istanbul to whole world. The pandemic has slowed down our goals slightly, but not in sportive terms. The participation is quite high. I would like to thank also the Athletics Federation for their cooperation. When we bring Istanbul together with triathlons, half marathons and marathons, we also make this beautiful city identified with sports. I consider the participation of the whole city as a sort of Olympic spirit. We cannot be an Olympic city if we cannot achieve this. The marathon also has a different spirit. This is a marathon where 2 continents are combined. It is also very valuable to make this event reach to the age of 42. The marathon was run with different enthusiasm by the participation of the public before; but this year we are not able to do it due to the measures taken for the pandemic. However, I noticed that it was taken to a different dimension. Those who will run this year are very lucky. They will cross the bridge twice. This marathon is classified as gold marathon. Our colleagues strove to maximize the participation by taking all the measures. This means that we, as Istanbul, can proudly organize any world's top events. Our colleagues are taking all the measures concerning Covid. We don't want a single athlete to have problem. To start off from Yenikapi, this run will also be a historical journey. They will start off from an 8-9 thousand years old history in Yenikapi, run this city, which has important traces from every century, and take a historical journey".

"I hope we can also run one day."

Pointing out the virtual run to be held, Imamoglu said, "We expect an effective support to non-governmental organizations through this virtual run. We can say that this marathon is the biggest event at the international level. We would like to thank also for the volunteer participation that will be a part of us. The athletics federation will be among us with its meticulous efforts in order for this marathon to be run at the most effective and top level. I would like to express my sincere thanks also to our governorship and concerned departments. I want it to have significant contribution to the energy and promotion of this city to whole world. I will not be able to participate in the run just like Mr. Serdar, but I will be involved in the process by following it remotely. I hope that we can also run 42 thousand 195 meters one day. Everyone, who will break a sweat, will represent the process as it should be. I wish N Kolay Istanbul Marathon will be beneficial for Istanbul." Spoke also about the Olympics, Ekrem Imamoglu, the Mayor of IMM, said, "The Olympics is firmly on our agenda. The Olympics is not just about facilities. We have great facilities, but a city needs to be prepared in a different manner in order to be chosen to host the Olympics. We have a road map, but there are different stages and we work hard. It is not a process involving only the municipality, but a complete process from the Olympic committee to the Ministry. However, the segment that should definitely be involved in the process is 16 million residents of Istanbul."

Mr.Onur: "This will be the first time to run from Europe to Asia"

Stating that big cities such as Istanbul are much more beautiful with sports, Renay Onur, the General Manager of Spor Istanbul, said: "We did not come to a halt during the pandemic; we tried to keep the residents of Istanbul healthy and active by fitness at home. We started off our events after the process in which we all locked down ended. The reason why we wanted to hold the race especially this year is that there were 11 people who launched off this race 42 years ago. This year, we lost Selahattin Yildiz, who was among these 11 people. May God rest his soul. 3 of these 11 people are among us. This marathon, which has been held for 42 years, would not exist without these people. This year, the name of the marathon has become N Kolay Istanbul Marathon. 2300 Turkish athletes have registered for the marathon as of today. This will be a record for Turkish athletes. 900 foreign athletes have participated so far. We expect the number to increase. This year, we had to introduce a specific track for the pandemic. We have to establish social distance. It did not seem possible to make it applicable on the bridge.  This is why we will start off from Yenikapi Square, which we tested in the half marathon. It is an area of 50 thousand square meters. Therefore, the track will start from Yenikapi only this year. The runners will go to Galata Bridge from Yenikapi, and then to Karakoy and the bridge after going up Barbaros Boulevard. Then, they will return from Altunizade, go to Balat through Galata Bridge, and end up at Yenikapi. This is the first time they will run from Europe to Asia and cross the bridge twice. They will run in such a vacant area for the first time. In addition, virtual run will be available for those who cannot participate. It is likely that we will hold the virtual run with the greatest participation in the world. We are planning to make 81 cities run together. 500 volunteers will support the race in the track."

Mr.Tas: "Those who see the event we organize notice that it can be done."

Mustafa Yasin Tas, the Vice President of Turkish Athletic Federation, stated that N Kolay Istanbul Marathon has reached thousands of people in the recent years, and said: "It has become the biggest sports event held on a mass scale in Turkey. This is the first time the race will be held without our esteemed brother Selahattin Yildiz. We commemorate him here. Unfortunately, there was a decrease in the number of participants during the pandemic. We could not see 2 hours and 10 minutes in the track until 2018. The female runner, who ran under 2 hours and 20 minutes and won this race twice, became the world champion in Doha last year. Since N Kolay Istanbul Marathon will be considered as Turkish Marathon Championship, our athletes will also participate along with foreign athletes. This year, it will be a high-quality and boutique-style marathon. The marathon activities have been suspended or postponed across the world. Holding of the marathon was very important. It has been held continuously since 1979. I shared the video of start-off, which I shot at Istanbul Half Marathon, with my stakeholders in Poland and they liked it so much. They had some reservations and canceled the race. They regretted canceling the races when they noticed that this could be done this way. I think a super event will take place on November 8. I wish good luck to all the athletes."

Mr.Sumer: "We identify this run with our brand"

Serdar Sumer, the CEO of Aktif Bank which has become the title sponsor of Istanbul Marathon with its N Kolay brand, said: "I think the marathon and running look a bit like life. Just like how our bank started off. We started off with 25 people and 50 million dollars. Now we are 2000 people and our annual profit is nearly 100 million Dollars. As you move forward on the road, the distance gets shorter, and you get stronger. But most importantly, you also enjoy it. It is the same in the marathon. You enjoy the city by running. We wanted to get the title of this marathon, and now is a very special moment for me. The reason we use the name N Kolay is that our digital bank, where we would like to offer service to individuals anytime and anywhere, well suits with this marathon. In this marathon, the whole city is shut down for you and you have the chance to pass through the places you have never been before on foot. Virtual runs are also available. We also identify these runs with our brand. You can participate in this run anytime and from any city you want. This is what we want to do by our brand. I am also among those who will run in N Kolay Istanbul Marathon. I hope to complete."

A first in N Kolay Istanbul Marathon; Virtual run

This year, another excitement will be experienced in N Kolay Istanbul Marathon. Virtual Run will also be available in the event with limited quota due to Covid-19 measures. The first virtual half marathon of Turkey was held last September as part of Istanbul Half Marathon.  The runners, who want to participate in the virtual runs to be held on November 7-8 in 5K, 10K and 15K categories under the slogan of "Run alone with us!", will be able to take their places in the track of their choice and in this historical run by downloading the Sweaters application from the Play Store or the App Store. The deadline for those who want to participate in the virtual run with the highest participation in Turkey is October 28, Wednesday. Detailed information is available at

The bridge will be crossed twice for the first time in the history of the Marathon

This year, N Kolay Istanbul Marathon will be run through a different track. The race starting off from Yenikapi will proceed straight ahead and close to the seafront until Kumkapi, Catladikapi, Sirkeci, Galata Bridge, Karakoy, Salipazari, Dolmabahce and Besiktas, while the runners who will cross to Anatolian side will cross July 15 Martyrs' Bridge through Barbaros Boulevard. The runners will have the chance to cross July 15 Martyrs' Bridge twice for the first time in the history of the marathon. After crossing the bridge, the runners will run up to the junction of Altunizade.

Reaching July 15 Martyrs' Bridge after U-turn from Altunizade Bridge, and then the turnoff to Besiktas, Barbaros Boulevard and Besiktas pier, the track will proceed straight to Dolmabahce, Findikli, Salipazari, Karakoy, Galata Bridge, the turn to Unkapani Direction, Cibali, Fener and Balat without any inclination, and then turn from this point. In the race, where second end of the track after Altunizade will be run in the opposite direction of Balat, the runners will pass through Fener, Unkapani, Sirkeci and Kumkapi by following the coastal road, and end at Yenikapi where the race will start off.

Safe Area Application

'Safe Area' application is one of the applications as part of the pandemic measures.

The runners will enter the area with the QR codes to be hung in the event area, and the application will show that all the volunteers and involved personnel present there are safe.

This application will allow the connection of both runners and anyone involved in the event with the pandemic to be known by everyone.

For this purpose, everyone present there at that moment will need to have the Hayat Eve Sigar (Life Fits Home) application installed on their mobile phone.