How an Ultra Runner Was Born

Attached are the Armenian & English versions of the news release plus 
accompanying photo.


NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
contact-Garen Yegparian
818/563-3918
June 6, 2018
[email protected]


How an Ultra Runner Was Born

Northridge, CA – How does a demure little girl blossom into a world class 
ultra-marathon runner and competitor?

Telma Ghazarian Altoon moved to the United States from Iran when she was twelve 
years old and already running and racing.  Soon after, she ran varsity track 
and cross country for Glendale High School starting in her first year there.

Telma’s aptitude for running earned her a scholarship to the University of 
Southern California where she continued to shine as one of the school’s 
Division I athletes in track and cross country.

All of that is still a far cry from the elite, and fairly new, sport of 
ultra-running.  In 2007, Telma just leapt in when she participated in a 50 
kilometer (31.25 mi) race in Simi Valley, never even having run a marathon (26 
mi/41.2 km) before.  She has not stopped since then, participating in dozens of 
ultra races, some longer than 170 miles (272km), worldwide.  She has run in the 
Alps of Europe, the mountains and deserts of California, and even Artzakh’s 
Janabarh Trail.

Telma’s favorite race was the Grand-to-Grand Ultra.  At 176 mi (275 km), this 
race extends from the Grand Canyon to the Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah.  
It is self-supported, meaning runners must carry their food and sleeping gear 
as they run through all kinds of terrain surrounded by amazing scenery over the 
course of five or six days.

But she found the 100km (62.5 mi) race in Joshua Tree National park to be the 
most difficult, even though she placed first among the women and second 
overall.  At one point during this race, she was close to being pulled out by 
the organizers because she started to hallucinate in the desert’s harsh heat.  
But she persisted and completed the run.

Telma usually places at or near the top of the field in these events.  She 
always displays the Armenian flag proudly and is an excellent “ambassador” for 
the nation in this rarified circle of ultra competitors.  She is even an 
Ambassador for three companies – XoSkin, IRUN4ULTRA, and Health Warrior 
Superfoods – which are involved in supplying and supporting the sport.

Looking forward to the future Telma says, “I hope to bring ultra racing to the 
Armenian highlands and participate in the Ultra Milano Sanremo”.  That’s a 175 
mi race that is run in only two days between those Italian cities, with only 50 
participants accepted each year.

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