Most of the world would probably consider Ethiopia (and its eastern African neighbours, say Kenya and Eritrea) to have formidable long distance runners. They would be right. But what most of the world doesn’t know is that most Ethiopian’s don’t run, at least not for fun. This could be put down to economics. Despite this, there is a large number of people who participate in running events held in Addis Ababa every year. The most notable being the Great Ethiopian Run. Last year saw another 3 running events added to the calendar – the Coca Cola Running Series – a 7km loop around part of Addis Ababa. Participate? Why not?
No one loves runners in Ethiopia more than the local spectators. At least that is the feeling I get when I am running through the streets amid cries to keep going, run faster or just go, go, go.
The end of the race was a welcome sight (particularly for me, with an injured hip, as well as the lady next to me who was running the race to support a charity she worked for).
The way that Chris and I felt we would be… at least I was!
As an expat, this is an exciting event in our social calendar! We get to mingle, and even become part of something that doesn’t always set us apart. So if you are ever considering coming to Ethiopia for a run, you have plenty to choose from. And you will always find an array of people on Entoto mountain every week, trying to outrun the altitude.
Lots of fun…