What a day!
I have witnessed the Great Ethiopian Run on three occasions now yet every time I am left amazed, inspired, speechless at the spectacle of Africa’s largest road race. A sea of colour, 40,000 runners in carnival atmosphere celebrating the joy of running as well as the strength and solidarity of the Ethiopian nation.
This time I choose not to compete, instead I left my warm bed at Yaya Village in the early hours and ran over the Entoto Mountain in to Addis Ababa. A stunning 25 kilometres of uphill, some scramble, and flowingly fast descent to finish off a big training week just shy of 100 miles.
There to greet me at the event finish area was Haile Gebreselassie, somewhat astonished by my choice of long run, and together with a large host of well know Ethiopian athletes and VIP guests we cheered in the leading runners as well as the mass of masses!
Stockport Harriers were the club chosen by Nova International to experience this year’s race and they did themselves proud. Not only in the event itself but also throughout the preceding days when I took them into the landscape surrounding Yaya Village to run the ‘Ethiopian way’. It was a pleasure to spend time with them and I hope the few days will help inspire them to future successes.
With the race done it was, of course, time to celebrate. The renown post-run gathering at Haile’s house was a time to relax, share stories and experiences as well as celebrate everything Ethiopian – food, drink, dance and all.
Congratulations to the Great Ethiopian Run team, may the event continue from strength to strength.