Race report Great Ethiopian run

I have been interested in going to the real Africa and Addis in Ethiopia for quite some time. I didn’t wanted to just go to Addis for an ordinary weekend since there isn’t that much to see and when I read about Great Ethiopian run a couple of years ago in a magazine that caught my interest making the Ethiopia visit a runacation. Said and done. Friday evening I boarded the plane from Stockholm to Addis Abeba where I woke up the following morning.

Pre race event

In total it was around 500 international participants out of the 45 000 runners. We all got invited to an evening event the day before the race at the Hyatt hotel. It was such a great event and we got a glimpse of the Ethiopian culture and hospitality as well as a dance performance before world famous athletes entered the stage. Haile Gebrselassie the Olympic gold medalist and a global running star that for example finished Berlin Marathon just above 2 hours. There was a lot of nice people from Hong Kong, France, Brazil, UK, Norway, Italy and Holland presented.

The race

This is not a race for running a PB if you are not an elite runner participating in the first corral. It is a running festival. Everyone was talking about the race and it is impossible to understand how big it is if you haven’t been there. There was one corral for everyone and trying to run the first 3K is almost not possible. People are dancing, taking photos and singing. I never seen something like that. And as me and my British running friend concluded if the race had been at home it would been frustrating but here it wasn’t.

It was just to go with the flow. And I got a sightseeing tour of Addis. You could really tell that the city is very poor. But people do in general seem to be happy anyway. And that is what counts in the long run, right?

It felt like everyone walked out to the streets to participate as spectators if running wasn’t an option. It was a lot of military and police keeping the ones not wearing the race tee away.

Addis is 2000 m above sea level so the air is thinner than at many other places. I was running so slow so I wasn’t noticing it but some French people I talked to said they were struggling with it. To be honest I don’t know, they wasn’t really trained so…

I finished the race with a big smile and my slowest run in a race ever. Just over one hour. If you ever visit Ethiopia this is a great event to combine your visit with. Doesn’t matter if you are a runner of not as long as you can transport yourself 10K you will be fine.

Sounds fun or? Like a total madness.

/ Pernilla that had an alternative weekendtrip to Ethiopia


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