The Great Ethiopian Run
26 Nov 2017
Now into its seventeenth year, Africa’s biggest annual mass-participation event must be experienced to be appreciated! Whether it takes you 33 minutes to sprint round behind the elites or 2 hours to walk round, dancing and stopping for draught beer on the way, you are one of 37,000 happy revellers redefining the streets of Addis Ababa on the most exciting day of the year. The Great Ethiopian 10k is a truly epic experience, year after year.
Join our 10-day programme on 19-28 November! Scroll down for more details, then chose from our Gold, Silver and Bronze packages in our Training section.
NOT YOUR AVERAGE 10K!
Founded in 2001 by renowned economist Peter Middlebrook, British Olympian and running legend Richard Nerurkar, and arguably the greatest distance runner of all time, Haile Gebrselassie, the Great Ethiopian Run is 10km of racing revelry, looping through the streets of central Addis Ababa.
At the front the race could hardly be more competitive. Distance legends like Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba have competed in the event, and its winners consistently go on to have successful international careers. Indeed, the race is the number 1 showcase for Ethiopia’s outstanding talent pool. No other street race in Africa offers a similar mix of competition and atmosphere. In a country that idolizes its runners, this is where legends are born.
“Ethiopia is a paradise for runners, with its combination of high altitude, breathtaking tracks and a mild climate,” says the New York Times.
PREPARE FOR THE RACE WHERE IT IS RUN!
Based in Addis Ababa since its inception, Run Africa has a home-field advantage when it comes to many East African events…but none more so than the Great Ethiopian Run.
There is no better preparation than joining our 10-day programme to acclimatise to the altitude before the event. Your athlete guide(s) will take you on practice runs that to help you prepare for the race. Set within forested highlands and steeped in unique cultures and traditions, Addis Ababa has been named one of the ‘Top 10 Cities to Visit’ by Lonely Planet, and Ethiopia the World’s Best Tourism Destination by the European Council on Tourism and Trade in Ethiopia.
Between training sessions, you’ll have time to:
— Explore historical sites, including world-famous museums and cathedrals
— Visit bustling markets
— Sample famous Ethiopian cuisine
— Enjoy a traditional coffee ceremony
— Relax with a sports massage
— Check out excellent local beers at a jazz club
Day 1 (Sunday), ARRIVAL: The goal of this first day is simply to settle in and to begin to get used to the altitude and new surroundings. Resting from the journey is the only ‘performance’ target of the day. Explore Kotebe Hill areas streets and shops, perhaps including a walk on the hillside.
Day 2 (Monday), EASY RUN: Guided by our elite trainers, the altitude and surroundings will present sufficient challenge for 20-30 mins of jogging acclimatisation. You will be taken onto Megenagna’s back-trails where many top Ethiopian athletes train, weaving through Eucalyptus forests to the large open grass areas high above the city. Altitudes here range from 2600m to 3000m.
Day 3 (Tuesday), EXTENDED EASY RUN: Still acclimatising, this is a chance for a further run of up to 45 mins at a comfortable pace at Jan Meda cross-country field. Visit the National Museum and discover Lucy (Dinqnesh), one of the oldest known hominid remains in the world, homo afarensis.
Day 4 (Wednesday) STEADY RUN: A first chance to stretch the distance further, running at the legendary 3200m Entoto Hills – Haile Gebrselassie’s favourite training ground. After a thorough warm up, 40-minute steady or tempo run. The vistas are accordingly breathtaking. After the run, visit Entoto Maryam Orthodox church, the original site of Menelik and Taitu’s encampment before Addis Ababa was established in the mid-nineteenth century. Also on display here are numerous Olympic medals donated by athletes over the years.
Day 5 (Thursday) DYNAMIC STRETCHES: Join Run Africa AC for a session of dynamic stretching and conditioning at Millennium Park, led by Coach Negash. Then enjoy a sports massage in the afternoon.
Day 6 (Friday) RECOVERY RUN: Following yesterday’s tempo session at Entoto, this recovery run at an easy pace will keep your muscles supple and speed recovery. Your lungs will now be beginning to adapt to the altitude, and this recovery run (of 45-50 mins) at Sululta Meadow contributes to that, being at 2,900m..
Day 7 (Saturday) REST: Rest before the 10k tomorrow! We will take you through a thorough review of the run course. In the afternoon, visit Shiro Meda fabric market and Merkato, one of Africa’s largest markets. We’ll also put on a screening of the Town of Runners documentary, set in the famous town of Bekoji (Oromia Region).
Day 8 (Sunday), THE GREAT ETHIOPIAN RUN: Africa’s largest fun run sets off at 9am from Meskel Square at the city’s very heart. You’ll have your own T-shirt and join 40,000+ others jogging, singing and dancing around the streets of the city, many in fancy dress. Our group has priority entry in the front wave, with the élites, setting off just ahead. After finishing, collecting your medal and soaking up the joyful atmosphere, we return to the accommodation for a shower, lunch and relaxation – including with the Hash House Harriers sporting-social club, if this takes your fancy.
Day 9 (Monday), REST / EASY RUN: Depending on your energy levels today you can rest, stroll or take a very easy run (maximum 20 mins!) with a large group of Run Africa athletes at Teklehaimanot meadow. Following this, visit Washa Mikael rock-hewn cave church on the hilltop. Enjoy a cultural evening, an intimate and friendly cultural experience sampling traditional Ethiopian dishes such as injera, kitfo and chicken doro watt, as well as cultural drinks such as tejj mead, tella home-brewed beer and traditional coffee. You might even find yourself drawn into the diverse variety of regional Ethiopian dances and live music on show as you dine!
Day 10 (Tuesday), DEPARTURE: Your flight time may allow for a final session of exercise and/or city visit.
Addis Ababa is a continental hub serving a variety of carriers via Bole International Airport (ADD) including Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Fly Dubai and Lufthansa.
Visas are required for all foreign visitors to Ethiopia with the exception of Kenyan nationals. However, most countries are able to receive a tourist visa on arrival. Consult the Ethiopian consulate or embassy website from your country of origin.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Due to the altitude of Run Africa training venues, malaria does not occur and there is no need to take an anti-malarial drugs. However if you wish to stay on and travel to other parts of the country we advise you to consult a doctor. If you are travelling from a country with a risk of yellow fever you will need to be vaccinated. Consult the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention site. In terms of safety, millions of tourists visit Ethiopia each year and it is safe by any standard. Just use common sense when traveling with valuables or outside of the tour group. For more information refer to your Foreign Office or Department of State website.
Ethiopia is abundant in natural beauty and historical sites! If you would like to extend your stay beyond the tour to go on safari, visit tribes of the Omo Valley or see rock-hewn churches of Lalibela (to name but a few diverse adventures), we can help. We love to share our knowledge of this incredible country, and are happy to discuss opions with you.
The ten-day itinerary described above can also be modified to suit you. Contact us for more information. See also our Frequently Asked Questions.