Run Africa posts (Sep 2016 – Aug 2017)

 

17 AUG 2017 New 10,000m world record! Almaz Ayana? No, Angela Copson! How will our athletic lives look in 20 or 30 years’ time?

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16 AUG 2017 – ‘Loving my 2-week stay in Addis. The freedom of the trails is a huge difference from my normal running in Holland and UK, and the friendliness of the athletes I’ve met is wonderful. This morning I joined them for a thrilling fartlek hill session. You have every surface here! I’ve run on asphalt, dirt tracks, grass and rocky mountaintops.’ – Team GB runner, 2h25 marathoner and coach Shaun Dixon.

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12 AUG 2017 – A pity that Olympian Hiwot Ayalew (centre) was not at the London 2017 World Championships this year for the 3000m steeplechase. We got measured together with her and sister Hanna at the dressmaker’s in Shiro Meda, Addis Ababa.

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9 AUG 2017 – Watching London 2017 World Championships here in Addis Ababa with Ethiopian greats Sileshi Sihine (left) and Assefa Mezgebu (right).

 

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8 AUG 2017 – Happy Birthday Abebe Bikila! Born 7 Aug 1932 in Jato village of Shewa District, Amhara Region, Bikila shot to fame winning the 1960 Rome Olympic marathon in world record time, becoming the first Black African to win an Olympic Gold. He was also the first person to win the Olympic marathon twice, breaking the world record again at Tokyo 1964. Bikila eventually struggled with his meteoric rise to fame; a car crash in 1969, apparently while drunk, left him in a wheelchair and he died four years later aged just 41. Emperor Haile Selassie proclaimed a national day of mourning, and both the national stadium and Ethiopia’s most prestigious annual road race (The Abebe Bikila Marathon) are named after him. Come and run it with us next year!

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7 AUG 2017 – Return to running eight weeks after having a baby. Practising up hill as it helps to upright the body and slow down the run.

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6 AUG 2017 – The London 2017 World Championship 10,000m is an Ethiopian one-two as Almaz golds 46 seconds ahead of Tirunesh for silver. GOBEZOCH!

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1 AUG 2017 – IAAF World Championships, London 2017. Good luck team Ethiopia!

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9 JUN 2017 – Warming up for training at Jan Meda.

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16 MAY 2017 – An intensive morning’s exercise with Coach Negash. Today’s training session was uphill sprints in Ararat Forest, 50 minutes for the women and an hour for the men.

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6 MAY 2017 – 2 hours and 23 seconds. Eliud Kipchoge. Historical. I wonder whether Nike will now aim to try again, perhaps inviting Kenenisa as well this time. We will aim to catch up with Lelisa Desisa in Addis next week… Meanwhile Michael Crawley’s article remains very relevant.

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5 MAY 2017 – Networking at the Growth Africa Accelerator, hosted by Addis Ababa’s innovative incubator BlueMoon.

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2 MAY 2017 – Not all Ethiopian runners are elite athletes. Thanks to the Ethiopian Medical Association, thousands enjoyed a wonderful 5km run through the streets of Addis, including Rekik, the Run Africa Director, 8.5 months pregnant!

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11 APR 2017 – 2017 Addis Ababa Athletics Federation track championships last week! Run Africa athlete Hawi Megersa came 2nd in 3000m steeplechase, the best of a spread of good results for Run Africa AC!

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29 MAR 2017 – Ethiopian Medical Association 5k training programme starts this Saturday 1 April! Join us!

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27 MAR 2017 – Ethiopians Gidey & Feysa take 1st and 2nd in Women’s U20, and Chilimo (Uganda) in the men’s; otherwise it was total Kenyan domination in World Cross-Country (Kampala) this year. Very impressive. Back in 1985 our head coach Negash Habte was second in the junior race, with Ethiopia winning the team cup. Zola Budd, Ingrid Kristiansen and Carlos Lopes were also winners that year.

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19 MAR 2017 – What a weekend! This year the 14th Women First 5km saw more than 8,000 girls and women from all walks of life celebrate International Women’s Day on the streets of Addis Ababa. This year the race’s goodwill ambassador Meseret Defar introduced the ‘sub-35-minute challenge’, encouraging women and girls to keep fit all year round by presenting all sub 35-minute finishers with a special certificate signed by the Olympic champion herself. The race winner was Degitu Azmeraw in a time of 15:53; we’ll post our Run Africa AC athletes’ finishing times as soon as the final results are released.

 

 

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8 MAR 2017 – 20km outside Addis Ababa. This morning at sunrise. Legatafo dirt track session. 2 x 4000m at speed with 5mins jog recovery. Coach calls out the lap times – “Stay bang on 70 seconds!” – while the girls do their final speed laps before the Women First 5k race. Ayzon!

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11 FEB – Guess what? ‘Someone on Facebook has been for a run.’ Here’s a great parody of the absurdity of it all. Seriously though, I jogged for 47 minutes this morning and I feel wonderful, very proud and superior to other internet users.

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4 JAN – Get up to date on your Kenyan surnames. KIPSANG – born outdoors! CHERONO – born after the goats had been brought in! KIPTANUI – failed to breathe at birth!

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1 JAN 2017 – Just four days in Addis Ababa. En route to climb Kilimanjaro (for a second time). Up and running every day at 2,500m. Including with a broken hand, including on Christmas Day.
David and Kristina, we salute you!

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28 DEC 2016 – The warm, dry weather continues. 1,000+ athletes training at Jan Meda this morning; meanwhile, 10,000+ people flock to Kulubi Gabriel, near Harar in Eastern Ethiopia, today, as the nation celebrates St. Gabriel in the Orthodox Calendar.

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25 DEC 2016 – NATY’S COFFEE: Tesfu roasts coffee round the corner from us in Kotebe. It goes to coffee shops and cafes all over Addis Ababa and beyond. Coffee is a favourite post session drink of most of our athletes. It’s such a nice smell when you go there and pick it up from him.

 

 

 

 

 

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23 DEC 2016 – Ethiopia in national mourning as 1970s Olympic hero ‘Yifter the Shifter‘ dies, aged 72.

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19 DEC 2016 – Training this morning at Sululta, 2800m. Heavy 6.30am frost crunching the grass underfoot for the first 20 minutes, but that does not automatically mean numb hands. The body is so wonderfully unpredictable sometimes. 70 minutes at ‘medium’ effort though, wow!

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14 DEC 2016 – The only communal green space of any size within Addis Ababa, Jan Meda is a mecca of running for all. Closed for 2 months during the July-September rains, the grass grows long to be fresh for this season. Every Ethiopian runner you’ve ever heard of has trained hundreds of laps here. Abebe Bikila included. Each year 14 January sees over 20,000 people swarm here for Epiphany (Timket). Talk about holy ground. International Cross Country race coming up. More soon…


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7 DEC 2016 – The words ‘organic’ and ‘smoothie’ don’t feature in the Amharic vocabulary, but in Addis Ababa you are never far from a ‘juice bet’. Any combination of fruits you like, liquidised on the spot. No packaging, no refrigeration, sumptuous and immediately rejuvenating – after a gruelling speed session at Sendafa meadow, for example. Our area of Kotebe seems to have a particularly large number of juice houses – perhaps due to the high numbers of athletes living round here. Avocado and mango is a regular favourite.

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5 DEC 2016 – Is 24 hours enough time to adapt to 2,400m altitude?! Not ideal, of course, but Ivo Gormley of GoodGym UK ran an impressive 10km PB time of 45.09. This was followed up by some solid sessions on grassy meadow and forests in Sendafa and Kotebe the following week. Another PB to come back in the UK, no doubt. Well done to The Great Ethiopian Run once more, excellently organised race again this year! And can you name this athletics celebrity?

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16 NOV 2016 – The Great Ethiopian Run! This Sunday. Addis Ababa. 10km. Ethiopia’s biggest street party. Africa’s biggest annual mass-participation event. Can’t wait!

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7 NOV 2016 – Welcome to the Athletics Club’s first ever training meeting. Coach Negash Habte at the helm!
Negash was an elite runner in the 1980s. His pedigree has attracted a spread of excellent runners during our first training session in the eucalyptus forests of Kotebe, to the east of Addis Ababa. The weather is predictably wonderful at this time of year in the Ethiopian Highlands, and we are really excited. More to come.

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25 SEP 2016 – A great day for Ethiopia at the Berlin Marathon! Kenenisa Bekele wins the men’s race with the second fastest ever time, with Aberu Kebede winning  the women’s race and Birhane Dibaba coming second.