Rekik is Managing Director of Run Africa. She is an Acumen East Africa fellow, a Growth Africa Accelerate member and a keen fun runner.
‘The company is driven by a vision to avail Ethiopian athletes’ talent, expertise and discipline to all levels of running enthusiast. I am a great admirer of Haile Gebrselassie’s entrepreneurship and vision. He is an example to Ethiopians and to all sportspeople.’
Negash is Head Coach of Run Africa AC, our competitive club comprising 55 elite athletes. He was 10,000m junior world-record holder for four years, World Junior Cross Country silver medallist in 1985, and Ethiopian National Team Coach in 2001-2008. Negash has coached many of the biggest names in distance running and, most recently, is credited with bringing out 10,000m world record holder and Olympic gold medallist Almaz Ayana. He leads Run Africa AC training sessions three times a week. See him in action in our 3-minute video.
Ilse is Marketing and Operations Manager of Run Africa. Originally from the Netherlands, she is a Master of Arts (MA) in International Business Communication. ‘The two things I love most in life are running and discovering foreign cultures. Working with Run Africa, therefore, enables me to combine these two passions in a wonderful way. I love promoting the exciting world of Ethiopian athletics to outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world. Let’s run and discover together!‘
Ed is Operations Advisor. He has lived in Addis Ababa since 2009 and speaks Amharic.
‘It is an honour to be part of the athletics community here. I revere the simplicity and spontaneity of the Ethiopian lifestyle. This includes the attitude toward training, and helping our visitors experience this, first hand, is a key part of our work. A great inspiration of mine is Olympic bronze medallist and two-time winner of both the London and Fukuoka Marathons, Tsegaye Kebede. I see him out training and at events but have always been to shy and humbled to greet him!’
‘An extended stay at this altitude and in these conditions can completely change a runner. I have seen it happen. However, two things which need a lot of attention and generosity to the self are hydration and rest!’
Favourite session: 2-minute sprint repetitions on gravel paths. Preferred training fuel: Vegetable soup with bulgar wheat.
‘I love running early morning. It is the best way to start your day. And after you finished your early morning run, you can no longer cancel it for that day, because you have already done it!’
‘I enjoy working with all levels of runner, showing them how we train and helping them improve arm movement and body stance.’
Favourite training session: 3-minute sprint repetitions.
Preferred training fuel: Pasta and rice.
‘Certain Ethiopian foods are very useful for replacing lost energy and giving strength for training.’
Favourate training session: 1.5-hour forest run.
Preferred training fuel: Bread with tea or coffee.
‘The life of an Ethiopian athlete is the simple life. Few luxuries. Living very close to our training areas. Training in groups. No gadgets except the stopwatch. And plenty of rest between sessions! Anyone who enjoys running should experience this.’
Favourite training session: Long runs on gravel paths.
Preferred training fuel: Rice with vegetables.
‘It needs a few days to adjust to the altitude but it is a big help in the end. Also, we almost never run on asphalt. The forest and mountain terrains are challenging but they bring so many benefits.’
Favourite session: Steady 1.5-hour run.
Preferred training fuel: Beso barley drink with ground peanuts.
‘All visitors enjoy discovering our beautiful training sites and the pleasant climate, and the longer they stay the more they benefit.’
Favourite session: 10-20km road run.
Preferred training fuel: Avocado juice.
‘If there are any visitors who I did not like? No way! I loved to run with all of them, from whatever country they came from. I enjoy the training with visitors a lot!