This has been the highlight of my running career
This has been the highlight of my running career. It was awesome to run with so many talented athletes through the Ethiopian terrain. I enjoyed every minute – including the hills! Firezar gave me great guidance and I successfully completed my first marathon two months later. The team at Run Africa immediately responded to my online inquiry and within only a few days had arranged a personalized experience for me. They also helped me with accommodation, food and the must-sees of Addis. I enjoyed the injera and local coffee too. I highly recommend Run Africa to runners of any calibre. As an expat in the Middle East, Ethiopia was an off-the-beaten-path destination, but the team had everything arranged perfectly. I can’t wait to return next year.
Dealing with Run Africa was a pleasure
It was a privilege to spend time with a world class Ethiopian athlete. My athlete guide gave me an insight into his schedule of training six times a week, twice a day. We ran among exquisite smelling eucalyptus trees in the hills. Of course, he tailored our runs perfectly to suit my (much lower!) level. Run Africa went well beyond the call of duty to enhance my experience of Ethiopia. They introduced me to other runners and even entered me into a mass race that I wouldn’t have known about. That 10k was the perfect way to round off my running experience in Addis Ababa. Dealing with Run Africa was a pleasure: from the moment I began liaising with them I immediately felt looked after. Whatever your level as a runner, if you are keen to have a special insight into Ethiopian running culture, look no further: I cannot speak highly enough of my experience.
I get to run the same trails that Gebrselassie, Dibaba, Bekele and other great Ethiopian athletes have run!
I chanced upon Run Africa while in Addis and decided to take a look. Wow! Not much later I was up in the hills for my first day of training for the Great Ethiopian Run. Firezar was so helpful and professional, knowing when to give me a break or to push just a little harder. Sometimes I was just about to give up and then he took a different route, with just a few steps downhill and oh – the relief! I don’t know how he calculates it, but it was welcome relief to invigorate and infuse more energy for the next steps uphill. On the trails we met with other runners, professional and amateurs alike. I thought to myself, this is great… I get to run the same trails that Gebrselassie, Dibaba, Bekele and other great Ethiopian athletes have run! The feeling is awesome – I have enjoyed it immensely and it has changed me.
Highlights of our hiking excursion were the amazing views, spotting a hyena, the camaraderie in the group, your knowledge of the area and the sense of accomplishment at the end.
The dynamic stretching is great. It is number one!
The dynamic stretching is great. It is number one! Also, tips about running more smoothly, the surface, the mentality, routines, avoiding asphalt in favour of uneven and hilly routes… I have been running for three decades but in just three days I learned a lot!
Best of all is their willingness to welcome you to join them
Addis was highly recommended to me by two separate friends, plus it coincided with an Ethiopian Airlines plane change (to a friend’s wedding in Malawi). It is also much more accessible than, say, Iten in Kenya or anywhere in Uganda. So, coming here made perfect sense. I was worried that the training might feel very elite and challenging, and that I’d struggle with the altitude and keeping up, but I fitted right into it. Having a group to try and stick with has taken me out of my comfort zone but it’s been reassuring and motivating to know that I could keep up and be an active part of the sessions with them. Best of all is their willingness to welcome you to join them. My assumptions from seeing interviews was that Ethiopian athletes are very shy and quiet, but in fact they are really outgoing and welcoming. I’ve found that in Ethiopia the act of running itself is more important than strict attachment to a training plan. Nobody really seems to start or stop their watch here, and split times seem irrelevant compared to back home. You don’t worry too much about pace or distance when you’re running on such varied terrain – skipping over rocks, charging along forest paths and across meadows. The food has also been really varied and interesting. I’ve enjoyed fresh injera, lovely Ethiopian porridge and amazing hotbreads cooked by Qonjit!
The best thing about training was running with the locals and seeing how they do things
Our flights to Kiliminjaro routed through Addis; your website is good and professional so we decided to go for it. The best thing about training was running with the locals and seeing how they do things. I was surprised how different Ethiopian training is from American training. It made me realize that running with a community is helpful, and more fun. It is something I miss in the US, where people often prefer to run on their own. We loved the Addis Hash House Harriers experience too, that was extremely fun! I have been training well for Boston and I think I have a good chance of breaking 3 hours this year. Kris has noticed lots of improvement in her form, thanks to your coaching. So thanks overall for an amazing week. You went above and beyond!
I loved running through the eucalyptus forests
I learned so much about running, as well as about Ethiopian culture. Gutemma was a very knowledgeable coach and he gave me great tips on training, stretching, recovery… I also learned loads about pacing by feel – such as starting slowly and gradually speeding up, even on hilly terrain. The dynamic stretches are something I’m definitely going to include in my training from now on, along with some of the tips about nutrition. I loved running through the eucalyptus forests, seeing hyenas, baboons and geese. And then I even got to meet multiple world champion Berhane Adere!
The running plan was very well suited to my ability
The running plan that we devised together was very well suited to my ability and I really enjoyed the locations. I’ve learned that cadence of stride is vital to progress. Diet is also important. I had never thought about these things before joining Run Africa. I adapted to the altitude very quickly too, which was a surprise for me. [Addendum from Jadon’s mother: “Jadon thoroughly enjoyed his time training in Addis. He has come back with a tremendous amount of appreciation, motivation and dedication to the sport.”]
Very professional service
Highly recommend, particularly if in Addis on business or transiting through. Their half day hikes are eminently manageable and a great way to get out of the city. Very professional service, including pick up and drop off from my hotel. Highlights were wandering through the eucalyptus groves, visiting the rock-hewn church and hearing hyenas calling in the distance. In addition to breathtaking views, I had a fantastic day with the team. Very knowledgeable and passionate about what the country has to offer.
In addition to these Testimonials, see also Facebook reviews of Run Africa.