Kyle in Lake Assal, Djbouti

Sunday, November 21, 2010

10K run through Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Yesterday I ran in the Great Ethiopian Run. It was the 10th anniversary, and 35,000 runners dressed in green, yellow, and red took to the streets of Addis Ababa. 

It was part chaos, part competition, and part fun. What the race lacked in organization, it made up for with excitement. Ethiopia is known for it's world-class runners, so many people were thrilled to run the same course and same race that made their heroes famous. 

I ran the 10K in 59 minutes, and 21 seconds. Not the best time, but the clusters of people and high altitude are my convenient excuses. It was fascinating to see the different attitudes of the participants. Some people took it VERY seriously and were frustrated every time they ran up behind a group of slow stragglers. Some people were just walking and enjoying the event for what it was. Ethiopians were singing national songs and blowing horns, turning the race into an impromptu parade. 

I did try to run it as fast as I could, but I still enjoyed the festivities around me. The other runners and the spectators all seemed to be having a good time. Everyone was civil, and I didn't see any fights.

Some racers were taking shortcuts, and when they would join the crowd, people would cheer "Leiba! Leiba! (Thief! Thief!)" It was all in good fun, and I enjoyed the morning of culture and racing with my fellow Peace Corps Volunteers.

I felt good after the race, but now, the day after, my knees are a bit sore. It's to be expected since I've been cycling more and running less lately. 

I'll post a photo of the race as soon as I can get a copy from my friend as I did not bring my camera.


1 comment:

  1. Six months after our brief but lovely meeting in Bahir Dar during my COS trip, I now find myself recruiting for Peace Corps and briefly met your lovely parents when they stopped by my table at Buff State. Small world!

    This expedition looks incredible! Rock on, dude.

    --Shari Quan