Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Memorable Runs: Entoto, Ethiopia

After Pine to Palm I was interviewed by a guy from the Ashland paper, and made a comment to him about being frequently misquoted or having things taken from my blog that appear elsewhere that make me look like a flake.  Example from Trail Runner Magazine on the Massanutten 100: "Toenails....I lost at least four....and it's the start of cute shoe season, damnit."  And whatever I said after the SOB 50K that this guy quoted wasn't much better.  So, when I saw his article on Pine to Palm where he made a comment that I would be traveling for work to Ethiopia and Kenya, and that running overseas is just too dangerous, I cringed a little.  I think I mentioned that in some places I travel to for work it is too dangerous to run on the streets, but Addis Ababa is certainly not one of those places, and it would be a huge stretch to say that "overseas" is dangerous.  Heck, my DC neighborhood was much more dangerous than most places I travel.  And while the streets of Addis are safe, with a population of around 3.4 million (2007) and cars that would never pass an Oregon emissions test, the air quality doesn't encourage one to run there after about 7 a.m.  So, I did end up doing some treadmill running, and only ventured onto the streets of Addis a handful of times (but not for security reasons).

However, I did get to experience a run up near Entoto, which sits up in the hills above Addis.  What is exciting about this?  Well, this is where many of the great Ethiopian runners train.  While I didn't see anyone famous (not that I would recognize them, although one of them lived in a huge house across the street from the hotel according to the guard), it was pretty incredible knowing that I was running on the same footpaths and dirt roads that get pounded regularly by the Ethiopian elites.  So, on 10-10-10 I enjoyed a lovely 10 mile run at 10,000 feet up around Entoto, and below are some photos of the scenery on the run.  It was a Sunday, and maybe a rest day for the greats, as someone in our group mentioned.  But on a weekday, those roads and trails are the training grounds of the best in the world.  There were killer views, and some really cute kids tending the herds.  And I was sucking air the entire way....

The meskel flower, which blooms around the time of a religious holiday by the same name (apparently, also known as tickseed sunflower in the eastern US, where it is considered a weed).

That's Addis down below.  You can see the smog hanging over the city.  It's pretty bad.

Donkeys (and women) carry eucalyptus down to Addis, where it is used as firewood.  The women carry huge bundles of sticks on their backs which are probably 3 meters long and weigh much more than the women do.  You see the women on the steep road down into Addis with these huge bundles.

The churches at Entoto.  Not part of the run, but close to where we started the run.  Many churches are octagonal in shape...I don't remember why.
To top off the day, I saw the movie "The Athlete," about the famous Ethiopian marathoner, Abebe Bikila (in Amharic with English subtitles).  Abebe won gold at the 1960 Olympic marathon in Athens (barefoot, apparently because the shoes his coach brought him were too small), and again in Tokyo in 1964; the first African to win gold.   It's an interesting movie and it was awesome to see it in the theater in Addis (where the entry cost $2, and popcorn and soda together were less than $1).  Many of the landscape scenes from the movie reminded me of the fields up around Entoto.  Definitely a movie worth checking out for you running geeks out there.  


sea legs girl said...

Cool post and such wonderful pictures. I am fascinated by how much Ethiopia high up looks like Denmark. If only we could run as fast here.

That is kind of a drag about the misquotes in the paper. People who are intersted in you or running would check out your blog anyway.

What kind of work do you do in Ethiopia, by the way?

Olga said...

That's fascinating to run where the Great run...and to see the difference in lives so close and personal.
Amy, sorry the interviews get messed up, it's liek part of news, always, sucks.

amy said...

Hey SLG and Olga,
Yeah, they probably weren't misquotes so much as me trying to form coherent sentences after a long run....I might just be a flake.

Olga, sometimes the extremes are a bit overwhelming--helps keep things in perspective.

SLG, I work in finance and compliance for Mercy Corps, an NGO. I have a masters degree in frogs and lizards--go figure?

mtnrunner2 said...

Wow, those pictures certainly don't look like 10,000 feet in Colorado! So green. More like eastern Kansas... with straw huts... and eucalyptus trees.

Looks like some great running.

Hostpph.com said...

I think that it is great that you are traveling there and People always have misconception about oversea running. They should inform well about it.

sheenasharma said...

Thanks for sharing your experience and moments in your tour.
Escorts in Delhi
Escorts in delhi
Escorts in South Delhi
Call Girls in South Delhi

Unknown said...

We offer Delhi NCR Gurgaon hiprofile Call Girls for those are looking for high profile hotels Call Girls in Delhi city and Gurgaon. Our website gallery page contains most attractive female Call girls service providers in India.

VIP Call girls in Dwarka, Young Call Girls in Gurgaon
Our VIP Young Dwarka Call Girls are best in all aspects and will give u immense pleasure and satisfaction

Call Girls in Dwarka
Call Girls in Dwarka
Call Girls in Malviya Nagar

Call Girls Rates in Delhi
Call Girls in Lajpat Nagar
Call Girls in Uttam Nagar

Unknown said...

Searching for Top Call Girls in Gurgaon and Delhi, We have top Class escorts in Gurgaon, for fun in the Night, Our High Class Call Girls in Gurgaon are top escorts in Industry and they have great qualities to gave you real fun time.

Call Girls in Vasant Kunj
Call Girls in Vasant Kunj
Call Girls in Dwarka
Call Girls in Vasant Kunj
Call Girls in Nehru Place

Call Girls in Vasant Vihar
Call Girls in Vasant Vihar
Call Girls in Vasant Vihar
Call Girls in Vasant Vihar

parinights said...

Thanks for Sharing .. We now have not launched all of members of this particular page, as Gurgaon Escorts Staff really are working today available. However, it's not convinced she is going to undoubtedly be around or perhaps not elsewhere because with the merely some descriptions have been awarded with these pages. read More :- Gurgaon escort | escort service in Gurgaon

Anonymous said...

Latest creation of New Expertise From Gurgaon Escorts We understand than to truly have the accomplishment every single company demands the favorable idea or plan minus a body carry-on this industry if we've now been running escort service at which a lady ignites the customers here several preparation and invention has been demanded from the bureau, which is the reason why we've innovated new skill sets within this regard that could boost the targeted traffic of our site.

Unknown said...

It is no stunner that I figure for you, in the event that Kolkata escorts say this is extraordinary.
Kolkata Escorts Services
Escorts Services in Kolkata
Kolkata Escorts

sonam sharma said...

This is known as an ideal article, which has everything. Thanks for offering this to us. I am only happy to peruse this and offer this magnificent post.

sonam sharma said...

I really awed after reading this by virtue of some quality work and valuable considerations. I just wanna offer significant thanks for the creator and need you to appreciate all that life brings to the table for coming

sonam sharma said...

I truly like all your posts and article. They are simply so astonishing and supportive once in a while. I truly value all the diligent work that you made recorded as a hard copy of this substance.

sonam sharma said...

A commitment of gratefulness is all together for offering beautiful data to us. I like your post and all you award to us is up to date and totally supportive, I may need to bookmark the page so I can come here again to inspect you, as you have made a prominent showing up.

sonam sharma said...

I genuinely like all your posts and article. They are basically so shocking and obliging now and again. I really esteem all the persistent work that you made recorded as a printed version of this substance.

Neha Tips | How To make Girlfriend | Watch Sexy Girl Images & Video said...

I love these mish mash posts you have been doing lately. Its really interesting and like a diary. Your blog always make me like "God. Thanks
Aalia Sharma