World Run II / Reports
The map shows the position of which the pictures for the day are taken (if any). The start and finish markers are placed at the first and last valid registered position. This is not nessesary the actual start and finish position, if GSM or GPS signals was not available.
Distance today: 27.0 km (Accumulated: 13032.8 km)
Elapsed time: 02:41:17
Start 09:55am. at km-marker 025 on the main rd. to Addis Ababa. 21c, a few clouds and medium wind. Finish 12:58pm at cross of Churchill Ave. and Zambia Str. at the main square in Addis Abeba. 26c, l. wind and same.
Reaching Addis Abeba !
- Finally I'm able to post reports again :-)
The last week there has been no possibility to send the reports by txt/sms from the phone as usual. For odd reasons the network in the most populated parts of Ethiopia has the least options to communicate (Addis is the capital); perhaps no surprise in this contry where 'up is down and left is right'; its certainly a challenge just to get through a day here when you experiense the contry and its behaviour towards foreigners step by step. I try to understand it and live into the culture - but after more than a month its still a question to "get out of here" as soon as possible. Contrary to other contries of the run that I Miss a lot :-)) (For example Syria and their wonderfull daily wellcome by athletes running w. me along the route, the Finland outstanding support and not least Sudan wich I learned to respect as perhaps the most friendly contry to foreigners - quite contrary to the impression I had from mainstream media - How I MISS those people and their fascinating cultures :-)
During the next days I'll try to update the website w. reports. It may not be entirely possible as I can only do this via internet. And internet in Ethiopia... ;-)
So; I'll make an overview of the stages since the last report 24. of April:
The main challenge running wise has been running through the Blue Nile Gorge. A 40km stage s. a steep drop of 1400m. altitude and a similar climb of 1400m. alt. 20km down the serpentine road, 20km up into the thin air w. a finish at 2400m. I did the run from 04:50am to 9:45am. in order to avoid the intense heat in the bottom of the gorge. (The car also has difficulties w. steep uphill in v. hot weather so it was an 'all team' solution :-)
- Besides the extremely scenic view as the sun rose through the gorge and send its first beams along the thousand meter deep gorge, was encounters w. large monkeys wich at parts of the uphill decided to keep me company runnnig/crawling from one serpentine on the road to the next to wait and greet a tired runner ;-) Also I had enjoyable company by ethiopian kids who tried to keep pace. By now beeing more adjusted to the altitude (2000-3000m) I am beginning to 'set' all runners on the uphills. Nice for an old' runner who certainly cant keep up with them on the plains at the moment !
Two days later was another significant stage: a mountain pass of 3100m. Beeing at altitude means that I recover 1-3 days 'slower' than at sea-level and thus the run at above 2500m. alt. w. still fairly beaten legs from the gorge-run made for a solid challenge ! My support driver, Tommy 'the gun', has done an EXCELLENT job so far. Motivating me when I am beeing too exhausted by the ethiopian experienses; adding humor to the team when we need to cope w. yet another surprise in this contry where we are counting each day to we reach the Kenyan border !
Ofcourse there is positives too; the nature at the Highlands are beautifull and can be enjoyed untill the screams of harresment reaches you; and at times we are met suddenly w. friendship. Yesterday a 2hour repair of our supply veichle, the world run' Mitsubishu Pajero 4wd, was done without charge at the authorised dealer (and I guess the warranty period is bygone now; 340 000km on the odometer ;-) Today, just after I ran into the center of Addis Abeba we saw an athletic meeting at the city stadium. It turned out to be none other than the Ethiopian Athletic Championships going on this weekend and we were treated to a Thriller of a 5000m for women and a brilliant performance by the winner of the mens 5000m clocking in at a world class time.
The fee to watch some of the best longdistance runners in African and indeed the world: Free ! :-)
Yes, Ethiopia is difficult to have one oppinion about. Just as you realize that you cant cope with more hassles and daily problems suddenly an overwhelming experiense turns up. And it keeps me and my supplydriver on our course: Cape Town !