Discover the Rift Valley lakes in Ethiopia with the EthioTrail Marathon

31 Mar 2014 06:55
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Interview Focus on a race
Credit : Run in Africa

Hello, on August 17th 2014, you’ll be organizing the EthioTrail Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?

The Ethiotrail will take place in Ethiopia, in the area of the Rift Valley lakes, precisely in the Abijatta-Shalla National Park.

How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

The Ethiotrail will be the first Trail Running race ever organized in Ethiopia. It was created to promote tourism in this National Park and also to promote Ethiopia as a tourist destination.

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What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The race is run around the lakes. It’s a volcanic area and the route quite hilly (with a 1,200m cumulative elevation gain) takes the runners from the shores of the Shalla Lake to the top of some of the surrounding volcanoes .

The landscape is really awesome and offers a great variety of fauna and flora. Besides, the route goes through some of the traditional villages located in the Park.

How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We are expecting two hundred runners spread among the three races we organize (42km, 21km and 12km). The runners we plan to attract are people who want to run for fun, not professional ones. But we do have some Ethiopian and European professional runners taking part in the race.

Credit : Run in Africa

Do you organize other races during the Weekend? If so, on what distances?

Besides the marathon, we have two other options, the half-marathon and the 12km. Moreover, Sunday morning while the runs are on, we will have the children run (1km).

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

Mid August marks the end of the rainy season in Ethiopia, we will find a very colorful landscape and the average temperature will be between 16 and 20°C during the day.

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

At the end of the run we would do an ethnical party so people can interact with one another.

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Abijatta before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

Before and after the race, the runners have the opportunity to discover the National Park. The hotels they will be staying in have European standards of quality and provide typical dishes of Ethiopian cuisine.

Credit : Run in Africa

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the EthioTrail Marathon?

I would say that is not only to run a race but also to discover a really different and captivating place and also to live a different experience and share it with people you might not have met before.

Interview with Anna Martorell. Anna is an undergraduate student of tourism and hotel management in CETT, the University of Barcelona and is currently working for Run in Africa, the organizer of the event.