Jenny goes to Ethiopia

Report: Jenny Knass -

Arrived early Thursday morning at the Yaya Village Resort, which is at an altitude of 2,700 meters above sea level. It was opened specifically for athletes in 2011, as the surrounding area is perfect for endurance training. 2012 GB Olympian Julia Bleasdale took us for our first run on Thursday afternoon, an 8k loop finishing at Kenenisa Bekele's track Olympic gold medalist and world record holder over 5,000m and 10,000m. Here we were filmed running round the track alongside Bekele and had chance to meet with him afterwards. In the evening we went to the British Ambassadors residence for drinks and met Haile Gebrselassie for the first time.

Friday morning we were up and out at 6am for a 9mile run with Julia Bleasdale, triathlon world champion and Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee and GB Olympian/marathon runner Richard Nerurkar. In the afternoon we visited the national museum and mount Entoto (home of the last Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie). In the evening we went to a welcome dinner and entertainment evening at Totot restaurant.

After an early morning run for some on Saturday we went to watch the Children's races for the Great Ethiopian Run. The afternoon was free time, and so an opportunity for another run for those who wanted to, and in the evening we went to a pasta party at the Hilton Hotel.

The main event (the run) was at 9am Sunday morning and this was followed by a buffet lunch and afternoon at the residence of Haile Gebrselassie. Bekele and Brownlee were also there as well as Olympic 5000m gold medalist Meseret Defar and world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat. Back to the resort for our final meal together in the evening, and then we were up and out early the next day to return home.

A fantastic trip thoroughly enjoyed by all!

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