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Hi I intend to enter the Ethiopia 10k in 2017 - does anyone have any experience or knowledge of travel companies who organise trips to the event?
No, but fair play to you for your dedication.
I am loath to (i.e. too tight to pay for) travel to a 10k more than 10 miles away, let alone 7,000 miles away!
Its a big year for me the next year (in terms of birthday years and every year is a big one now!) and its on my bucket list. Will do one closer to home too!
Fab thanks so much for the info.
Jayne, I did it last year, it's an amazing event!
If you're in with the masses then as a race is rubbish but as a run and an experience it's incredible! The heat, altitude and crowds meant that I normally do sub 50 10k but there it was 61mins even after a week altitude training/acclimatising. I would recommend being there at least a few days ahead to acclimatise.
There should have been 500 international runners last year but there were only 200, lots cancelled because of state of emergency, but in Addis all was peaceful, we were advised not to go out into the far countryside but other places were fine.
I went with RunFast, although I'm not sure they're organising a trip this year. Have a look as tadeletravel.com, Richard Nerurkar (Olympian and co founder of GER) has connections with both.
Malaria tablets aren't needed if you're staying in the high up areas (ie Addis or above), yellow fever is supposed to be mandatory but they don't check when you go through the airport.
Visa is $50 and bought at the airport, short queue to do that. You can change money at the airport as well, no problem, also at the Hilton.
We stayed at YaYa village, one of Haile's hotels, about 10k out of Addis, at Suluto. It's very nice, gym, (chilly!) pool, country running nearby, run guides available. They will collect from the airport. There are lots of Ethiopian runners training nearby and it's not far from Entoto (not walking or running distance though)
One thing to note is that out of Addis IT IS COLD!!! Not something you'd expect in Africa but due to altitude it's lovely during the day, about 25 degrees but as soon as the sun goes down it's freezing - jeans, hoody, maybe hat and fleece as well.
When we went out to run at 7am there was frost on the ground and ice on the cars, running tights and long sleeves most days for early or late runs. The locals train early and late as it's too hot otherwise.
We moved into Addis on the Friday before the race and stayed at the Beer Garden hotel which is about 2 miles from run start and is quite good. If you're spending more money then the Hilton, still walking distance to start and has outdoor pool fed from hot Springs. you can pay to go to the pool as a non resident, about £10 I think it was. If you want really posh then the Sheraton is apparently as good as it would be anywhere else in the world, but I don't think it's walking dist to start and you probably miss out on any local culture.
The event is based at the Hilton, Friday press conference is there and Pasta party Sat night. If you can go to the post race party then go! Last year it was at YaYa, the year before at Haile's house!! We spent the afternoon drinking and dancing with Haile, he's a cool guy and good fun.
General thoughts about the country - really good, not a big tourist destination, so you don't get pestered to hell like in north Africa. As you'd expect, it's cheap, in the decent hotels a main course is £3 to 4 and that's for a big portion. Food is a mix or local, Italian, western.
Addis is quite polluted so running there in the week isn't too good, Suluto/Entoto are very clear air.
As anywhere be careful in the city for pick pockets, don't leave anything valuable in your pocket or where it can be got from a rucksac, but generally you'll be safe - they will be sneaky but not violent, look out for kids following you, they might be looking to pick pocket. I found that if you spotted them and walked towards them making it clear you know what they're up to, they will go away.
More often, people are just interested in the novelty of westerners (ferengi) rather than being threatening.
For women, although when it's warm you might want to wear shorts and vest, you will get disapproving looks from the older women so it might be worth having cool clothes that cover you up a bit.
Have a wander to Meskel Square out of work hours, it's the outdoor gym, people run back and forth across the tiers, allegedly 10k if you do them all and do press ups on the steps. Start is there.
Reply or message me if you have more questions.