Earlier this year I won round trip tickets to Ethiopia at a local race. Courtesy of Ethiopian Airlines. I guess they just opened a new direct route HKG <> Addis Ababa (which makes sense given so many Chinese factories open in the past few years in Ethiopia – much cheaper labor than in Mainland – approximately 16 times cheaper).
With Ethiopia being the Mecca of running, along with Kenya obviously…With so many Champions training in Sululta (less than 1 hour drive from the Airport)… With great facilities available at the YAYA village (Athletic center opened by the famous Haile Gebrselassie)… I definitely had no excuse not to go there have a look, and a few runs too!
Sitting at 2500m+ altitude, it is ideal to boost your red cell count (legally). Assuming you can stay 2-3 weeks…(which I could not this time). And there are many options: flat fields, up/down the forest up to 3000 meters altitude. Or the tracks.
I am not sure I even stepped foot on asphalt during my stay there! Always on soft trails, a real luxury for hong kong road runners!
There are a few videos of Mo Farah training there on youtube (where he spent 3 months to prepare the London Marathon). There are always national teams or very strong runners nearby.
At the village you can ask for a pacer to come guide you for a few runs in the forest or else… My pacer Tamir is a 21 year old local who runs sub 31min 10km (at 2500m altitude).
Ideal for runners but a triathlon camp could be possible… Roads not so safe and appealing tho but turbo trainers in the gym/village could be possible.
Mo Farah and the Mundane Team