Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I'm running a half-marathon in Ethopia, the self-proclaimed "land of runners". As I cross the finish line, the greatest distance-runner ever, Haile Gebrselassie. is standing there smiling, ready to shake my hand.
Ethiopia is Kenya's northern neighbour and fierce athletics rival. Although Kenyans win more races and have more top athletes than anywhere else in the world, their dominance in distance running is seriously dented by a small group of super-fast Ethiopians. While the nation doesn't have the same quantity of athletes or cover the same range of events (Kenyans regularly win medals at 400m and 800m too), the list of Ethiopian world-record holders and Olympic champions is testament to its running prowess.