Learn to Run, Love to Run, Run with Karen


The 2012 Hawassa Half Marathon - Ethiopia

This was my second visit to Ethiopia and running of the Hawassa Half Marathon and I never expected it to turn out to be such an amazing experience.

We'd returned to Ethiopia in 2012 just because being and running in the spiritual home of distance running was too good an opportunity to miss. We'd really enjoyed the experience the previous year and got to meet the great man himself - Haile Gebreselassie. So in 2012, Peter and I went back with some friends to do it all again, only this time we were also making a holiday of it.

The trip was organised by UK marathon running legend Richard Nerurkar who is part of the Great Ethiopian Run organising team that also puts on the Everyone Half Marathon in the Rift Vallley town of Hawassa (250km south of Addis Ababa). And it was while I was out running the 2nd loop of the 3 lap race that Richard informed me I was third lady. I could see the other 2 in front of me. So despite the heat and the altitude I set about reeling them in, and I passed them both. However with 2km to go I heard the footsteps of one of these ladies coming back at me and for those last couple of kms we ran together, it came down to a sprint finish, which I am afraid I lost but I was still delighted with an unexpected 2nd place and the chance to have my trophy presented by a real distance running legend - Haile. Ethiopia turned out to be a truly memorable experience.

The great man himself
A great running partnership
2nd place in the 2012 Hawassa Half Marathon
The elite winners!