November 09, 2014

12th Beirut Marathon

Aregu chasing the professional runners from Ethiopia (take from a phone)

Today was the 12th edition of the International Marathon of Beirut. The weather couldn’t have been better; slightly overcast with a little breeze. Aregu Sisay Abateh, the lady that works in the house, was going to run her very first marathon today. She was a little worried that she was not going to be able to run the entire 42 K. ‘Too long,” was her verdict.
'The brides' running to protest against child marriages
That was until she was asked to help pick up the professional Ethiopian runners from the airport earlier this week. She took one look at the women, and decided that she could beat them. “They are so skinny,” she said, “they don’t look like much.”

And although her trainer had given her a schedule to run on, and although he had paired her up with an awesome male athlete who’d help her pace herself during the race, it was not to be. She took off after the elite runners.

But looks can deceive. As scrawny as the little Ethiopian ladies looked like, they could not be beaten so easily.
According to her trainer she “took off the first K with elite group at over 18k/h and maintained for over 1 K. This is unforgiving for the rest of distance. Lactic acid haunted her for the next 41K. Moreover she refused to drink!!! Her lack of experience and marathon culture have proven lethal for Aregu on her first attempt on the marathon distance. “
This pre-teenager refused to wear proper foot wear to run a 10K, and ended up having to re-assemble her shoes halfway through the course.

 She did complete the 42 K however, but not in the time she had hoped for. She passed the finish line in 3 hours and 33 minutes and was rather disappointed with that. Her team mate, Sonia Wansa, won second place. I do not see what the problem is; I also needed about 3 hours and 33 minutes, albeit for the 10 K , maybe a little less. But then again, we had to stop for bathroom breaks, and ice creams and the like.

A very relaxed atmosphere
All in all the atmosphere was good. There was music along the way, and everybody was happy. It is amazing to see that on the political plan, entire sects cannot get through the same door at the same time together, yet when it concerns running, nobody seems to have a problem. It’s sad to see how we are led on by politicians.

At the finish
And next year there’s another marathon for her to try. She needs to run in more marathons however to gain experience. I think it’s time to start some crowd funding to get this lady’s professional career on the road. 


Anonymous said...

Congratz Aregu for finishing!
Nice pix btw.

Tanya Dernaika said...

Stunning pics and beautiful account of a special day.