April 01, 2017

Bib #7028 in the Half Marathon of Berlin

An update on our running housekeeper, Aregu Sisay Abate. She is on her way to her first race abroad,the Berlin Half Marathon, this Sunday, April 2.  

For those that do not know her, she is a lady from Ethiopia who started working with our family back in 2011. It turned out she liked running, and so we asked a club, Inter Lebanon, if she could train with them. 
They took her in, began training with her, and ever since then, she’s been running races all over the country, winning many of them. She’s got a preference for the 5, 10 and 21 kilometers. She’s got so many trophies lined up they don’t fit in her room anymore. 
She wants to take them back home, but each trophy is set on a marble base of about a kilo, so I am still hoping someone in Ethiopian Airlines is willing to make an exception so she can bring the 40 something cups back home.

She is phenomenal, and we hope she can make a living out of running, instead of cleaning houses, but she’s got some obstacles to overcome, and one of them is experience. She’s run every possible race in Lebanon about 4 times now. She knows all the courses, be it on the road or off-road, she is familiar with the weather conditions (she hates running in the snow) and the elevations , and she knows her adversaries well. 

Medals of the last two years alone. The previous years she took back home already

Now she needs to get out of the country and run abroad. The Berlin Half Marathon is the first step, and her club has very graciously decided to sponsor her in this endeavor. 

I know that the situation of housekeepers in the Middle East is precarious, to say the least, but there are also success stories. Her running mates in the club, and they are all Lebanese, have been instrumental to her success; they help with transportation to and from races, they get her proper running material and they have provided her with running watches. 

But what has been probably the most important thing is that they have embraced her as an athlete, given her support, advice and love. They remember when it is her birthday, call when she does not show up for training to see if she is alright and invite her for lunches and dinners.

Join her to any race, and you will be absolutely stunned by the number of Lebanese coming up to her, hugging her, asking how she’s been, saying hi, and taking selfies with her. “Hé Aregu, kiffik?” before a race, and “Kief kennet?” after the race.

And so this is her first race abroad. I hope this post will become a reference for the start of her international success later on in her career. Anyone in Germany, and living close to Berlin? Go cheer her on this Sunday; bib number 7028. 


Anonymous said...

Good luck to her from a lebanese fan.

Anonymous said...

Good luck! She is also very lucky with you as her supporting family! Keep us updated about her score :)

Anonymous said...

For your consideration.

Kheireddine El-Ahdab said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kheireddine El-Ahdab said...

And she is lucky to work for you, dear Sietske, good luck in her sporting career!

Anonymous said...


congratulations to her - rank 39 - awesome!