West Shewa, Ethiopia
Oh what feeling is this, electricity flows like the very first kiss. Actually not so much electricity, today’s run was more sloth powered. But it’s done, and the rest of the day will contain some lounging, maybe a walk and one last turn on the exercise bike. I’m ready for home now, and particularly for the chocolate that is waiting for me there. And a pint of brown beer, mmm.
Best hold those thoughts, I’ve still got 15 hours till the flight takes off, let alone lands. I’ve got some old running shoes to give to coach Abdi later, and given that you can only take 200 birr out of the country, I only need about 200 for food today and have 900 left, I can also give my favourite staff a bonus. 100 birr is the cost of the most expensive pizza here, 8 birr will get you a ride into town, 150 will get you a meal in a decent restaurant in town. I suspect that’s beyond the ordinary local, so I think 100 will be enough to make them feel appreciated, though it’s not that much overall, and especially when you consider I’ve been here for five weeks. The exchange rate at the camp is 28 birr to the pound, for context.
For lunch, seeing as I’m paying and since it is very close I went to the hotel nearby-Hunde resort. There are several athletes staying there, including a Belgian I have met briefly. He was outside with friends, so we went through the usual handshakes all round. I knew the hotel was cheaper to stay in, something like 7dollars a night, and that stretches to the food, too. 45 birr, or under £2, for spaghetti and a coke. It’s a bit more bare bones, as you might expect, without the gardens at Yaya, but a good base for training, track and trails in easy reach. There’s also a bar right next door, and I’m sufficiently unused to being a full time runner that for a mo I figured none of the others had spotted it, seeing as no one had mentioned it. No, not that, twit, just that they, in general, just don’t drink. If I come back for another stay here I’ll run a sweepstake on how many takers my ‘evening in the bar’ excursion garners.
A little later, and I’m at the airport. Plenty early, as we left at 9.30 so the Swedish dude who also leaves tonight could catch his midnight flight. No traffic lights in Addis, so occasionally a crossroads will snarl up, which happened to us and added 10 mins or so. That added to prior experience made the Swede a little nervous because in January the line waiting to go through security to get into the airport was way long, but he needn’t have worried on two counts-one, there was no queue to get in, and two, his flight was already boarding. 24hour clock misreads win again! He’s aiming to qualify for Moscow. If he makes it and I bump into him, I don’t think I’ll trust his information about when to go and spectate…
Summary: 59:17, 9.68km, 30m bike.