14 members from the Birmingham Running, Athletics & Triathlon Club (BRAT) were among the 37,000 runners in Addis Ababa on Sunday for the Great Ethiopian Run. The club runners secured their spots for the event after their success in this year's Bupa Great Club Challenge.
The challenge was comprised of the winning clubs from each event at the Bupa Great Run Series, which was based on the average time of their fastest seven men and women to finish. Each club was then placed in a draw to decide the eventual winner.
The Birmingham team arrived in Ethiopia last Thursday to join in a training session with Olympic and world champion and 2013 Bupa Great North Run winner Kenenisa Bekele. The group stayed at the Ya Ya Village training complex, where the top athletes were preparing for the Great Ethiopian Run.
Club member Tona Walder said the trip was an unforgettable experience: "I still have to pinch myself when I talk about running with Kenenisa Bekele and Richard Nerurkar, having lunch at Haile Gebrselassie's house, and having photos with Priscah Jeptoo and Million Wolde. Incredible!"
Tona continued: "The Great Ethiopian Run itself was the most awe inspiring event I have ever been involved in. The Ethiopian charm, enthusiasm, and sense of fun was overwhelmingly evident through out the whole race. It was a special occasion that I was proud to experience with my BRAT Team mates, and will never forget."
All the runners who departed for Ethiopia managed to complete the 10k race, which saw Atsedu Tsegay take first place in a time of 29:21.