I usually pack my trail shoes when I travel to origin. They take no space in my carry-on and make a great escape from the hours of traveling in the back of a car on bumpy roads that lead to where the coffee grow. When running in the morning mist of Awassa last year I realized that both running and coffee was part of Ethiopias identity. Why not combine these two in a trip?
Back home I mentioned this when delivering coffee to Icebugs office. They too thought it was a great idea and suddenly it became reality. I reached out to Per-Olof at Global Relations who brought a social initiative with their school project to the trip. Together, we planed Coffee Run Ethiopia.
On November 10th, 25 people flew to Ethiopia. We spent a week together visiting schools, cultural heritage sites, coffee stations and mills and between all these events we ran through the streets of Awassa and in Sidamo together with Kenenisas coach and pacemaker. We ended the week with Great Ethiopian Run where 40000 people ran 10k through Addis. The runners sang and yelled more than the people watching. Everyone was happy. A unique experience and truly a great run.
I have been to Ethiopia many times, but this was still a one in a lifetime experience for me. Seeing Ethiopia for the first time, through the eyes of other people, stepping away from the coffee trail and taking the time to meet other sides of this vast county. On top of this I got to bring consumers into the life of a coffee buyer, showing the steps involved in the coffee process, and the work and passion behind the coffee they drink.