From the airways to the desert - DJ runs for Concern

From the airways to the desert - DJ runs for Concern

12 December 2012

ARDGLASS disc jockey Paulo Ross recently swapped the comforts of his Citybeat studio to take part in the Great Ethiopian Run to raise money for Concern Worldwide.

Swapping his headphones for trainers, Paulo teamed up with Concern’s charity fundraiser Elley Martin for the Ethiopian event, but they weren’t on their own.

A staggering 36,000 runners took part in the 10k event, with Paulo and Elley raising a fantastic £6,620 for Concern Worldwide which has been working in Ethiopia since 1973.

Despite progress, the country remains vulnerable to erratic rainfall and food shortages, with the charity’s work focusing on healthcare, education, agriculture and food.

The 10k run took run Paulo and Elly through the streets of the historic Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, passing through Meskel Square and the National Theatre at the breathtaking altitude of 8,000 feet.

Since the event’s launch in 2001, the Great Ethiopian Run has attracted high-profile athletes such as Paula Radcliffe, Tilahun Regassa, Wude Ayalew and its creator, Ethiopian two times Olympic gold medal winner Haile Gebrselassie. Paulo finished the race in a time of one hour,13 minutes and 12 seconds.

During the trip, he and Elley visited a number of Concern-funded projects including a HIV and Aids programme which supports local women living with the disease to develop a new trade in embroidery and pottery.

This project is also designed to enable the most marginalised in society to provide income for their families.

Paulo admits it would be impossible to put his experience into words and exactly what the Great Ethiopian Run so special.

“Describing the atmosphere as electric simply does not do it justice,” he said.

Paulo added: “The sights and sounds and amazing support from fellow Concern participants went some way to distract me from the time-impeding altitude of Addis Ababa — at 8,000 feet — and the East African sun.

“Although the 10k run offered me one of the toughest challenges I have undertaken, it really did feel more like a cultural carnival than a race.”

For more information or to register for next year’s Great Ethiopia Run text DARE to 78866.