The 12 BRAT members secured their spots for the event in winning this year’s Great Club Challenge.
The Club Challenge competition, in partnership with England Athletics, saw the winning club from each Bupa Great Run Series event, based on the average time of their fastest seven men and women to finish, placed in a draw, with BRAT the club chosen for the trip.
The 14-strong BRAT team arrived in Ethiopia last Thursday to begin acclimatising to the altitude in the form of a training session with former Olympic champion, world champion and 2013 Bupa Great North Run winner Kenenisa Bekele at his track in the hills above Addis.
The group stayed at the Ya Ya Village training complex, where elite athletes from around the world train and prepare for competition, with BRAT runner Tona Walder admitting the experience is still sinking in.
“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!”
For all the runners, taking part in the main event was the highlight of the trip. Despite some of the group suffering food poisoning they all completed the 10km course which was won by Atsedu Tsegay in 29:21 and Netsanet Gudeta in 33:23.
“The race is totally breathtaking full of colour, music, smiles and fun,” commented BRAT runner Karl Welbourne. “I consider myself so lucky to have been involved and mostly I am proud to be a BRAT – we started this adventure together when we won and it was a proud moment to finish it together when we all crossed the finish line arms around each other in union.”
England Athletics Head of Competitions Andy Day said: “We have watched the real team spirit shown at these events by the clubs who have contested the Great Run Club Challenge and would like to congratulate them, and Nova, for making this inaugural year such a success.
“We will be supporting the Great Run Club Challenge in 2014 as it gives a great opportunity for our affiliated clubs to compete in exciting and well run events, against each other as clubs and to contest the club prizes up for grabs.”
» For more information on the Great Club Challenge see greatrun.org/clubchallenge
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