A team of athletes, who flew down to the city from Kenya and Ethiopia a few days ahead to take part in the Vizag Navy Marathon – 2017 hosted by the Eastern Naval Command, have felt that Indians, like them, are equally competent in running.
After reaching their target, some of them shared their experience about the event and Visakhapatnam.
“Basically, we feel delighted to run on concrete roads as it is a rare sight in Kenya where we belong to. The terrain here is conducive for runners compared to long stretches of gravel roads in our region. But, food we get here is quite spicy compared to Kenya,” said a 31-year-old Mathew Kiplagat, who was accompanied by half a dozen runners from the East African country.
Bewitched by the beauty of sun-kissed beaches and green-capped hillocks of the City of Destiny, Amanuel Abdu, who bagged the top prize in 10-km run, said that he visited India twice. “However, this is my maiden marathon in Visakhapatnam and I feel it’s one of the most beautiful cities I have ever come across. At times, it is difficult to compete with Indians as some of them run faster than us,” said Ethiopia-based athlete, adding that he thoroughly relishes rice items being served at local restaurants.
Tolesa Dasu, a sportsperson from Ethiopia, said that he came to know about the Vizag Navy Marathon on its official website.
“It’s a great opportunity to participate in the event that saw runners arriving in droves from different parts of the globe,” he observed.
Preparation for the event started off a couple of months in advance for Zinashwork Yenew Ambi, who won the first prize in half marathon female category.
“We practised on different terrains six days a week for about three months and that vigorous practice helped us achieve our goal,” she said.
The athlete along with her friends plans to spend 10 days in the city before flying back to Ethiopia.
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