One of the most important factors that sets the Yaya Village Hotel apart as an ideal training ground for runners of all levels are the endless trails that surround the hotel. Tucked away in the foothills of the Entoto mountains, and located just on the outskirts of Addis only a short 30-45 minute drive away from the city, the Yaya Village Hotel sits beautifully in a vast expanse of rolling fields.
The diversity of the trails allows everyone to find their ideal workout be it for a tempo run, an interval session, a strength workout or a simple, but exciting long run.
Just about everyone’s favorite place for tempo workouts, ubiquitously called “satellite field” for the large satellite that sits on the horizon, is an expansive grass field that stretches over two square kilometers
Early mornings at satellite are teeming with runners from the area and from Addis, who have come to sneak a workout in before the day gets too hot.
Show a bit of interest in joining one of these early morning groups and you’ll be happily welcomed to train alongside the local runners. Quick word of caution — most of these athletes would be considered elites or near elites in almost any other country in the world.
What makes satellite so unique are the long stretches of flat grass with just enough cushion and traction to make it an ideal running terrain. Most runners visit satellite three times a week, if not more. On occasion co-owner of the Hotel, Joseph Kibur, packs up the hotel van for those looking for a butt-kicking circuit workout in the open air!
Behind the Hotel, just a five minute jog away, is a brutal hill where one can go for a great interval workout. The same hill was home to the Mountain Fundraiser Race, which you can read more about on the Yaya Girls’ blog linked here.
The hill extends from the base to the top over a course of roughly 750 Meters. In that time the elevation goes from 2,700M just under 3,000M. It can take a number of tries at the hill before one finds the right rhythm to push oneself up the whole way but it also makes for a great interval workout as one can ascend the hill for a minute, followed by a 45 second break walking/jogging back down. Slowly but surely one makes their way up the hill. After 30-45 minutes one is toast and gasping for air. The workout requires a brutal amount of effort, but at the end of the day one can stand atop hill, while enjoying this view and the resulting endorphin high.
And finally, the weaving eucalyptus trails, an Ethiopian norm. This specific trail lies just next to the hotel in the direction of the Entoto Mountain.
However, in every direction one can find trails much like this one zig-zagging in and out of eucalyptus trees on hard packed dirt or grass. Ethiopian runners take to this style trail all the time and while it takes a bit of time to feel comfortable on, it is a must as it works one’s leg muscles differently as there is a great deal of lateral movement throughout the workout.
To check out more photos of the trails and the track at Yaya please visit our website’s gallery page, linked here.
Signing off for now!