Wisdom from Ethiopian Running Culture

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In this podcast episode we speak with social anthropologist and 2:20 marathoner, Michael Crawley -author of the book Out of Thin Air -Running Wisdom and Magic from Above the Clouds in Ethiopia.

Dr. Crawley who has competed internationally for Scotland and Great Britain, lived and trained with elite runners in Ethiopia for 15 months to learn the secrets of their long-distance running prowess.


Interview with Michael Crawley

Michael Crawley is Assistant Professor in Social Anthropology at Durham University in the UK. His book Out of Thin Air shares the story of living in Addis Ababa where the elevation is 7,726 feet (2355 meters) above sea and training with elite sub-2:10 marathoners.

From the book description:

“Since Abebe Bikila’s heroic barefoot victory in the marathon at the Rome Olympics in 1960 -running has been part of the Ethiopian psyche and a huge source of national pride. In spite of this the Western world knows very little about the lives of those for whom ‘running is life’.

By immersing himself in the culture of Ethiopian running, learning Amharic and following in the footsteps of runners as they zigzag through the high altitude forests of Addis Ababa, Bekoji and Gondar, Michael Crawley sets out to change this.”

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2 Responses to Wisdom from Ethiopian Running Culture

  1. North May 13, 2021 at 6:17 pm #

    a recipe for Beso?


  1. OUT OF THIN AIR by MICHAEL CRAWLEY – Christine's Book Reviews - May 30, 2021

    […] (we are locked down, and not allowed out to exercise), listening to one of my favourite podcasts: Marathon Training Academy. It was a recent episode in which they were chatting with a British anthropologist who just happens […]

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