John ran the Haile Marathon on 20 October raising funds for For-ethiopia.

Haile Marathon - Start Line John on Course of the Haile Marathon

Here are his comments following the event:

THANK YOU for your tremendous support, both financial and moral, toward my effort to raise money for For-ethiopia by running the Haile Marathon.  I completed the Half Marathon in 1hour 58minutes, which I was pleased with.  Altitude was not really a problem as the run was held in Hawassa, 4 hours south of Addis Ababa, though heat and de-hydration would have been a major problem if the run had not been organized for the early morning.  More challenging perhaps was running a half marathon after a long-haul night flight from London to Addis, followed by a 6 hour coach ride along a treacherous road!   The whole event was a great experience.  I got to meet the legendary Haile Gebrselassie who told us he ran his first marathon by mistake aged 15 at a time of 2hrs 48minutes.  He had hoped to run a 10k in Addis which was cancelled so he talked his way into running the marathon, though under-age, rather than return in shame to his home town.  And the rest, as they say, is history!

It was a privilege to be a part of Ethiopia’s first ever international marathon.   And great to be running (at least in the first few meters!) alongside the elite runners of Ethiopia and along roads lined with Ethiopians, with the local children cheering and  occasionally jumping the barrier to join hands with the runners.

Thanks to all your efforts, we have raised over £6,000 which will go directly towards educational and development projects in Ethiopia

If any of you are on the look-out for somewhere new to explore, I would thoroughly recommend Ethiopia as a fascinating destination.  With a population of 90 million (2nd largest in Africa after Nigeria) and annual GDP growth of 6% (IMF) it very much feels like a sleeping giant, economically, about to awaken! Perhaps more interesting though, to the traveler, is the rich and ancient culture of Ethiopia. The country was never colonized, is majority Christian and harbours some of the most fascinating historic sites up in the Highlands, like the ancient churches of Lalibela.  The climate is temperate, by virtue of its mountainous terrain and the peoples are friendly and bright, with very distinctive music, language and food…Anyway, enough of the advert – check it out for yourself if you get the chance.

Thank you again for your support.

Best wishes,


John Finishing the Haile Marathon Haile Gebrselassie

For-ethiopia would like to thank John for this tremendous achievement and fantastic story and all those who sponsored him including the Spayne Lindsay Foundation

If anyone is planning an event and would like to raise money for For-ethiopia please visit our How You Can Help page.


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