Becky Wade, USA
I'm training and exploring running cultures around the world for one year, and I had the privilege of staying at Yaya Village for my two months in Ethiopia. The luxurious facilities and serene location are absolutely ideal for a runner or hiker, and the hotel is just close enough to Addis Ababa to make it an easy day trip. While the food, rooms, gym, sauna, track, and landscaping were all tremendous and exceptionally affordable, what made my visit truly spectacular were the friendly, generous, and enthusiastic staff members, owner Joseph Kibur, and the team members of the Yaya Girls Program.
I also loved diving into the Ethiopian running scene and sharing the beautiful landscape and rugged terrain with multitudes of Ethiopian athletes ranging from recreational to world-class. I strongly recommend Yaya Village as a destination for both serious and recreational athletes, as well as anyone who is keen to visit Ethiopia and get the best of both worlds: the bustling capital city and the tranquil Entoto foothills. It is truly a runner's paradise and a place I would like to make a yearly altitude training base.
Morten Munkholm, Denmark
In January of 2013 I visited Ethiopia and Yaya Athletics Village for the first time. For many years I had trained at different altitude locations in South Africa and Kenya (Potchefstroom, Dullstroom and Iten), but I hadn’t found the ideal training location yet. That’s why I wanted to try Ethiopia, as I hoped this could be the perfect place to train at altitude. And luckily I wasn’t disappointed! First of all, the trip to Ethiopia and Yaya Village is much shorter and cheaper from Europe than it is to either Kenya or South Africa, and in addition when you land in Addis Ababa you only have about a 30 to 40 minute drive to the training camp. Second of all, the weather is wonderful, the sun is always shining and it’s never too hot and never too cold.
Third, the accommodation is great: Good healthy food, nice clean, modern rooms with TV and lots of channels, a good gym and great service from the employees. And most importantly, the area Is great for running! Close by the hotel you have a big grassy area with a 5km loop on flat grass where you can do most of your running especially longer quality work and, 1 km from the hotel you have Kenenisa Bekele’s new tartan track where those killer workouts can be undertaken. 5km from the hotel you have Mt. Entoto where you can do your long runs on trails at 3000m altitude. And in all these places don’t be surprised if you run into most, if not all of the current running superstars of Ethiopia. With all this in mind, I highly recommend Yaya Athletics Village as your future altitude training destination.
Rejean Chiasson, Canada
Rejean first started running in 2004, at the age of 21, while stationed in Gagetown, NB with the Canadian Forces. In 2008 Rejean started pursuing running more seriously joining coach Steve Boyd. In 2011 Rejean joined the Brooks Marathon Project.
He stayed at Yaya for close to two months in 2013. Rejean posted blogs recounting his stay at Yaya that can be found on www.rejeanchiasson.com. Rejean loved that while at Yaya everything was taken care of, allowing him to fully focus on his training.