Slow Marathon is an annual event that takes place in the North East of Scotland with all routes ending in the Aberdeenshire town of Huntly. Originally conceived by Ethiopian artist Mihret Kebede during her art residency program between January to March in 2012 at the Deveron arts (Deveron projects) institute in Huntly, Scotland. The first successful event happened in March 2012 between Addis Ababa and Huntly. The idea of the Slow Marathon was to connect people in different worlds through art regardless of any paperwork and political discrimination that refrain people's mobility and integrity. The slow marathon participants walk at a pace that means they can take time to look at the landscape and consider a topic that is the focus of an associated discussion on the following day. The last person to finish the walk is deemed to be the winner.
Ethiopian artist Mihret Kebede created the project as part of a residency with Deveron Arts (now Deveron Projects). [ citation needed ]The artist had wanted to walk the 5850 miles from Ethiopia to Scotland, but this was not possible because of physical difficulties such as crossing deserts as well as closed borders and visa restrictions. Kebede calculated that if 225 people each walked 26 miles together they would have traveled the distance between Ethiopia and Scotland; in response, Mihret and Scottish artist Norma D. Hunter developed an accumulative marathon, which involved a 26-mile walk in and around the town of Huntly, and a parallel walk-in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The inaugural Slow Marathon took place on Saturday 17 March 2012. Kebede led the walk in Huntly, while in Addis Ababa it was led by artist Helen Zeru. Multiple Marathon World Record holder Haile Gebrselassie, participated in the walk in Ethiopia, as well as a shoelace exchange between participants in Scotland and Ethiopia. A discussion, Walk Sans Frontiers, was held on the day after the walk.
Slow Marathon 2013: Cabrach to Huntly
Slow Marathon 2013 took place on Saturday 20 April as part of John Muir Day weekend; it served as the official launch of the Walking Institute.Walkers followed part of an original Hielan' Way crossing unexplored and remote countryside. Starting at the Upper Cabrach area the route went alongside the River Deveron and over the Clashmach hill to Huntly. Winning time for Slow Marathon 2013 was 12 hours and 45 minutes. A symposium entitled "Nature as Home", which commemorated John Muir, was held on the day after the walk. Speakers included Mike Daniels from the John Muir Trust, artists Penny Weir and Gill Russell and ornithologist, Roy Dennis.
Slow Marathon 2014: Glenkindie to Huntly
Slow Marathon 2014 took place on Saturday 10 May. The route went from Glenkindie past Kildrummy, Lumsden and Rhynie, through the Clashindarroch forest and over the Clashmach hill back to Huntly. It was inspired by the work of Scottish novelist and poet Nan Shepherd. Winning time for Slow Marathon 2013 was again 12 hours and 45 minutes. The walk was followed on 11 May by a Slow Day with the musician Jake Williams.
Slow Maraton 2015: Portsoy to Huntly
Slow Marathon 2015 took place on Saturday 25 April. It was led by artist Stuart McAdam as part of a project looking at the railway lines cut in north east Scotland following the Beeching Report. The walk took participants along the route of the former railway line from the coastal town of Portsoy to Cairnie junction before following the River Deveron back into Huntly. The winning team took just over 12 hours to complete the walk. The next day a Pathmakers Gathering discussed long distance walks and other pilgrimages with speakers including John Sparshatt, Christos Galanis, Marylin Lennon and Maureen Ross.
Slow Marathon 2016: Along the River Deveron
Slow Marathon 2016 took place on Saturday 16 April. The route followed the course of the River Deveron and was inspired by a project led by artist Anne Murray and musician Jake Williams called With and Against the Flow. In 2013 craft artist Anne Murray had walked along the side of the river Deveron from the sea via Turriff and Rothiemay to Huntly. Musician, Jake Williams, had walked in the other direction from the river's source at the watershed between Glenbuchat and the Cabrach to Huntly. The winner of Slow Marathon 2016 took just over 12 hours to complete the walk. On 17 April a Pathmakers Gathering led by broadcaster and film maker, Jasper Winn, discussed the significance of rivers. Other speakers included Richie Miller, George Rutton and Frank Henderson.
Slow Marathon 2017: Correen Hills to Huntly
Slow Marathon 2017 took place on Saturday 15 April, as part of a project by artist Andrea Geile looking at Energised Landscape. The route, which started in the Coreen Hills, took in places of energy from ancient stone circles to modern electricity pylons and wind turbines. An open discussion on sustainable energy was held on the following day.
Slow Marathon 2018: Duffton to Huntly
Slow Marathon 2018 took place on 22 April. The route started near Duffton along the river Isla, back to Huntly. As part of a project Walking Without Walls, Slow Marathon 2018 saw a collaboration between artists May Murad from Gaza and Rachel Ashton from Huntly. Inspired by the botanical collections of pacifist Rosa Luxemburg, the artists mapped out their routes by drawing inspiration from the wild plants they find in their respective places. Through the Walking Without Walls partnership Rachel and May found ways to collaborate artistically and socially despite restrictive political situations.
Slow Marathon 2019: Route surrounding Huntly
The Slow Marathon 2019 took place on 21 April 2019, and walked the local poem 'The Ba'Hill, the Battlehill, the Clashmach and the Bin, they all form a circle and Hunty lies within'. It was a circle of varied terrain - including woodland, farmland, hills, and along the river Deveron - started and finished in Huntly. During 20 April an open discussion took place about walking, poetry and the commons.
Slow Marathon 2020: Under One Sky In May 2020 Deveron Projects announced that Slow Marathon could not take place as planned and instead called on people across the globe to come together and walk the world in an act of solidarity with communities suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic. The project is part of Under One Sky with artist Iman Tajik.
Addis Ababa, also known as Finfinne and Sheger, is a capital and largest city of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa is chartered city, and serving as the capital of Oromia Region. Addis Ababa is the largest city in Ethiopia, with, according to the 2007 census, a population of 2,739,551 inhabitants. It is where the African Union is headquartered and where its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), was based. It also hosts the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), as well as various other continental and international organisations. Addis Ababa is therefore often referred to as "the political capital of Africa" for its historical, diplomatic and political significance for the continent. The city lies a few miles west of the East African Rift which splits Ethiopia into two, between the Nubian Plate and the Somali Plate. The city is surrounded by the Special Zone of Oromia and populated by people from different regions of Ethiopia. It is home to Addis Ababa University.
Huntly is a town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, formerly known as Milton of Strathbogie or simply Strathbogie. It had a population of 4,460 in 2004 and is the site of Huntly Castle. Its neighbouring settlements include Keith and Rothiemay. Both Huntly and the surrounding district of Gordon are named for a town and family that originated in the Border country.
ShambelAbebe Bikila was an Ethiopian marathon runner who was a back-to-back Olympic marathon champion. He is the first black African Olympic gold medalist, winning his first gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome while running barefoot. At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, he won his second gold medal. In turn, he became the first athlete to successfully defend an Olympic marathon title. In both victories, he ran in world record time.
Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is an international airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is located in the Bole district, 6 km (3.7 mi) southeast of the city centre and 65 km (40 mi) north of Bishoftu. The airport was formerly known as Haile Selassie I International Airport. It is the main hub of Ethiopian Airlines, the national airline that serves destinations in Ethiopia and throughout the African continent, as well as nonstop service to Asia, Europe, North America and South America. The airport is also the base of the Ethiopian Aviation Academy. As of June 2018, nearly 450 flights per day were departing from and arriving at the airport.
Adigrat is a city and separate woreda in the Tigray Regional State of Ethiopia. It is located in the Misraqawi Zone at longitude and latitude, with an elevation of 2,457 metres (8,061 ft) above sea level and below a high ridge to the west. Adigrat is the last important Ethiopian city south of the border with Eritrea, and is considered to be a strategically important gateway to Eritrea and the Red Sea. Adigrat was part of Ganta Afeshum woreda before a separate woreda was created for the city. Currently, Adigrat serves as the capital of the Eastern Tigray zone.
The River Deveron, known anciently as the Dovern, is a river in the north east of Scotland. The river has a length of 60 miles (97 km), and has a reputation for its Atlantic salmon, sea trout and brown trout fishing. In its upper reaches peaty water flows over a bottom of shingle and rock and is fast flowing.
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Bezunesh Bekele Sertsu is an Ethiopian long-distance runner who specializes in cross-country running and marathons.
Koren Jelela, also known as Koren Jelila Yal, is an Ethiopian long-distance runner.
The Ethio-Djibouti Railway (French: Chemin de Fer Djibouto-Éthiopien is a metre gauge railway in the Horn of Africa that once connected Addis Ababa to the port city of Djibouti. The operating company was also known as the Ethio-Djibouti Railways. The railway was built in 1894–1917 to connect the Ethiopian capital city to French Somaliland. During early operations, it provided landlocked Ethiopia with its only access to the sea. After World War II, the railway progressively fell into a state of disrepair due to competition from road transport.
Tsegaye Kebede Wordofa is an Ethiopian long-distance runner who competes in road running events, including marathons. He quickly rose to become a prominent distance runner after his international debut at the Amsterdam Marathon in 2007. In his second year of professional running, he won the Paris Marathon, the Fukuoka Marathon and won the marathon bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Solomon Molla is an Ethiopian athlete who specialises in long distance running, including the marathon. He has a personal best of 2:08:46 hours that event and won the 2008 JoongAng Seoul Marathon. He is a two-time participant at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
Aberu Kebede Shewaye is an Ethiopian long distance runner who specializes in road running competitions. Her half marathon best of 1:07:39 is one of the fastest ever by an Ethiopian woman. She gained a bronze at the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships with the performance and has won at the Berlin Marathon, Stramilano Half Marathon and the Rotterdam Marathon. She has a marathon best of 2:20:30 hours.
The Great Ethiopian Run is an annual 10-kilometre road running event which takes place in late November in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Dedebit Football Club is an Ethiopian football club based in Mekelle, Ethiopia. They play in the Ethiopian Premier League, the top tier of Ethiopian football. The team officially moved its home base from the capital Addis Ababa to Mekelle after the 2017–18 Season.
Tilahun Regassa Dabe is an Ethiopian long-distance runner who mainly competes in road running competitions. He has a half marathon best of 59:19 minutes and has won the Zayed International Half Marathon and Lille Half Marathon. He made his marathon debut at the 2012 Chicago Marathon and ran the third fastest ever debut of 2:05:27 hours.
The Zoma Museum, formerly known as the Zoma Contemporary Art Center (ZCAC), is an environmentally conscious artist in residency project with locations in Addis Ababa and Harla, a historical village near Dire Dawa in Ethiopia. Due to its links and considerable work with European and American galleries, ZCAC has been influential in the contemporary Ethiopian visual art sector and as a conduit for Ethiopian artists to be featured internationally. It is currently headed by curator Meskerem Assegued.
Deveron Projects, formerly Deveron Arts, is a United Kingdom arts organisation based in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland that hosts international artists from a variety of disciplines to collaborate with the town community. Deveron Projects follows a '50/50' approach, which gives equal attention to impact on the local community and impact on the international art scene. Residencies have been provided to artists from China, the Americas, India, Africa and mainland Europe as well as North East Scotland.
Zeritu Kebede is an Ethiopian singer, songwriter, social activist, actress, film producer and screenwriter. Known primarily by charity-oriented songs and her improvised artistic versatility, Zeritu regarded as the most pivotal figure on the popular music of Ethiopia. Her public image and faith has been controversial, which spurred further speculations. Zeritu has collaborated several contemporary musical figures, most notably Henok Mehari, Eyob Mekonnen, Mikael Belayneh and Elias Melka. Her 2005 album Zeritu became successful album by the end of 2000s.
Simone Kenyon is a performer, artist and producer born in Bradford, West Yorkshire. She works extensively with walking, and in collaboration with other artists and dancers. In 2006, with the dancer Tamara Ashley, she made 'The Pennine Way: The Legs that Make Us', a durational art project in the form of a walk, creating a performance lecture about the project for ROAM a weekend of walking at Loughborough University in 2008, and a book published by Brief Magnetics in 2007. With Andrew Brown and Katie Doubleday she instigated the 'Open City' project in 2006, exploring the organisation and control of behaviour in the public realm. Kenyon worked with Deveron Arts in Huntly, Aberdeenshire on the founding of their "Walking Institute" and completed a commission 'Hielan' Ways' - a long distance walk in the Cairngorms in 2013-14. She has also completed walking-based work Step by Step, 2013 for Dance4 in collaboration with Neil Callaghan. Kenyon is connected with the Walking Artists Network.