Wednesday, March 14

Running in Cairo

Here's a link to a fascinating AP story about training for a marathon while living in Cairo, Egypt.

Here's an excerpt:

CAIRO --
A few days ago I got a rude awakening. I called up a doctor, a specialist in endurance sports, who told me bluntly: "If I were you, I wouldn't train for a marathon in Cairo."

Too late, I told him. I just ran 20 miles the other day.

For the past few months I have been running around the Egyptian capital in a desperate attempt to train for this month's Rome Marathon.

With its 20 million people and developing-world infrastructure, Cairo is one of the most heavily populated - and polluted - cities in the world. Its streets look like a sardine can full of cars, trucks and buses, along with the occasional donkey cart and horse-drawn carriage.

Sidewalks are uncommon. Broken pavement is the norm. Stray dogs are known to chase people, and men have an unpleasant way of heckling women with this awful hissing noise.

To sum it up, running is not a spectator sport in Cairo. It's more like an extreme urban adventure.

An adventure upon which I apparently should not have embarked.

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