The village of Bekoji, in the highlands of Ethiopia, has produced long-distance runners who’ve won 16 Olympic medals in 20 years. What explains this remarkable success?

Bekoji Runners - (Photo: (Francesco Alesi/Parallelozero)-

Bekoji Runners – (Photo: (Francesco Alesi/Parallelozero)-

Running is in my blood,” says Tolo Debele, feeding his 3-month-old boy Dawit in his gated compound in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. “It’s changed everything in my life.”

The long-legged 32-year-old is wearing a pair of bright blue running shoes with shock absorbers on the heels, provided by his sponsor, Nike. A competitive marathon runner, he’s raced in Asia, Europe, and America. But his wife Askale Tafa has him beat: Their massive cabinet in the living room is packed with sparkling trophies, mostly hers. Fifth place, Boston; third place, Dubai; second place, Berlin.

Read more at: The Atlantic

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