Written by Danielle Manley for Hard News Cafe.
Kababa Alemu’s feet pound the wet soil as he rounds a makeshift track for the 10th time.
It’s a Saturday afternoon in the village of Kersa Elala, in western Ethiopia, and dozens of townspeople, returning from church services, have stopped on the side of the road to watch the 20-year-old runner as he races around the muddy loop.
The winner of a prestigious regional race and a top finisher in several others, including the famed Great Run in the capital of Addis Ababa, Kababa is the star runner in his village.
But he is one of many in this county. One of thousands in this region.
One of tens of thousands in this nation.
They all share the same dreams: A future free of poverty. A chance to help themselves, their families, their villages.
And so they run.
—Danielle Manley and two other USU student journalists traveled to Ethiopia in July with JCOM Professor Matthew LaPlante. See Danielle’s full report on Ethiopia’s runners on ThePostGame.com.