“A 5,850 miles walk from Addis to Scotland and back > a 26 mile walk celebrating the human pace
Slow Marathon began in 2012 in collaboration with Ethiopian artist Mihret Kebede who attempted to walk from her home in Addis/Ethiopia to Huntly. The Addis to Huntly and back walk, was abandoned as visa restrictions, border controls and deserts got in the way. Instead, Mihret decided to walk the total 5,850 miles distance with many people to reach the distance metaphorically.
In order for her to accumulate the 5,850 miles from Addis to Huntly, Mihret calculated that she would need a total of 225 people to walk a marathon of 26 miles – each way. To achieve this goal she organized with us a Slow Marathon around Huntly, with a parallel walking event in Addis Ababa on the next day to bring her back home: 225 people x 26 miles = 5,850 miles distance
In the run up to this, and in collaboration with Norma D Hunter, she organized training sessions and other walking actions that brought people locally and from all over the world together to contribute to the total distance target. A shoelace exchange between Huntly and Ethiopian walkers was part of the process: Multiple world record holder and patron for the event, Haile Gebrselassie’s shoelaces traveled to Huntly for an exchange with one of the participants.
Since the first event, Slow Marathon became an annual weekend event composed of a conceptually led, 26 mile walk, expanding upon a theme or an idea related to our curated programme, concluding in 2020. It was followed by a day of talks, films, food and discussion, in relation to the chosen project. Celebrating the human pace, Slow Marathon was both an endurance event as well as a poetic act that brought together friendship, physical activity and the appreciation of our landscapes in their geo-political settings.
You can see all Slow Marathon routes below:
Under One Sky: 2020
Dufftown to Huntly: 2018
Tillathrowie to Huntly: 2017
Along the Deveron – with and against the flow: 2016
Portsoy to Huntly: 2015
Glenkindie to Huntly: 2014
Cabrach to Huntly: 2013
Around Huntly: 2012 I 2019”